Carmelo Anthony denies that he's decided to leave Knicks

Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony had to answer to Stephen A. Smith's assertion on Thursday.

Asked about the rumor that he's already decided to go elsewhere when he hits free agency, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony denied it emphatically at shootaround on Thursday, via Rod Boone of Newsday:

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith discussed Anthony's future on his radio show (after the 14:00 mark) on Wednesday:

"Carmelo Anthony is gone. Ain't no way in hell he's staying here. I'm hearing this is it. He's out. Unless the money disappears elsewhere, 'cause he definitely wants to get paid, he's not trying to stay here for this."

Anthony can opt out of his contract at the end of the season and he has indicated that he'll do so because he wants to be a free agent. In a television interview for TNT earlier in the season, Anthony said he would like to retire in New York.

The Knicks have lost nine straight games and are in the midst of a disastrously disappointing season, holding down the basement of the Atlantic Division with a record of 3-13. Anthony has voiced his frustration after numerous recent losses. Last week, he said that New York missed its veteran players from last year's lineup. This week, he said the Knicks were "playing to lose."

Earlier Thursday, ESPN's Jay Williams tweeted that Anthony's former coach, George Karl, said the star forward "produces individual success, but doesn't produce championships."

Anthony is averaging 26.3 points, 9.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists on the season, shooting 42.3 percent from the field and 27.7 percent from the three-point line.

New York will play the 5-13 Brooklyn Nets on TNT on Thursday at 7 p.m. ET.

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