Exclusive - Carmelo Anthony Extended Interview

October 6, 2016 - Carmelo Anthony 10/06/2016 Views: 4,407

NBA player Carmelo Anthony talks about protesting police violence at the "ESPY Awards" and taking team sports to low-income areas with the Carmelo Anthony Foundation. (8:52)

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Please welcome Carmelo Anthony!

(applause and cheering)

Thank you. Thank you.

MAN (chanting):Melo! Melo!

Melo! Melo! Melo!

Welcome to the show, sir.

I'm glad I can be here today.

Oh, man, they're gladyou could be here.

Are you kidding? We're gladyou could be here.

-(applause and cheering)-Are you kidding me?

This is...this is a dream come...

I knew about Melo, my man,

before I even knewwhat basketball was, man.

-(laughter)-Thank you for being here.

-I like that. I like that.-This is insane.

Your huge all over the world,you've done great things.

Before we get even...even get into it,

congrats on your gold medal.That's an exciting...

-Thank you. Thank you.-Yeah.

-(applause and cheering)-Gold medal at the Olympics.

Thank you.

I want to know, on the real,was, like, was Zika, like,

a thing that you were...you were stressed about at all?

-No, no. At first, I was.-Yeah.

But once we got over there,

once I started talking to, like,the locals

and the people that wasover there, it was, like...

They felt disrespectedthat we kept talking about Zika.

(laughter)

So once, you know,they cleared that.

They cleared the air,and then, you know,

after the first day, you didn'thear anything about Zika.

Yeah, it looked likeit was blast. I was seeing...

We had... I mean, we had a ball.

I saw the footage of you guys.You were at the swimming.

-Yeah. -You were supportingthe swimmers.

You were at other events.It just seemed like...

like Team USA was justin the mix everywhere.

I mean, I thinkwhen you're around,

like, the best athletesin the world

in other respective sports,I mean, you're as much...

You're more of a fan of theirsthan they are of yours.

And, you know,it goes hand-in-hand.

So we wanted to seethe other athletes,

-you know, just as muchas they wanted to see us. -Yeah.

But they didn't know thatuntil we actually told them

that we was fans of theirs.

Uh, you guys come back.

You know, you get backinto the game.

There was a big difference,I noticed,

when watchingthe Olympic basketball.

And that is, you have fewerpeople on the sidelines

telling you to dowhat they think is easy to do.

'Cause, like, at the Olympics,

everyone was just like,"Whoa! Ah! Oh! Ah!"

-But then, I've been... I'vebeen to a Knicks game. -Yeah.

And I've sat next to guyswho are like,

"Melo, shoot it!Just dunk it in, Melo! Just..."

(laughter)

Do you hear those people?

Of course you hear 'em.

(laughter,applause and cheering)

I'm always wondering,like, I genuinely...

I genuinely want to know-- whensome guy is sitting on the side

with, like, his popcornand his giant drink, he's,

"Come on, Melo,you could have blocked that!"

What are you thinking?

-"Be quiet."-(laughter)

(applause)

Oh, it's...I've had so much fun.

I come to the gamesand I watch you,

and what you guys do is amazing,it's one of the, you know,

the hardest things in the world.

Um, but I thinkeven tougher than that

is, you know, the stance thatyou've taken as sportsmen.

A lot of people saw yourselfand... and Wade

and, uh, you know, and, uh,LeBron come out on stage,

-and Paul, and you guys...-Mm-hmm.

you guys stood togetherand you took a stand,

and, I mean,that's a scary place to be,

and as a sportsman,you stood up and you said, "Hey,

"with regards to violence, withregards to police shootings,

"with regards to everythingthat's happening

in this country,we can do more."

Why would you do that?

Well, we actually wanted to kindof just use that platform...

I mean,just to back up a little bit,

we didn't even know thatwe was gonna do the ESPYs.

I had no intentionsof going to the ESPYs at all.

And then, you know, a coupleof guys called me and texted me

and said, listen, this isa platform where, you know,

we can really haveour voices be heard

and really send a messageand really, um...

-you know, just try to createsomething, just... -Yeah.

create some awarenessof what's going on, and...

you know, I said,"Yeah, I'll-I'll come."

You know, they said,"It was all because of you.

"It was all because of,you know, the Instagram post

"that you put out, you know,calling all athletes,

you know, to the forefrontto make change."

But once we did that,you know, it was...

you want to put your handsover your head,

because there's so many requeststhat's coming in now,

and everybody wants you to talk

about different thingsthat's going on.

But for me, I like to talkabout kind of the nitty-gritty

of... what's going on, the meatand potatoes of what's going on.

I have to ask a question.I mean, you didn't come

from a wealthy background,you didn't come from a world

where you had anything.

You're in a space where you'vedone really well for yourself.

You have money,you have opportunities.

You know that you could justkeep quiet and play basketball.

I mean, it's gone well now,and people understand

that this is a movementthat needs to be supported.

But isn't there a split secondwhere you as Carmelo go,

"Man, the endorsements could begone, the fans could be gone."

-Isn't there a bit of fear?-Well, at first...

at first, you got to reallykind of put it into perspective.

There's so many thingsand tragedy that happen

throughout our country, you knowover the past couple of years,

and I can't speak on everything.

-I can't stand up for everythingthat's-that's going on. -Yeah.

But it's not until somethingreally happens to you

in your backyard.

And in-in this case, it was theFreddie Gray situation

back in Baltimorewhere I was like, okay,

enough is enough.

This is really affecting me,

because it's in my backyard.

I know these people;I know the families.

I know the community like that.

Uh, so I wanted, I wanted to getback there as soon as possible,

and really feel what thepressure was like

after the riots,and feel that tension

that was going on back there.

And I tell you what,I-I would never, ever, you know,

wish that on any body.

Growing up in a worldwhere you're a superstar,

some people might say you,you live beyond that world.

You live beyond the pain.

Uh, you havea nine-year-old son, though.

Yeah.

Do you ever have to talk to him,or do you ever wonder

about what he may face whenhe goes out there in the world?

-'Cause people don't knowthat he's Melo's son. -Yeah.

They just see a young black man,

-or a young black boy who'sgrowing up. -Well, you, you...

Do you have to worry about that?

You almost have to have thoseconversations with him.

I mean, even though we,as parents we want to try

to stay away from thoseconversations with our kids,

but nowadaysyou're almost forced

to have those conversations,

before you even,before you even want to.

-Yeah.-You know, for me,

I-I try to take my son backinto Baltimore where I grew up,

ba-back into Brooklynand Red Hook

where I, you know,I was born at.

And let him understand exactlywhat's going on there,

and let him see it,and let him, you know,

come-come to his own conclusionson everything about that.

So it's-it's a very difficult,you know, conversation.

It's hard to tell him, you know,to explain to him a shooting,

or a killingthat's-that's on TV,

-because he has iPad.-Yeah.

He has, you know, notificationscomes up on everything,

so it's hard not to--or try to hide that.

It's-it's impossible these days.

Now, um, moving a-away from someof the sadder stuff, I guess,

what's-what's really powerful,on your side,

is you've-you'vegotten involved.

Like you say, everyone wants youto be involved in everything,

-Yeah. -but you've got a lotof your own stuff going on.

You've gotthe Carmelo Anthony Foundation

that's doingsome really amazing work.

Could you tell us,uh, some about that?

Yeah, well, we...I mean, I started

The Carmelo Anthony Foundationmaybe almost ten years ago.

Uh, and it took me a whileto really figure out exactly

-what I wanted to do,what I wanted to create. -Yeah.

Uh, but I realized sports,in-in a lot of sense,

is a connector betweena lot of different things

that's going on in the world.

Uh, so I wanted to go out thereand build basketball courts,

so we created k...Court for Kids,

where we go back intounderprivileged neighborhoods

and we refurbishtheir basketball court,

we bring the community out,we let the kids cut the ribbons

and we... It-it... You know,it's-it's a good feeling,

it's a good thing,because it's...

Kids don't want to be outsideno more. Let's just...

let's just face it, they wantto be on tablets and phones

and then all of that, so...

-I know when I grew up,I was outside every day. -Yeah.

My mom used to, uh, roll...you know, lift the window up

and yell, "Melo, get in..."You know, "get in this house."

-You know, it... We wanted to beoutside. -It's, like, scream...

-Every mom, every momwas doing that. -I know.

-We wanted... we wantedto be out... -"Get your ass

back in this house!Get your ass back in..."

You also have to be back beforesundown? That was my rule.

I was in a little bitdifferent situation, man.

I was... You know, I gr-I gr...

You know, the-the waythat I was growing up

-was a little different,little different, so... -Yeah.

But we all have the same...we all have the same stories,

we all have the sameexperiences, and I guess what...

You-You're right,sport connects everyone.

In South Africa people wereconnecting with you

and what you were doing.Uh, you have your foundation.

Most impressively,I feel like you're part

of a newer generation ofsportsmen who's getting involved

in business now, you know?It wasn't always a thing.

-It used to be sportsmenwould get in sports, -No.

and they'd be done.They'd retire.

They'd do a few commercials.And that would be it.

But now peopleare getting involved.

You-You're in tech now as well.

-You... What do you do?-Yeah, I mean, I'm-I'm in tech.

I mean...(laughs)

What does that... what doesthat even... That's so ins...

Every-Everything is technowadays, you know?

Tech is not just, you know,this-this single lane.

-Tech is... Everything is tech,you know? -Uh-huh.

So, for me, it was just a matterof kind of finding my niche,

you know? Whether it was tech,whether it was producing,

wh... you know,et cetera, et cetera,

I really wanted to take my timeand educate myself

and learnabout kind of the-the things

that was goin' on out there,what was being created,

why it was being created,who it was being created for,

and how I can, you know,be of help to that.

Yeah, man. You're a...you're-you're an inspiration

to many people--what you're doing, what you...

you know, the way you're puttingyourself out there.

And, uh, as someonewho's been lucky enough

to call New York my home,I, uh... big supporter

of what you... I'll beon the sideline screaming,

telling you to dunk the ball.So, uh...

I won't tell... I won't tell youto be quiet though.

Appreciate that, man.