Now at 31-years old, the discussion of where Carmelo Anthony ranks among other New York Knicks greats needs to happen immediately.
By Robby Sabo
For months it had been speculated. The anticipation swirling around the New York City air about acquiring that second star was non-stop. It became so stressful that even the mention of Brooklyn as a destination started to make its presence felt.
Finally though, he came to the Mecca.
On Feb. 22, 2011, Carmelo Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks for Danillo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, Wilson Chandler, Raymond Felton, a 2014 first-round draft pick, and additional picks and cash considerations.
At last, and per his long-awaited request, Melo had finally returned “home” (whether Donnie Walsh liked it or not). And of course, nobody can capture such a moment better than Madison Square Garden:
After a decent start to the 2010-11 season that saw Amar’e Stoudemire up in the top handful of NBA MVP candidates under Mike D’Antoni, Anthony and Chauncey Billups couldn’t get the Knicks over the hump in the playoffs (swept by Boston Celtics in first round).
Since then, Stoudemire fizzled out due to a phenomenal amount of injuries and New York could never truly operate as one functional unit. Whether it was STAT for a few seasons, or even Jeremy Lin for one magical spring, Melo chugged along as the star of the Big Apple with very little help.
Aside from one 54-win season in 2012-13 under the leadership of Mike Woodson, Anthony’s Knicks have been incredibly disappointing.
The energizing hope swirling around the Garden on that much anticipated night Anthony made his Knicks debut is now nowhere to be found. Instead, questions about Anthony’s leadership and iso-dominant game come to the forefront.
2015-16, up to this point, has been different.
Melo is playing some of the best team ball of his career. His 3.7 assists per game are the second highest of his career, while he’s also assisting on 20 percent of his teammates baskets.
Under Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher, Anthony is morphing into the leader most thought was never possible.
For his work with the Knicks Melo undoubtedly deserves to fall in the Top 10 in franchise history. The only question remaining surrounds his actual ranking.
Here are the Top 10 New York Knicks of all-time: