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Dallas Mavericks star Tyson Chandler has conceded that he feels sorry for his former teammate Carmelo Anthony as the New York Knicks continue to struggle.
The Knicks fell to 5-22 for the season following Tuesday’s loss to the Mavericks, and while Anthony encouraged fans not to boo Chandler on his return to Madison Square Garden his former teammate played a key role in the win for the visitors.
“I do because he’s a competitor,” said Chandler, who received a warm ovation from the crowd in his return and had eight points and 14 rebounds in the win. “I laced them up and went to battle with him for the last three years and know what kind of competitor he is.
“I know he wants to win, and I know he’s going to take a lot of this heat. And it’s unfortunate because he’s a hell of a player in our league. It’s just unfortunate.”
Anthony signed a five-year, $124m contract with the Knicks this past summer after a free agency tour which took him to the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Mavericks, Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers.
However, he cited a desire to bring back success to New York as the determining factor in his decision to remain in the city, and he recently quashed speculation that he would waive his no-trade clause in order to find a way out.
The Knicks haven’t won a championship since 1973 and not even the return of Phil Jackson has inspired them to greater heights this year as rookie coach Derek Fisher struggles with what he has at his disposal as they look to implement the triangle offense.
Chandler conceded that losing makes everything tough after the organisation brought in a new coach, new offense and new identity, and he feels that they will need some luck in free agency and the Draft to turn things around to bring in the right pieces.