Carmelo Anthony said he feels sad for teammate Amar'e Stoudemire as the New York Knicks prepare to face the Boston Celtics in what promises to be a high-voltage preseason encounter at TD Garden.
Stoudemire is likely to miss Knicks' entire preseason campaign, with confirmation over the first three games already made.
Anthony, who said one of the primary reasons for his move to New York was to play with Stoudemire, admitted his friend and teammate's plight was bothering him.
"As a friend, it's hard for me to sit back and act like it doesn't bother me because I know how hard of a worker he is [and] I know the time that he puts in the gym to train and rehab," Anthony said Tuesday. "To see him go forward and then take some steps back every time, it's just sad."
Stoudemire had another knee procedure in the summer - his third in the last 12 months - and is looking to make a comeback before the start of the regular season.
"I'm still getting stronger, still getting the legs strong enough to withstand the pressure of playing, but progress has been great so far," Stoudemire said.
"Since I've been in New York, we've made great progress for the organization. We are a team to watch. We have more TV games now than we had before. But on top of that, we've been to the postseason every single year.
"And that was a part of my goal of coming here: to build something that will allow us to improve. Unfortunately injuries played a factor after I was here that first year. But I do envision myself getting healthy and being able to dominate as I once did before."
Anthony has not been able to spend a full season with the Knicks with a healthy Stoudemire alongside him, and the forward now wonders if it will ever happen.
"Yeah, I think about it. I think about (it) sometimes," Anthony added. "He was one of the reasons why I wanted to come to New York. So for me not to have that chance, the opportunity to get a full season in and get a rhythm going with him -- it's not something I thought would happen."
The new-look Celtics, under new head coach Brad Stevens, lost their preseason opener to the Toronto Raptors and the young coach will be desperate to not make it two losses out of two at the TD Garden, even if it's just the preseason.
Where to watch
The preseason game is scheduled for a 5 a.m. (IST) start with no live telecast scheduled.