Carmelo Anthony was stumped. “What’s my title?” he laughed.
He has a point. To his fans, he’s “Melo,” plain and simple. The man who led Syracuse University to its only NCAA basketball championship. Now, a forward for the New York Knicks, one of the NBA’s most prolific scorers and six-time NBA All-Star.
He’s also the public face of a team trying to rebuild. For 40 years, the Knicks have suffered a title drought in their quest for the NBA Championship. Anthony has helped revive the team’s chances, and he’s bolstered the hopes of its most jaded fans. But standing between the Knicks and basketball history is the red-hot Miami Heat.
“You know, as a fan of basketball, just to watch and see them win 27 games in a row, that's quite unheard of in our time, in my time, Anthony told "Off The Cuff". But, he added, "they can be beat." He proved it last night - he tied his career high with 50 points, topping the Miami Heat with a 102-90 victory . The defending champs were without LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers, who were all sidelined by injuries.
Off-season, he trains in a boxing ring. “When it comes to boxing, it’s a matter of putting myself in a different mentality,” he said. “My focus level has to be at an all-time in a boxing gym. And that transcends to the basketball court.”
Anthony lives life fully in the public eye. In addition to being a star player in the NBA, and one of the league’s most popular players, in 2010 he appeared in a reality show which starred his wife, TV personality Lala Anthony. Even their wedding was televised. But the constant scrutiny has its downsides. Earlier this month, Ms. Anthony publicly refuted rumors that the couple had separated.
“It's kind of - you’re in this box. “ Anthony explained, “it's a transparent box where everybody sees what you're doing, everybody knows what you doing, especially with the way that the media is - online, digital, newspapers. But you’ve got to have fun doing what you do, and in the way you live. It's hard, but we deal with it. You know, I think the first part is understanding, and knowing, that that's your life. Once you get to that point, it’s half the battle.”
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