Before holding media day for the 2016-17 season at their training facility on Monday, the Los Angeles Lakers’ coaches and players met to discuss athletes’ recent national anthem protests against unjust treatment of African-Americans in the United States, a movement that first gained recognition from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Or, as Warriors forward Draymond Green put it: “Everybody is going to grow. And are you going to with 74 games? To be quite frank with you, I don’t want to win 74 games or 75 games. It’s brutal.”
“I’ve never played alongside a guy like Derrick,” Anthony said. “I’ve played alongside other point guards, different style, different type of point guards. To play alongside an explosive guy like Derrick, someone who can pick the pace up, who can push the pace throughout the course of the game, someone who’s a threat at that position — I think for me, the only thing that I can do is go out there and play basketball and enjoy playing basketball again and having fun with the game.
“I’m excited. I haven’t felt like this in a long time.”
If this season is going to go the way the Knicks hope, it likely will be because Anthony and Rose play well together and off of one another. As ESPN analyst and ex-Knicks coach Jeff Van Gundy recently said, the play and health of Rose is the big unknown for the Knicks.
Rose, Anthony and many other Knicks have been scrimmaging together at the team facility and at a gym in Manhattan recently. Anthony said he likes what he has seen from Rose — as well as the rest of his new teammates — in those scrimmages.
“He’s extremely focused right now, he’s healthy, he has a different mindset, he has a clear mind and he’s ready to go and try to help us with our goals,” Anthony said of Rose, who is facing a civil suit alleging sexual assault, as well as a criminal investigation.
Rose said Monday that he’s feeling great coming into the season — thanks in part to a longer offseason (he missed the playoffs for the first time in his career). Rose also said he’s trying to emulate Kobe Bryant’s dribble efficiency this season.