Carmelo Anthony calls trade rumors, drama "mentally draining"

— -- NEW YORK -- On a day when he was asked about everything from Phil Jackson to wanting to play with Chris Paul and LeBron James to whether "fake news" prevented him from becoming an All-Star, Carmelo Anthony was booed by home fans before he admitted that the soap opera surrounding him can be "mentally draining" while giving him a greater appreciation for New York Knicks legend Patrick Ewing.

Anthony's patience is being tried, perhaps in ways even Ewing did not have to deal with when he was under the intense New York media microscope for 15 seasons with the Knicks. The Knicks star admitted that the drama can get to him.

"You've got to deal with that, even though I try not to read it, and everywhere you go, even if you don't hear about it, somebody is telling you about it, somebody is saying something," Anthony said of the trade rumors and drama around him and the Knicks. "It can be mentally draining, mentally fatiguing."

It's been quite the week for Anthony as trade talk intensifies around the Knicks star. Sources told ESPN's Ramona Shelburne and Marc Stein that the Knicks and LA Clippers are searching for a third team to facilitate a potential Anthony trade to Los Angeles without the Clippers having to send one of their top three stars in return. first reported earlier this week that the Cavs rebuffed Anthony-for- Kevin Love proposals.

This comes on the heels of a meeting between Anthony and Jackson last week, in which Anthony told Jackson he wants to remain in New York. Anthony has a no-trade clause and has repeatedly said he wants to remain a Knick, but he has also admitted that if management decides to go in a different direction, he will have to consider his options. Anthony reiterated before the Knicks beat the Hornets 110-107 that he has not spoken to Jackson or Knicks management since his meeting last week.

"No, I tell you that every day," he said when asked before the game. When asked about his past mentions that he would one day like to play with good friends Paul and James, Anthony politely ended his pregame interview by saying he had to prepare for the Hornets.

"Yo, come on, come on, man," he said while practically shaking his head. "That's why I don't talk before games. Sorry. Sorry."

Anthony, who had headphones on before the interview, was asked what he was listening to. "Frank Sinatra," he replied. "Stay calm."

Few can blame Anthony if his patience grew thin this week. On the basketball court, where Anthony seeks refuge from all the drama, the Knicks star was booed by home fans at times before he buried a short fade-away jumper with 13 seconds left to help the Knicks stave off the Hornets. Anthony finished with 18 points and 11 rebounds but shot 8-of-26, including 1-of-7 from behind the 3-point arc.

Fans grew impatient with Anthony and let him hear it at times.

"Yeah, I enjoy that," Anthony said with a smile when asked about the fans booing him. "I enjoy it."

When asked if it takes a unique kind of guy to make it in New York City and handle playing in New York, Anthony replied, "Yeah, Melo."

"You've got to be cut from a different cloth to take this day in and day out and to deal with this all day long every day," he said. "You've got to take the good with the bad. I don't know how I do it, but I do it."

Ewing had to deal with a lifetime's worth of New York tabloid drama -- way before the social media era -- while shouldering the heavy burden of trying to bring a championship back to New York. Anthony said Ewing, who was at the Garden on the Hornets bench as Charlotte's associate head coach, is one of the few who can relate to what Anthony experiences in New York.

"Without a doubt," Anthony said when asked if he has even more respect for what Ewing went through. "As a student of the game, you know what people go through in their own respective situations. Knowing the history of the game and knowing the history here and the players, he was one of those guys who kind of can relate to what I'm going through. Being able to still try to perform at a high level and block everything out, I mean, that's somebody I can say understands what I'm dealing with."

Ewing, of course, was shipped from New York to Seattle in 2000-01.

"It wasn't his fault," Anthony said with a laugh. "It wasn't his fault."

Amidst the trade rumors and the Knicks losing 14 of 19 since Christmas, Anthony learned Thursday that his streak of seven straight All-Star appearances was snapped when coaches did not vote him in as an Eastern Conference reserve.

Anthony didn't hide his disappointment about not making the NBA's showcase game for a 10th time. He was asked why he thought he didn't make the cut and if "some of the fake news that has been happening" has impacted the way fans think of him.

"Honestly, I don't know," he said, reiterating that he did not want to speculate on reasons he wasn't voted an All-Star. "It's kind of hard to think about that right now in the midst of everything that's kind of going on."

One thing Anthony knows for certain about his future: He will for "damn sure" take full advantage of the prolonged All-Star break. And he insists the Knicks (21-27) still believe they can make the playoffs.

"This is that time," Anthony said of making a move. "We still believe that. We believe it's right there. Our goal is to make the playoffs, and we see it. We're right there. Even though we have lost some games, other teams are losing games too, giving us an opportunity to be right there in the picture right now."