New York Knicks

New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony should win the PBWA Magic Johnson award for his relationship with, and handling of the NYC media.

By Jeremy Fialkow

Yeah, Carmelo Anthony‘s had it rough these past two years in New York City.

A lone-bright spot has risen, though, as the Professional Basketball Writer’s Association named Melo a finalist for the Magic Johnson Award. The feat annually recognizes a player that combines on-the-court excellence and cooperation with the media and fans.

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Anthony joins the Warriors’ Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, and Hawks forward Paul Millsap as the finalists.

Surrounded by terrible talent, stuck within a losing franchise, Melo is forced to put up with the not only the noise created by unsatisfied fans, but also the noise emanating from the nagging, overwhelming Big Apple media.

That noise is especially loud when you’re the leader of a team boasting a 52-103 record in the past two seasons.

Still, before and after each and every game, practice, and presser, Melo stands tall, sticks to his guts, and tells the story like it is. He’s never afraid to speak his mind, which could prove costly. But, not for Anthony, who chooses his words carefully, rather than impulsively.

There’s no doubt Melo deserves this award more than the four other candidates.

Given the Knicks’ current roster, off the court distractions, and coaching carousel, Anthony has played exceptional team-first basketball this season, replacing his ‘Hero Ball’ style for long stretches of games.

Not to mention, he’s been performing with an ailing knee nearly all season long.

The 31-year-old is averaging 22.0 PPG, 4.2 APG, and 7.8 RPG…leading the Knicks in all three categories, and good for a Player Efficiency Rating of 20.43, well above league average.

After missing Sunday’s game for a much-deserved rest, Melo will return to the Knick lineup Wednesday against the Charlotte Hornets. This is phenomenal news, considering New York is winless in nine contests without the All-Star forward this season.

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Jeremy Fialkow was born and raised in Miami, FLA, but currently studies at the University of Maryland. When he's not studying hard, he can be found supporting his sometimes hopeless NY teams: Knicks, Mets, Jets, and Isles. Your sympathy is appreciated.