Carmelo Anthony pinpointed Jeremy Lin's rise as the point when people started calling him "selfish." (Nathaniel S. Butler/Getty Images)
New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony thinks the idea of him being a "selfish" player started with Jeremy Lin's unthinkable rise to stardom this season.
"Let's be frank about it," Anthony told USA Today in London, where he is playing in the 2012 Summer Olympics for Team USA. "When it comes to the Knicks, we're talking about one particular point in time. We're talking about the whole 'Linsanity' thing. That's when it started. That's when it started to escalate as far as people saying I was selfish."
Anthony and Lin had an at-times rocky on-court relationship, mostly because their styles of play never completely got in sync. Anthony was sidelined with a right groin injury when Lin began his unthinkable ascent. The Knicks went 8-1 with Lin leading the way in Anthony's absence.
Then Anthony returned, and the Knicks went through a 2-8 skid. He said the "selfish meme" doesn't bother him, however.
"Lin came and we started winning games and then we started losing games, and they could only point to one thing, which is me, the leader of the team," Anthony said. "They're not going to point to Amar'e. They're not going to point to (guard) Iman Shumpert. They're going to point to me. I accept that. It doesn't bother me."
Lin, of course, signed with the Houston Rockets this offseason
, and the Knicks declined to match the contract offer. When the Knicks were deciding whether to match the offer, Anthony called it a "ridiculous" contract