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New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony has insisted that tanking is a “bad mentality to have” as the franchise continues to struggle this season.
The Knicks are in fact on a two-game winning streak after defeating the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, but some are questioning whether or not they are better off losing in order to give themselves a better shot at the No.1 overall Draft pick in June.
However, Anthony believes that it is dangerous to have a losing mentality going into games and that the players on the current roster are not thinking like that.
“I don’t know how to have that mindset,” Anthony told reporters.
“Having that mindset as a basketball player, as a competitor it’s just hard to do unless you don’t care about the game, what happens and your performance. To say that we’re going to go out there and we want to lose a basketball game, I think that’s a bad mentality to have.”
The team that ends the season with the worst record in the NBA has a 25 percent chance of landing the top pick in the Draft. It is guaranteed to pick no lower than fourth.
Meanwhile, the team that finishes with the second-fewest wins has a 19.9 percent chance of landing the top pick while the third worst team has a 14.7 percent chance.
New York (7-36) is currently percentage points behind the Sixers (8-34) and Minnesota Timberwolves (7-34), but they remain set for a struggle down the stretch after team president Phil Jackson opted to trade both JR Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this month.
As a result, the focus has turned to free agency and the Draft for the Knicks in their rebuilding process, while they may well also have to pull the plug on Carmelo’s season as he continues to struggle with a sore knee.
Surgery is still a possibility for the 30-year-old, but he is desperate to play in the All-Star game on February 15 as it is doubly important for him this year given that the game will be played at Madison Square Garden.