Greg Anthony did his thing on the baskball courts in the early 90s and when he retired, in 2002, he kept the momentum going as a sports analyst. Greg now reports for the YES Network and works as a commentator for a few other networks.
No too long ago, Greg was honored with a Thurman Munson Award in Manhattan and he had a quick talk with the NY Times.
Q. What has Coach P. J. Carlesimo done to turn the Nets around?
A. In part, he has had a calming influence in terms of the way he goes about delivering his message. Anytime you fire your coach, it brings about a sense of urgency among the players. Now there’s no one else to blame but them if things go wrong. The onus can no longer fall on the coaches. The Nets had gotten away from the things that made them a good team, and they are now getting back to the identity of who they are and why they win. I saw it when they beat the Knicks at the Garden. They stayed with the game plan. They had gotten away from the things that made them successful. Their identity is being established, and the trust in that identity is being fortified. That’s what P. J. has been able to do.
Q. How far can the Nets go in the playoffs?
A. I think the Nets are built for the postseason, based on their style. More five-on-five, less transition. If they get some good fortune, if some things break their way, I think they could very easily be playing in the conference final. Having said that, they need to continue to get better and to build upon their confidence. The regular season for them is more important than it is for Miami or Oklahoma City.
Q. What does winning a Thurman Munson Award mean to you?
A. It’s very humbling, and a tremendous honor, in part because of who Thurman Munson was, what he stood for, and what the Thurman Munson Awards are all about. Every time you get recognized for the things you do away from the game, such as community service, that is a great feeling.
Q. What was it like playing for Pat Riley?
A. He is one of the most influential people I’ve ever had the opportunity to meet, and one of the most prepared people I’ve ever been around, regardless of the circumstances. He gave me a tremendous sense of confidence. He is truly one of the most impactful people that I’ve met. I feel fortunate to have spent time with him and to have learned the lessons he taught. I gained a tremendous amount of belief in myself because of him. It was a great time to be a Knick, and like my time in college, I appreciate it more and more with each passing day.
Q. Your Knicks teams won two division titles and a conference title. Why do you think they fell short of a championship?
A. To win it all, you also need to have some good breaks. We lost a seventh game on the road against a great team. A bounce here or there, and we would have added a title to our list of accomplishments.
Q. Who was the toughest player for you to guard?
A. Michael Jordan. Because he’s Michael Jordan! Also, he’s the one guy who you could defend as well as you possibly could, and he’d still score.
Q. Who was the biggest trash talker when you played?
A. Gary Payton. It wasn’t the quality of the trash, it was the quantity. Gary probably talked trash in his sleep. It was constant, never-ending.
Q. Do you think the Los Angeles Lakers will get it together?
A. I think they can get it together. The question is, do they have enough time to get it together? The pieces are there.
--You can tweet me @Geespin.