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Brandon Jennings: Carmelo Anthony trade rumors ‘definitely took a toll’ on Knicks

Upon his return to Madison Square Garden, former New York Knicks point guard Brandon Jennings put his Washington Wizards yet another game closer to the third seed in the East, but not before reminiscing about his time with his former team and the distractions that came with it.

Jennings is especially conscious of the incessant trade rumors involving star forward Carmelo Anthony throughout the season.

“It definitely took a toll, I think, on the team. Because it wasn’t even about basketball anymore, it was more about what was going on with Melo,” Jennings said after a 106-103 victory Thursday night, according to ESPN’s Ian Begley.

While he admitted he enjoyed playing with Melo, the Compton native was also aware of the constant tension between him and team president Phil Jackson, creating a rift between players and front office personnel.

“I think it was just a roller coaster, an emotional roller coaster for him this year with everything he had to deal with, which isn’t fair,” Jennings said. “For a player to wake up every day and you’re hearing trade rumors and you might be gone and this and that. It was like a two-week span where everybody was hitting your phone, (reading reports) about Melo leaving.”

The Knicks went from a playoff hopeful team in the first two months of the season to a pitfall of identity problems, animosity, and overall dysfunction — now standing at 30-49 while Jennings has enjoyed a 13-8 record since joining the Wizards after being waived by the New York.

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