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Carmelo Anthony downplays criticism, says, ‘I lead in my own way’

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Carmelo Anthony insisted that if anyone expects him to change the way he demonstrates leadership this coming season, think again.

Anthony defended his leadership style — one that lacks being overly vocal — by saying the ability to motivate and inspire teammates can take on many different forms.

“I lead in my own way,” he said, via ESPN. “I will speak up from time to time, but that’s just not who I am, that’s not my personality.”

Anthony may not like speaking up in the locker room or on the court, he certainly has no problem speaking up on social media when criticized, it’s worth noting.

In any event, Anthony’s capacity to lead the New York Knicks in the upcoming season his own way is perhaps best illustrated by the glowing reviews he received from teammates after he summoned them to Puerto Rico in August for workouts ahead of training camp in order to build camaraderie. The informal practices included various drills, ran about 90 minutes and after which the players simply hung out.

“That’s definitely leadership,” Lance Thomas said. “Him putting us in a position where we can start the season before the season starts is big time. Getting to know everybody on the squad, everybody becoming familiar with each other, it’s important.”

Anthony may be one of the most prolific scorers in the NBA, but questions about his ability to lead have dogged him going all the way back to his days with the Denver Nuggets, and how he doesn’t seem particularly inclined to be an overly vocal presence in the locker room has been the primary criticism.

But how he took charge this offseason with his Puerto Rico workouts arguably indicates he has taken the team under his wing. Whether that translates to more wins and a successful season remains to be seen.