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Melo’s Last Stand

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Everybody has dreams. Some people want money, or to be able to travel the world. For Carmelo Anthony, what he wants is simple. To win. No, “to win” does not mean going 50-32 in the regular season, or going 73-9 and losing in the Finals. Winning, for Melo, means holding up that Larry O’Brien trophy at the end of the season and basking in all its glory. Winning, for Melo, means wearing his ring and joining the many faces of immortality in NBA history. Now at 32 years old, he may never get that opportunity. We are at the last stages of Carmelo’s years in the NBA, and these next seasons are his last real chance to get something done. These next couple seasons is his last chance to make his ultimate dream come true. But can he do it?

So far, it hasn’t been very easy. Year after year since he was traded to New York, the Knicks have been the epitome of average. And that’s putting it kindly. While Carmelo’s prime years were slowly wilting away, the Knicks continued to surround him with poor talent and bad business decisions. So while the superstar is not completely blameless, the Knicks have failed to put together something to compete for years on end. Now, with the 2016 NBA season fast approaching, and Carmelo Anthony’s career fading away, he is running out of time.

Nobody knows how many seasons Melo has left, but we all know the end is closer than it has ever been. These next couple of years for New York and for Melo will be some of the most important in their history. Melo’s last stand has truly begun.

This year, with newly added veteran pieces, the Knicks revamped their roster from being lottery bound to playoff contender. The problem is, half of this “remade” Knicks roster is either washed up, injury prone, or both. Even if all does go well this year and they make some noise, could they beat Cleveland or Golden State? No.

So yeah, this upcoming season will likely not result in a championship for Carmelo and the Knicks. But there is one thing that should give out some hope. And that thing is Progress. Yes, PROGRESS from the last couple years, where the Knicks had little hope of finishing above the tenth seed in the weakened East. They have a bigger chance now than they had in a long time. Now, they could begin the long assent toward their highest goal. And that’s what its about.

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Absolutely, they might NOT win this year. But when you begin to change directions and go in a positive climb, championships begin to get closer and closer to your grasp.

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Big Dream: Larry O'Brien Trophy

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Getty Images

The only question now, is if Melo can hang on long enough for the end of this climb. We don’t know how quickly the Knicks will ascent after this year. We don’t even know if Melo will be able to play after this year (because injuries do happen after all). But if the Knicks continue to get better, New York might have itself a championship and something to give to Melo after so many years of disappointing rosters.

But that is all we can do... Hope. As anyone who loves the game will tell you, it’s never good to see a legend retire without a ring. Carmelo still has a couple years left, but he is getting awfully close.

What happens next is anyone’s guess, but if the Knicks continue to get better, and the stars align right... Carmelo might just be able to raise that Larry O’Brien trophy one day. But if not... he’ll just be another star added to the list of ringless wonders. And the city of New York will continue to be in a miserable state of basketball.

The heart of a champion, the guts of a winner, the loyalty of a brother, Anthony is an undeniably legendary basketball player. But he walks a dangerous and unpredictable path as his career begins to close. Only time will tell if he (and this Knicks team) can one day overcome the odds and be the champions New Yorkers aways imagined.