Carmelo wants Knicks decision 'sooner rather than later'

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Jun 22 2014 09:05 AM | Updated as of Jun 22 2014 05:06 PM

PARIS - New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony wants his future decided "sooner rather than later", he said Saturday, but gave no sign of whether he will quit the team.

Anthony, 30, has until Monday to tell the Knicks whether he will become a free agent -- a move that would spark a rush for his signature with the Miami Heat, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics all reportedly interested.

When asked when an announcement on his future would come, Anthony told AFP: "Hopefully sooner rather than later."

But he said he did not feel bound by any deadline.

"I am here now just trying to enjoy this moment. When I get back to the US I will deal with that," added Anthony, speaking at the Nike-Quai54 streetball championship in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

"It is a very difficult decision to make," he said.

There are considerations "off the court, on the court, family, lifestyle -- there is a lot that goes into that," he said.

Phil Jackson, who took over as the Knicks president in March, is desperate to keep Anthony as he embarks on a mission to revive the slumbering New York team.

The Knicks, who last won the NBA title in 1973, failed to make the playoffs in the 2013-14 season, the first time Anthony had failed to do so in his 11-year career.

Anthony has been with the Knicks since 2011 and showed his worth again this year, scoring a Knicks single-game record 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats.

The Chicago Bulls are said to be leading contenders to sign Anthony if he does decide to leave.

The appointment of Derek Fisher, who won five NBA titles with the Los Angeles Lakers, could help persuade Anthony to stay. But the Knicks financial planning will also be crucial.

Anthony could still sign a new contract but the Knicks are already over their NBA salary cap and any higher salary would reduce their scope to rebuild a side around the forward.

Anthony would not say which NBA teams had attracted his attention, but declared that it had been "shocking" to see the Miami Heat, one of the potential suitors, lose the NBA finals to the San Antonio Spurs.

"I don't think that people thought it would turn out the way that it did, them being beat 4-1," said Anthony.

"People expected it to be a pretty even series, maybe even go seven games. It was shocking to a lot of people," he added. "This year I think San Antonio just wanted it more."

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