Music to listen to: Black Grease by The Black Angels
Read an interesting article in the New York Post about the prospects of Carmelo Anthony, the All-Star forward for the Denver Nuggets possibly becoming a New York Knick.
I have several issues with this article and will address them. As a disclaimer, I’m a Knicks fan so keep that in mind.
1) Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t be a “better fit” for the Knicks than LeBron James. Despite the negative heat that James has gotten for his “decision” to take his talents to South Beach or Miami for those of us who don’t party like that, he is still one of, if not the best player in the league. Some may say its Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, James or even Kevin Durant. The point is that he’s in the argument. Carmelo may crack a top-ten list of players in the league, arguably the top-five but he’s not in the same class as James.
2) Never trust a “confidant” of someone speaking for anybody, especially a professional athlete. This person who claims to be close to Anthony says on the Nugget coming to the Knicks.
“Nothing would bother him…The media wouldn’t bother him because he really likes people. The pressure wouldn’t bother him because he loves to have the game in his hands. Nothing bothers him.”
Its good to know that Carmelo likes people. I like people as well so we can be friends. Playing in Denver has allowed Anthony to work on his craft in a relatively anonymous atmosphere by media outlet standards. Denver isn’t small like Portland or Milwaukee but it also isn’t Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and especially New York. I’m sure that Anthony may not let anything bother him but that’s a little presumptuous to say that the New York media wouldn’t bother him.
Also, I’m not the first to state this, but that quote was a subtle shot at James as well for choosing Miami over New York to avoid the pressuer. That’s not completely accurate. Was the idea of playing in Miami instead of New York influenced by the media for James? That’s a possibility but I also think that factors such as lifestyle, ownership and playing with friends on a potentially better basketball team were bigger influences.
3) Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire together won’t win the Eastern Conference, maybe not even the Atlantic in the near future. Both of those guys are excellent talents but if a trade did happen before this season starts, Boston, Orlando, Miami and maybe even Chicago would still be better than the Knicks.
4) Anthony’s refusal to sign an extension with Denver may be more a disapproval of the Nuggets organization more than a desire to leave for New York. He turned down a three-year deal that would pay him over $21 million annually, making him one of the highest paid players in the league. Most guys would look at this and sign immediately. Denver is a nice city, excellent fan base, good people all around.
However, the organization is in turmoil. On the court, the personalities of Chauncy Billups, Kenyon Martin, J.R.Smith and others makes it a volatile locker room that saw the Nuggets go from the Western Conference finals two years ago to a weak exit in the first round against Utah this year.
The counter to that is that head coach George Karl was missing for the end of the season with health issues but when he was manning the team, the same problems existed.
Anthony sees the Denver situation and looks at his contemporaries in stable organizations in places like Miami, Orlando, Oklahoma City, in Los Angeles with the Lakers and he wants that. Picking New York is just Anthony picking the biggest market.
5) This has to be the most coverage for a wedding toast in history. I haven’t been to too many weddings but it’s a time where people get loose and make statements for humor and to have a good time. When you mix good music, good looking people and alcohol, things are said that shouldn’t be taken at complete face value.
That’s why the analysis of Stoudemire’s and Chris Paul toasts at Anthony’s wedding claiming that the three of them are plotting to play together in New York is surprising to me. I’m sure that the three of them have discussed it at some point but the media is acting like this will be a foregone conclusion, which brings me to my next point.
6) It’s going to be nearly impossible for all three guys to play together in the next two to three years. Stoudemire is already there and Anthony can become a free agent after this season. However, there is also a possibility that the 2011-12 season may be delayed because of labor issues and even cancelled. Owners in the NBA aren’t going to offer extensions or sign free agents during this period if possible.
Plus, Paul is in a long-term deal with New Orleans, meaning that the Knicks would have to trade for him. The Knicks have limited assets and draft picks, making trades even more difficult for them to execute.
7) Coming home isn’t necessarily a good thing. The “confidant” claims that coming to the Knicks would be “coming home” for Anthony. Its true that Anthony was born in Brooklyn, New York and was raised in Baltimore, Maryland but I don’t see the connection of him becoming a Knick being a homecoming.
He just should have said that Anthony has a wife who is in the entertainment industry and moving to New York would provide her an opportunity to grow her career. I would respect that statement more.
Finally, I would love for the Knicks to pursue and even get Anthony. However, I don’t expect him to lead the team to a championship alone. If we’ve learned anything over the years in the NBA, its that you need more than one elite player to win a championship. The only exception may have been the Detroit Pistons a few years ago. Besides that, between the Lakers, Celtics, Spurs, Heat and countless other championshp teams, we know that you need a unit that has more than one part.
Anthony is a great scorer and has made strides in his rebounding and defense. However, I can’t cosign on him being a $21+ million player who leads a team to a title. Having Stoudemire would help. If you add Chris Paul to that then we’re talking but the Knicks don’t have the resources to pull that off.
What are your thoughts on Carmelo Anthony possibly joining the New York Knicks?