The New York Knicks awarded Carmelo Anthony $124 million to stay in the Big Apple, and he rewarded them by showing up to training camp looking like the slim – yet sturdy – scoring machine that left Syracuse after winning the national championship his freshman year.
After LeBron James, Melo was the second NBA superstar that worked the media into a frenzy during the off-season by posting a picture of his new, svelte body on Instagram. Stories about James and Anthony going on carb-free diets were all over. But Carmelo didn’t just try cutting carbs in the offseason, he took a shot at cutting out meat too.
“I took weeks off from carbs, stayed away from pasta, rice and things like that,” Anthony said at an event in New York on Thursday where his foundation provided 250 New York City teachers with school supplies that will serve roughly 4,000 students with simple items like pens, notebooks and glue.
“But there were times I stayed away from all meats. I played with my diet a lot.” Anthony went on to say that he went meat-free for around three weeks during the offseason. “That was bad,” he said. “I was struggling.” First no carbs, then no meat? So what did he eat? “It was all fish and vegetables, juices, things like that.”
And it’s not just his body that Anthony has strengthened before the start of this NBA season, set to kick off Oct. 28. Reports out of New York last week claimed that Knicks general manager Phil Jackson and coach Derek Fisher introduced the team to “mindfulness training,” a stress reducing practice that focuses on concentration and sharp focus on being present in the moment.
“It’s all about being in the now and settling yourself,” Anthony said, “and channeling your energy into the right direction. We only had one or two sessions so far, so I’m still working it out.”
While mindfulness training is meant to keep those that practice it focused on the present, it’s not to say that Melo doesn’t think of his future in New York. He said it wasn’t just the money that kept him away from suitors in Chicago and Los Angeles, it was the prospect of winning a title in the Big Apple – even if he doesn’t expect it this season.
“I have my moments, I dream. Sometimes that dream is very clear. And sometimes it’s cloudy. But that’s just how life goes. I’m just taking it one day at a time until the time comes.”
How very Zen of you Melo.