Carmelo Anthony talked late Saturday night about playing a basketball game in New York City in mid-November, but not at the Garden and not in a Knicks uniform.
Anthony emerged from the FIU locker room at midnight Saturday pretty certain the NBA will cancel the first two weeks of the season today — no matter the last-hour meeting being arranged for last night between the two sides in the league’s labor dispute.
Nothing is set in stone, but Anthony believes he, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and friends will stage a big exhibition in the Big Apple.
“We’re going to keep giving back,” Anthony said.
On his Twitter account yesterday, Anthony started banging the drums for his Big Apple charity-fest.
“Working on an epic exhibition charity game in NYC,” he wrote. “Showtime. I’m comin’ home.”
Anthony and several players who participated in the South Florida All-Star Classic at FIU’s gym met with a union official after the game and were told the Players Association is still not budging on its position of a 52 or 53-percent cut of revenue. (The owners want a 50-50 split).
“We had conversations,” Anthony told The Post. “It was just good to get everybody together.
“I don’t think anything is going to happen between now and Monday,” Anthony added. “So we’ve just got to be prepared for that, be prepared for the lockout for the first two weeks and see where all this is going.”
The Knicks’ season opener against Miami on Nov. 2 at the Garden and their first eight games total are expected to be scrapped today.
“It’s sad all the way across,” said Anthony, who scored 30 points for victorious Team Wade and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with two seconds left to send the game into overtime. “It’s [sad] for us as players. It’s sad for the owners. It’s sad for the fans of the NBA.”
And so Anthony said he wants to keep the barnstorming tour going. Nobody appreciates these exhibitions more than Anthony. It’s clear how much he loves basketball, how much he loves being in the gym. He was the last player to leave the FIU arena Saturday, though a South Beach Saturday night awaited. He even stopped to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans in the pouring Miami rain before departing.
“If they want to lock us out [longer tan two weeks], we’re sticking together,” Anthony said. “It’s Saturday. Let’s be realistic. I don’t think anything is going to happen between now and Monday.”
Anthony enjoyed himself Saturday and his willingness to assert himself among a collection of star players (nine All-Stars participated) was telling. In the final minutes of regulation in a tight game, he posted up Kevin Durant repeatedly and called for the ball almost on every possession.
“It got real intense down there,” Anthony said. “We made it competitive and made it fun.”
Of course, defense is the concern with Anthony. Team Wade’s coach, comedian Kevin Hart, even started yelling at Anthony to “play on both ends,” and Anthony just ignored him.
Despite the elephant of the lockout in the room, it was a swell night at the packed, 4,000-seat FIU gym, with coach Isiah Thomas throwing a basketball party to benefit “Mary’s Court,” which funds kids in poverty in Chicago and is named after his mother.
For one night, Thomas promoted charity and not the false notion he secretly is running the Knicks, and he came across so much better in that role.