Carmelo Anthony Interview
Syracuse freshman Carmelo Anthony is expected to be one of the top few picks in the 2003 NBA draft. He spoke to the media at the Chicago pre-draft camp during the June 7-8 interview sessions.
Q: You talked to (Denver Nuggets GM) Kiki Vandeweghe and some others about what Denver is like. What did you hear?
Carmelo Anthony: From what Iíve heard, itís not as bad as what some people said about it. They say itís a great city. Everybody is going off on how bad the team was in the past. That is something I have to go out there and experience for myself.
Q: Youíve talked about the money they have to spend (Denver is under the salary cap) and how that would make things different from what you saw last season.
Carmelo Anthony: For example, Dallas was in the same situation as Denver and they came up on the rise. I understand it takes time. I understand that if they take me, they have the money to go get some free agents and start something that can go real far.
Q: A lot of players today, when they are on the court they are very intense, almost look like they are sulking, but you always seem to have a smile on your face.
Carmelo Anthony: When I was young, I was sold on winning. I was always serious on the court. As I got older, I realized that it was just a basketball game. Just go out there and have fun.
Q: What did you get out of playing one year at Syracuse, both individual development and maybe mentally.
Carmelo Anthony: I got mentally tough. I didnít face that much adversity since we were so successful this year. But I learned a lot of things Ė how to come in as a team, how to do everything with the program, off the court and on the court.
Q: Did you learn something about how to win during the NCAA Tournament?
Carmelo Anthony: We clicked at the right time. If you looked at us at the beginning of the season, you would never have thought we would win it all. But we clicked at the right time and everything worked out for the best.
Q: How ready are you for the NBA?
Carmelo Anthony: I am real ready right now. My confidence is high right now and that one year at Syracuse did a lot for me, for my confidence and for me as a player.
Q: You feel you are ready to come in and contribute right away?
Carmelo Anthony: That is something I have been born to do, just come in and not take over from the beginning, but try to ease my way in and see where I fit.
Q: Were you surprised that people said right away that Darko would go No. 2? Where do you think you should go?
Carmelo Anthony: I think I should go No. 1 (laughs). But things happen. I am just happy to be in the NBA Draft, and if Denver picks me, then they pick me.
Q: Was winning the championship the deciding factor for you or were you planning to leave before then?
Carmelo Anthony: That was the finishing touch. I was thinking about leaving, but after we won the national championship, I sat down with (Syracuse) Coach (Jim) Boeheim and he told me to leave.
Q: Everyone has praised your game, but is there a weakness in your game?
Carmelo Anthony: No one is perfect. I know there is stuff that I need to work on, and not just one thing, but my game overall. Everything can get better.
Q: What do you think of the prospect of Syracuse leaving the Big East for the ACC?
Carmelo Anthony: I donít agree with that -- breaking up the Big East. It was at the top for a while, then it fell off, and now it is coming back to where it used to be. I donít agree with them going to the ACC.
InsideHoops.com is the online leader in pro basketball coverage.