After a poor shooting night in which New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony only scored 12 points against the Toronto Raptors and injured his shooting arm early in the game his availability for the All-Star game came into question. He recognized that he might have to sit the game out. Fans were sad, Kevin Garnett was thrilled. However, now Anthony has decided that he is okay and can play for the Eastern Conference.
Despite suffering a bruised bicep Wednesday when the New York Knicks lost to the Toronto Raptors, Carmelo Anthony has decided that he in fact will play in the NBA All-Star game Sunday in Houston. He was voted in by NBA fans as a starter for the Eastern Conference and intends on living up to that responsibility in his sixth All-Star appearance.
Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reports Anthony intends to represent the Knicks as an All-Star starter this Sunday.
Anthony's playing because he doesn't want to sit out any Knicks games. Sitting out the All-Star game with a last second injury would force the league to keep Anthony out of Wednesday's Knicks game as well. The league can't have its stars playing in the last game before the All-Star game, skipping the league's showcase even and then playing in the next game after the All-Star game. It looks bad and sets a bad precedent.
That ultimately means Anthony will suit up Sunday and play a meaningless game with no defense in front of a lot of overpaying celebrities hoping to get shown on camera. How many minutes he plays will be up to Eric Spoelstra, but he will be playing. It's doubtful the Miami Heat coach will be looking to help the Knicks out this weekend but if Anthony asks for a short stint in the game he'll very likely get his request granted.
Now comes the fun part, the spin. We already know that Anthony will play this Sunday because he doesn't want to miss any time on the court when it counts. However, that's not what he and his people need to tell the public. Instead, Anthony's representation and the Knicks PR department should be selling him as playing through pain and only suiting up for the All-Star game to thank the fans. Since the fans voted for him, he wanted to pay them back.
That's the story that should be sold by he and his people. It's only smart business. As for the rest of us, we know the truth.