Six seasons of Carmelo Anthony in a New York Knicks uniform is enough. Time to trade him.
By Jeremy Fialkow
When he arrived in the Big Apple in 2011 from the Denver Nuggets, joining Amar’e Stoudamire and a talented New York Knicks team, Carmelo Anthony figured annual playoff appearances and postseason success would be a foregone conclusion.
Fast forward through five seasons of joy, triumph, stress and disaster, and we’ve arrived at another marquee time in Knickerbocker history: The time for the Carmelo Anthony Era to end.
It’s time to send Melo on his way, allowing him to chase after the two things he covets above all else: A championship and a ring.
Fans, don’t take this as an opinion, but rather, a plea for Anthony to waive his no-trade clause. Do this, Melo, for your own good and for the good of the New York Knicks franchise. The franchise that thousands upon thousands of fans support endlessly — almost maniacally — through thick and thin.
Following the worst year in the team history, the Knicks are currently 28-43, facing another swift exit come the end of regular season game No. 82, and without their upcoming lottery pick to give a subtle, yet much needed, boost of hope… much like Kristaps Porzingis has provided this season.
Migraine-free Carmelo Anthony will play Wednesday against the Bulls. More here: https://t.co/ieoIxxnBFz
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) March 22, 2016
Sure, Melo is putting up career numbers in assists, with 4-plus per contest. Sure, Melo is still getting his buckets, putting up 21.8 PPG as top-tier NBA scorers tend to do. And sure, Melo is rebounding as his size and mass allows him to, grabbing eight boards each game.
But solid statistics cannot be a decoy for coming to grips with reality.
Here’s the real situation: Carmelo Anthony is the aging leader of this talentless basketball club without an NBA head coach, rapidly approaching his 32nd birthday. He plays alongside the worst starting backcourt in NBA history, in Jose Calderon and Sasha Vujacic. He’s seemingly lost any semblance of ‘lift’ he had left in the tank after years of hard labor and nagging knee ailments.
He just doesn’t fit in with the direction the Knicks are heading.
The goal of every fan is to whip up a quick solution out of thin air. As if the ability for the Knicks to spend money this summer is going to magically put pen to paper with a big name free-agent. Remember the Knicks struck out with star LaMarcus Aldridge last summer, and ended up with Robin Lopez instead — which has unexpectedly worked out).
Everyone thinks they know what will solve this massive problem. A point-guard! That makes sense, right? Someone needs to step in and create easy opportunities for Melo and KP. Someone–preferably not named Jose–needs to walk the ball up the court and run the offense.
Heck, throw them both on this roster along with Phil Jackson-target Evan Turner, another year of experience and strength for Porzingis, RoLo, and Melo. Toss in the “golden” coaching target Tom Thibodeau to play Anthony 40+ minutes every game and the Knicks will be destined to make noise in the Eastern Conference playoff picture.
Not so fast. Nothing is guaranteed, especially a successful Knicks season.
The sad part is that Anthony’s Knicks have been successful in the past, and he had little to do with their rapid descent in talent. Back in the 2012-13 season, New York won 54 games on their way to ending atop the Atlantic Division and landing a 2-seed in the playoffs.
Of course that year ended with a tragic loss to the Indiana Pacers in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Simply compare that year’s supporting cast to the one currently assembled, and your eyes will burst out of their sockets as you cry a single tear for what Melo has to deal with–all the while earning $26 million per season, hence the one teardrop.
By no means was the ’12-13 team perfect, but there’s no arguing the presence of an abundance of talent. On the other hand, the average NBA fan likely couldn’t put a face to the name of half the players on this year’s Knicks team.
Obviously, sending him packing is not all in Melo’s hands, and the team’s failure is certainly not all his fault. President Phil Jackson must commit to rebuilding the Knicks methodically and consequently, look to exchange Melo this summer for draft picks and young assets.
Right after Anthony waives his no-trade clause and can stomach waving goodbye to the fanbase that loves him, but won’t miss him.