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Despite the buckets of free time the ongoing NBA lockout would seemingly afford him, Carmelo Anthony will not be playing social butterfly instead of small forward this fall social season.

“No no no no no: I can’t do that,” the New York Knick said with a wry smile on Tuesday night when asked if the surplus white space on his calendar might lead to more engagements with the social set. Anthony was on the red carpet at Cipriani 42nd Street, where New Yorkers for Children was honoring him at its annual fall gala. One of the first benefits of the season, the event had attracted a number of fashion and society types in their fall best, including Lauren Remington Platt, Hilary Rhoda, Wendi Murdoch, Selita Ebanks, Christian Siriano and Julie Macklowe. Though he made an appearance or two during fashion week, Anthony didn’t seem ready to sign up for the gala circuit. He was too busy training, he said.

“I mean sometimes,” he laughed of taking part in the social whirl. “But I pick the organizations, I pick the events that I go to kind of wisely and we go from there.”

Before she found her seat, Serena Williams explained that she had extended a trip to New York to attend the dinner, which benefits youths in foster care, with Rachel Roy.

“I was actually supposed to leave tonight, but she said, ‘No come with me,’” Williams said. “I’ve been to this event before and New Yorkers for Children is such a great cause.…I was like, ‘What’s the difference between tonight and the morning?’”

The tennis star had also dipped a toe into the fashion week waters last week, and WWD mentioned her appearance at Tory Burch’s recent store opening.

“I love her, she’s great, oh,” Williams said of the designer before pausing, “I have to e-mail her back. Thanks for saying that.”

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