GREENBURGH, N.Y. -- Carmelo Anthony talked about a wide range of subjects with reporters Thursday after his exit interview with president Phil Jackson. He discussed his priorities as a free agent. But he also touched on the difficulty of this season, his conversation and comfort level with Jackson, and the idea of taking less than max money as a free agent.
Here is a brief synopsis of the State of Melo entering the offseason:
Embarrassed by 2013-14: Carmelo said in no uncertain terms that this was his most difficult season in the NBA.
"By far, by far," the 11-year veteran said. "Not making the playoffs is definitely a failure for me. This is definitely a chapter in my book that I would never ever forget about it."
Anthony added that it's "embarrassing" that some of the players he entered the league with -- LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh -- and some players he is close with -- Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul -- are either in the playoffs or have enjoyed playoff success. Anthony, on the other hand, will be sitting home this spring.
"It's embarrassing. And this is just how I take it, I can't speak on everybody else. For me, it's embarrassing," Anthony said. "I can't even put that into words. I can't even describe the feeling. The last couple of nights just staying up all night trying to figure out what happened, what went wrong. Why this? Why that? Maybe those questions will never be answered. Maybe I shouldn't ask. But I do."
Comfortable with Phil: Anthony and Jackson got the chance to sit down and talk about the future for the first time since Jackson signed on as Knicks president. Anthony came away impressed.
"His knowledge, his wisdom, is something I could sit down and listen to all day long," Anthony said. "He’s very philosophical ... has an answer for every scenario. He makes everything clear and just the way he talks, his delivery, his message, is, for me, something I could sit down and listen to all day."
Anthony and Jackson's relationship is extremely important for a Knicks team that is desperate to re-sign its All-Star forward.
On taking less money: Much was made earlier this season of Anthony's comments about taking less money in free agency to build a winner. Anthony expanded on those comments Thursday.
"If I was to go with another team, I would take less money anyway," Anthony said. "When it comes to the money, yes we play the sport to make money, let's be quite frank. At this point in my career, I'm not concerned about the money. The contract will be the contract regardless. I like to consider myself financially stable.
"For me it's more the day-to-day stuff," Anthony added. "Putting together a situation where I'm able to compete at a high level night in and night out and when it comes down to it having a chance to reach my ultimate goal which is winning that championship."
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