Riding a six-game win streak behind new superstar Jeremy Lin, the New York Knicks assigned Carmelo Anthony to their D-League affiliate in Erie, the team announced Wednesday.
"Carmelo no longer has an obvious role on this team," head coach Mike D'Antoni said, "and we thought he would benefit from getting regular minutes."
The Knicks were just 10-12 with Anthony in the lineup and had been struggling since acquiring the once-superstar from Denver last season. However, Lin — the second-year player who was undrafted out of Harvard — has turned their season around, much to the delight of his teammates.
"I love playing with Jeremy so much," said star forward Amar'e Stoudemire. "He's way better than that guy who used to play for us. Carson? Carmax? What was his name again? Cancer?"
Anthony, who is recovering from an injured groin, is taking his demotion in stride.
"I'm going to spend a few days in Erie rehabbing, then I'll be right back here. This is a pretty routine thing," he said.
But D'Antoni confirmed the Knicks had no plans to bring Anthony back to New York any time in the near future. And owner James Dolan said the team was already working on having the league approve a second amnesty clause just for the Knicks, so they could rid themselves of Anthony's contract.
"It's pretty clear he's completely washed up," said one anonymous Knicks player wearing a Tyson Chandler jersey. "I couldn't imagine going back to having to start alongside him. Jeremy Lin is the future of this league. Carmelo Anthony is a has-been."
In other Knicks news, the team announced Baron Davis's retirement. Davis is expected to be informed when he reads this article.