BERGEN COUNTY, N.J.- In 2011, a blockbuster trade involving three teams, 12 players, and six million dollars in cash sent Carmelo Anthony, Mr. Marquee, from Denver to “[where] he wanted [to be] all along: … New York” (SB Nation). “The deal [ended] the season-long trade saga involving Denver’s All-Star forward and [sent] him where he [had] publicly stated he would like to play” (ESPN). Anthony and the Knicks were lawfully wedded on Monday, February 21, 2011. Now, after a five-year, tumultuous relationship, Knicks Nation is demanding a divorce.
Carmelo Anthony to the crowd after his shot ” I don’t want it” meaning the cheers 🤔 pic.twitter.com/vy82cTnJRZ
— KnicksNation (@KnicksNation) January 28, 2017
Their relationship has hit a new low: last night, the home crowd at Madison Square Garden rained boos and jeering cheers down onto #7. Anthony was caught by cameras saying “I don’t want it”. Why, though, would he want to continue to play in New York?
- There’s a losing atmosphere: The Knicks will have only made the playoffs twice during Anthony’s first five years. In his sixth year, at 21-28, 11th in the Eastern Conference, the Knicks are presumably not going to make the playoffs, yet again. Actually, in the two seasons since the playoff format expansion, where virtually every team makes the playoffs, the Knicks have missed postseason basketball twice.
- An atmosphere of chaos: Four different head coaches have joined and exited the Knicks’ head coach carousel during Anthony’s tenure in New York: Mike D’Antoni, Mike Woodson, Jeff Fisher, and Kurt Rambis. Currently, they are lead by the fifth head coach in almost as many years: Jeff Hornacek. This, undoubtedly, has lead to an unstable, chaotic environment. How could any player succeed under five different ideologies?
- A Lack of Confidence: Anthony was not voted to fill a roster spot on the 2017 All Star team. He told the New York Daily News that he was “a little disappointed“. Throughout the past week, Anthony has been booed on his home court and has been dragged through the coals by the media.
- A team with no plan: Nowadays, the Knicks seem to have more questions than answers. Should the Knicks build around Kristaps Porzingis? Why did they bring in injury-prone Derrick Rose? What are the optics surrounding Joakim Noah’s four-year, $72 million contract after this airball embarrassment?:
Joakim Noah gets paid $18 million a year. To play basketball. pic.twitter.com/iGb55KfWbP
— AJ Neuharth-Keusch (@TweetAJNK) January 24, 2017
Certainly, ‘Melo, a less-than-formidable defender, has contributed to the losing atmosphere at The Garden. At 32 years of age, why would the nine-time NBA All-Star, former NBA scoring champion (2013), three-time USA athlete of the year want to stay in New York? Sure, the money is good, but is it really worth it? Where are Anthony’s priorities: in taking a pay cut to win a championship or in earning a king’s ransom while ‘leading’ a mediocre team? Anthony is the 9th highest paid player in the league for the 2016-2017 season. It seems as though a championship in New York during the Anthony-regime is highly unlikely. Provided that it isn’t already too late, perhaps Anthony should heed the advice offered to Batman by fictional character Harvey Dent:
I dissected the entire Carmelo Anthony and New York Knicks drama on my sports talk radio show, 60 Minute Overtime (#60MinOT), on Sunday January 29, 2017.
Click below to listen or take it to go on iTunes (free).
60 Minute Overtime airs every Sunday at 11am EST on WRPR 90.3FM and video streams live on Facebook and on Periscope (@CoachMcCartan).