Amar'e Stoudemire sidestepped a question Friday about Chauncey Billups' comments that cast Carmelo Anthony as a player more concerned about personal stats than wins. But Stoudemire did say Billups has a lot of credibility in his book.
Earlier this week, Billups, Anthony's former teammate with the Knicks and Denver Nuggets, told SiriusXM NBA Radio: "Melo was like a good teammate, man. Melo practiced every day. He didn’t miss any games. Now, the only thing I will say -- and I’ve even told Melo this -- scoring 30 (points) meant too much to Melo. It meant too much because he could have games where he had 20, 22, we win the game, and he’s mad. He might have 36 and he's in there, you know -- we lose the game and he’s in there picking everybody up."
When WFAN's Joe Benigno asked Stoudemire about Billups' comments, the retired six-time All-Star, who played with Anthony from 2011-15 and with Billups for part of the 2010-11 season, answered: "Chauncey's a guy that's well-respected and he's a guy that really don't fabricate much when he speaks about the game of basketball. He's also an NBA champion. So when he speaks about things, I have the tendency to somewhat take what he says very seriously and have to think that he's being honest about it."
Stoudemire, however, said he and Anthony had a "great relationship."
"Melo and I was great friends back even in high school, even when he was in Syracuse and I was in NBA, during the All-Star runs we had on the West Coast when I was in Phoenix and he was in Denver," he said. "So we've actually developed a solid friendship over the years, for sure."
Stoudemire is playing for Tri-State in the Big3 league Sunday at the Barclays Center. His team also includes former Knick Nate Robinson and is coached by Julius Erving, better known as Dr. J.
"I hope it's a high possibility," he said of returning to the league. "I've been training extremely hard. ... I've been keeping myself in shape, so I think the opportunity may present itself pretty soon hopefully."