Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony said hearing word of teammate Amar'e Stoudemire's buyout was "hard to believe."
Stoudemire and the Knicks reportedly have agreed to a buyout so that he can potentially sign with a contender. He is in the final season of a five-year, $99.7 million contract.
"My reaction when I first heard [about the buyout], which was maybe ten minutes ago, it was hard for me to believe, I thought they were lying about it," Anthony said, according to NJ.com. "Knowing that I'm losing a friend, a teammate, a guy who I wanted to come to the city and play with. One of the main reasons why I'm a New York Knick today was because of him."
Anthony said he understood why Stoudemire is making the decision and agreeing to a buyout, as the team has struggled all season and entered the All-Star break with the worst record in the Eastern Conference.
"To see him leave, to see the situation and where he's at right now, I know what he wants, and you have to respect that. As an athlete, as a competitor you only want the best for your friends," Anthony said.
Anthony and Stoudemire only won one playoff series in their time together as teammates.
Anthony himself has talked about ending his season due to knee issues. He played 30 minutes in Sunday's All-Star Game, scoring 14 points and adding seven rebounds.
- Scooby Axson