CARMELO ANTHONY can do no wrong in New York right now.
Not by New York Knicks fans, the local media, the league and even his teammates.
As the presumptive NBA most valuable player heading into mid-season, Anthony appears to be doing what he wants on-court and he is definitely doing what he wants off-court as well.
Anthony scored 19 of his 33 points in the final quarter of the Knicks comeback 94-91 win over Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday afternoon (us time) then left a pack of 20 plus media waiting over almost an hour for his precious five minutes of comments post game.
During that time the Knicks were also waiting to travel to the airport for their flight to Los Angeles for a Christmas Day clash with the Lakers, but the bus waited as Anthony was the last to leave the showers and fulfil his media commitments.
Anthony's performance came after the NBA rescinded the second of the two tech fouls he received when referees ejected him from the Knicks loss to Chicago earlier in the week.
If the two tech fouls had stood, he would have been suspended for the clash with the Timberwolves.
He backed it up with a Christmas Day performance of 34 points, seven rebounds and three assists but it was not enough to prevent a 100-94 loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles.
Anthony's form this season has been stellar as the Knicks who are in second place in the Eastern conference with a 20-9 (win-loss) record.
He is averaging 28 points a game but just as importantly is scoring key baskets in the fourth quarter when the game is there to be won.
Anthony gets asked a lot about his thoughts on the MVP race but he constantly bats those questions off with platitudes about the other great players in the league and about winning being the most important thing.
Anthony said he wanted to keep his cool against the Timberwolves so he could be there when the game was being decided. "At this point it's just a matter of me keeping my composure out there and still playing," he said.
"I need to give my teammates confidence by playing offensively and defensively and doing what I need to do to stay on the court."
Anthony joked that the Knicks' slow start against the Timberwolves was the product of the Madison Square Garden's selection of Christmas carols during half time but said his team had done well to fight back in the fourth.
Seven of Anthony's final quarter points came from free-throws in the final minutes and Timberwolves coach Rick Adelman was left fuming about some of the decisions his team received in the final term.
Adelman was the one man on the night who wasn't caught by Anthony's charms, making a brief comment then storming off to avoid a fine.
"I'm glad they got that final call right and took five minutes to make sure it was right," he said with a large portion of sarcasm in his voice. "I've really got nothing else to say about this match, I'm not going to get fined."
Despite the setback against the Lakers, the Knicks are coasting at the top of the Atlantic Division – only the LA Clippers, Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs have recorded more wins – and it is likely the Eastern Conference champions this season will be the defending champions, Miami Heat, or for the first time since 1999, New York.