The New York Knicks and part of the fan base have waged war against the one thing keeping the franchise relevant, Carmelo Anthony’s presence.The New York Knicks organization and a part of the fan base have waged a war against the one the thing keeping the franchise relevant, the presence of Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony continues to play at all-star level throughout his tenure with the Knicks. Despite his ball hog label, fans, even the ones booing, pay to see his talents.
With the team not living up to its “super team” expectations established preseason, management appears ready for a divorce from their aging star who holds a no-trade clause in his contract. Unfortunately, fans have taken management’s side and even started chanting at home games “Trade Melo!” making for a very awkward situation.
Nevertheless, really, who is to blame for the mess that we are witnessing?
Critics need to take a deep look at the real problem here. The focus should be lackluster leadership, starting with the owner James Dolan, whose support of moves over the years have debilitated the Knicks to mediocrity since the 1999-2000 season. The organization is still feeling the effects of all the failed trades from the early 2000s where they gave up numerous draft picks for the likes of Antonio McDyess, Stephon Marbury, Tim Thomas, Al Harrington and the list goes on.
Former GM Glen Grunwald pigeonholed the franchise once again in 2014, trading Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, a 2014 second round pick, a 2016 first round pick and a 2017 pick for Andrea Bargnani who missed 93 of a possible 164 games — not to mention his hefty contract tied up the organization’s ability to make significant moves in free agency.
In the past 10 years, the Knicks have made the playoffs a total of three times. Those three times have all been during the Carmelo Anthony era. Since 2010, the Knicks have drafted Iman Shumpert, Kostas Papanikolaou, Tim Hardaway Jr., Thanasis Antetokounmpo, Cleanthony Early and Kristaps Porzingis. Only one name stands out from that list, although Shumpert and Tim Hardaway are solid role players for their respective teams today.
An analysis of Phil Jackson’s presidency, in which he traded away J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert only for them to win a championship the next year, does not warrant more active results than that of his predecessors. He replaced the players mentioned above with Arron Afflalo, whose stay in New York lasted only one season. His choice of head coach, Derek Fisher, managed to amass the worst winning percentage in Knicks history during his one and a half year tenor.
His choice of head coach, Derek Fisher, managed to amass the worst winning percentage in Knicks history during his one and a half year tenor. Signing Joakim Noah, who has looked like a shell of himself, to a four-year $72 million dollar deal, might be his most egregious act to date.
Throughout these times of terrible free agency signings, constant roster turnover, the one constant has been Carmelo Anthony. His play has not wavered, and he’s been extraordinarily graceful with the media hotbed that is New York City, as Knicks management hides in their press boxes.
If Knicks fans are ready for years more of extreme mediocrity, about 60 losses worth, sure trade what’s keeping the organization afloat in an effort to rebuild, which we’ve seen for the past decade that management has been incapable of doing.