CARMELO ANTHONY said he wants to stay in New York, and said he wants to win.
It will be up to new team president Phil Jackson to convince him that he can do both.
With the Knicks' season over and Anthony missing the playoffs for the first time in his career, he can begin thinking about his future. He plans to become a free agent in July and wants to be someplace where he can compete for championships.
The Knicks never came close this season, going 37-45. Anthony said it was a "failure" and an "embarrassment" that he's unwilling to go through again, which could force him to look elsewhere since New York will have trouble changing its roster next season.
"I want to come back. I also want to win. Me wanting to be here, if we can put ourselves in position to at least compete at a high level over the course of whatever, 5 years, the contract would be, then I'm willing to stay here," Anthony said yesterday.
The Knicks last won a championship in 1973 when Jackson played for them. Anthony said he understood it would take time after he was traded to New York in 2011, but said he's "not at a point in my career where I want to rebuild" as he prepares to turn 30 next month.
"I don't know if I can afford to wait another season of losing. I really can't see that picture right now," Anthony said. "As far as other teams that's out there, which quote-unquote team would be a better situation, you never know. Sometimes the grass is not always greener on the other side, so this is stuff that I'm going to have to sit down with myself and my family and really figure this out. This is not a decision that's going to happen overnight."
* Top-seeded Indiana won't have Andrew Bynum for its first-round series against Atlanta.
Coach Frank Vogel said he believes the Pacers' oft-injured center could still work his way back for the playoffs. But he won't be available for the first round, which opens tomorrow in Indianapolis.
Bynum hasn't played since March 15 because of a sore right knee.