Seriously – what is wrong with Carmelo?
Before we get into this whole New York mess, let's flashback to the summer of 2014, when Carmelo had the chance to escape the turbulent New York Knicks and their losing culture.
Flashback, Summer of 2014
Carmelo Anthony was a free agent and finally, he could move to a team that doesn’t need to gut its roster to add an offensive-extraordinaire. Lots of suitors that summer – but more specifically, Tom Thibodeau’s Chicago Bulls.
This was the 2014-2015 Bulls roster than won 48 games by season end:
Yes – Carmelo declined to join this potential title contender to stay where? To stay with the rookie coach Derek Fisher (who got fired, btw) led Knicks who by season end, won a total of 17 games.
Pau Gasol, up and coming kid Jimmy Butler, in-his-prime Joakim Noah, and despite the surgeries, Derrick Rose was still Derrick Rose. At least better than Knicks starting point Jose Calderon.
Check out NY Knicks roster below 2014-2015 season.
Amare Stoudemire aging, Iman Shumpert and JR Smith traded to the Cavs basically as throw-ins to get rid of their contracts – which LeBron turned into critical players into winning a championship in 2016 over the 73-win juggernaut Golden State Warriors.
The “Loyalty”: What was Carmelo thinking?
The media and basketball insiders throughout the NBA questioned this move – what was Carmelo thinking? The Knicks did not make the playoffs the summer before ‘Melo was a free agent, it was obvious the team was going nowhere, and there he was, wasting his prime years on 20-win teams. Why did he choose to stay with the Knicks?
Was Carmelo trying to pull a LeBron, trying to end the championship drought of the city? Many don’t think so – it was obvious the Knicks had a confused management who had consistently had one, if not the highest payroll in the league to go with all those losing. Carmelo (he knows this) does not have the gravitas LeBron possess in luring veteran players to take minimum veteran salaries to compete for a championship, much less get All-Stars to come play with him – because honestly, who wants to play with an iso ball-stopper who doesn’t play any defense?
The Money: Why Carmelo decided to stay with the Knicks
Despite what he says about “building a winner” in New York and being “loyal”, it’s pretty obvious what’s really happening here.
Carmelo is more concerned about the money and business portfolio he built in New York than winning a championship.
The below is an excerpt from an interview months after signing with the Knicks for 5-yr/$125 million contract.
"It came down to Chicago and New York. Chicago was the one that, from day one, was something that I was very impressed with. They was looking for a person like me to come in and just take them to the next level," Anthony said. "So it was perfect. It was a perfect setup, perfect fit for me in Chicago. But then also I had to think about just living in Chicago. Do I want to live in Chicago? Do I want to take everything that I created in New York and move all of that? It came down to that. It was one part of time where I was just like, 'Yo, I'm going,'
Not only this, New York was able to offer $30 million more than Chicago could, and that’s nothing more than icing on the loser cake Carmelo is eating.
Carmelo also has a number of business ventures in New York, and there was an article posted by ESPN, an interview with Stuart Goldfarb, one of Carmelo’s business partners.
“In 2014, Stuart Goldfarb -- former president and CEO of a billion-dollar corporation and member of the WWE Board of Directors -- and Anthony co-founded Melo7 Tech Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage technology companies. In 2015, Anthony and Goldfarb started another company, producing television programming for Vice Media.
Goldfarb works with Anthony on a daily basis discussing strategy, potential investments, new technologies and ideas for new television projects. Their company has invested in several sports-related businesses, including online ticket marketplace Seat Geek, analytics-based Vantage Sports and daily fantasy juggernaut DraftKings.”
It is obvious he doesn’t want to leave New York and uproot his business, his lifestyle, and go to any other city, regardless if they're competing for a championship or not.
In other words – Carmelo chose business, over winning.
Check New York Knicks record since Carmelo Joined the Knicks in February 2011.
The “Losing”: Fast Forward 3-Years Later
And this is exactly why, even now in 2017, and the Knicks still in turmoil, he is practically BEGGING to stay in New York. He will not waive his No-Trade-Clause, even if it meant going to the contender. I have never seen a bigger loser beg to stay in a losing team that is in so much decay. In fact, they had a chance to be winners when they hired Mike D’ Antoni and had Jeremy Lin running and gunning in 2011-2012, but that went nowhere either. With the current D’Antoni-led Rockets on pace to a 60-win season (go ahead name 2 rocket players that’s not named James Harden) – he’s often said how it takes a player to buy in into his coach to win basketball games, a clear shot to his previous players who likes to hold the ball way too much.
But Carmelo had a real clear problem with that, did not want to play team basketball and more specifically, did not want another star running the team, as evident from both Mike D’ Antoni and Amare Stoudemire’s comments throughout the years until today. Maybe ex-Denver coach George Karl was right in his much - criticize upcoming book (Furious George)?
“Carmelo was a true conundrum for me in the six years I had him,” Karl wrote. “He was the best offensive player I ever coached. He was also a user of people, addicted to the spotlight and very unhappy when he had to share it.” – Carmelo’s old Coach in Denver, Coach Karl.
It has even come to the point where Carmelo has been using his gold medals in the Olympics to cover his failures, or should I say lack of will to win the real stage where it matters – NBA. Maybe he can join the next Olympics too and ride the back of the American basketball powerhouse to another gold medal?
Not to downplay the importance and symbol of an Olympic Gold medal, but if you are with 15 other all-world players with basically a 99% of winning the gold, then it values is significantly less. At least not enough for you to use as a veil to cover all the losing you’ve done in the NBA.
And worst – Carmelo had the chance to do something about this and did not.
Loyal? Money? Or Loser?
Until today, he still wants to stay with the Knicks. I have never seen a superstar of his caliber beg to stay with a losing team so much. The Knicks are a mess with Phil Jackson at the helm, they have a washed up Derrick Rose practically playing in a contract year, hoping to land big bucks next year and an old, injury-prone Joaquim Noah – who Carmelo could have joined in Chicago when it mattered back in 2014.
And what’s worse, not only does Carmelo ruining himself, he is potentially slowing the growth progress of one special, special skinny, 7-foot-3 kid from Latvia. But that’s a topic reserved for another time.
So Carmelo, stop trying to sell us with your “loyalty” bull, we all know why you want to stay with the Knicks.
What do you think - Is Carmelo concerned with winning in the NBA at all?