Carmelo Anthony mostly lollygagged through Sunday's All-Star Game -- perhaps the lollygaggingest game in the history of this series of spectacles of lollygaggage. But the Knicks' star forward was feeling frisky off the court, laying down a surprising goal for the final 27 games of the 2015-16 season. Melo is gonna try to play 'em all!
"That's a goal,'' Anthony said. "I'm going through it now. I'm pushing it. I'll still take it game by game but my goal is to play all ."
Melo missed five of the Knicks' final 15 games before the All-Star break with soreness stemming from his rehab from offseason knee surgery. Let's flash back to the beginning of the month, when Melo was so concerned about the pain that he scheduled an MRI.
"I've talked to everybody that I need to talk to. The medical staff, other people who've been in my situation who had the same procedure and the doctors, trying to get advice with what I'm dealing with. Everybody says it's part of the recovery, part of the rehab. In most situations, I don't think people would have the load I'm putting it on. For me, it's no rest. I'd take a day off here or there and see what happens.
It's not going to heal in a week or two weeks. When I had that procedure, I knew it was going to take time to heal. I wanted to get an MRI for my own sake to make sure what I was feeling was nothing structural. It's just general soreness. That's all it is."
Perhaps Melo's competitive spirit was stoked by spending the break with his All-Star buddies, most of whom are on better teams than he is. I think we can all agree, however, that there's no way in hell he is going to play that many games. There should be no pushing it.
One of the most appreciated facets of the 2015-16 campaign has been the team's cautious, transparent approach to injuries -- player gets hurt, player sits, coach explains injury. That might not seem like a big deal, but for the Knicks it's friggin' revolutionary. They played it safe with Melo's knee even as their playoff hopes faded, and it was absolutely the correct move. It's even more correct now that they have almost no shot at the postseason.
Here's hoping that interim head coach Kurt Rambis isn't really that caught up in his "playoffs are the ultimate goal" rhetoric and that the team continues to play it safe with their best player.