There are major signs and words pointing to the idea that Carmelo Anthony is over and done with the New York Knicks.
If you have not seen or heard Carmelo Anthony‘s recent postgame comments, you should continue to read. Not just postgame comments, but the interview he had with The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski before he left Denver.
New York was eliminated from the playoffs on Wednesday. The Knicks lost to the Heat, 88–105. For the Knickerbockers, it was a straight embarrassment, as the home crowd was chanting “Let’s Go Heat” at the end of the fourth quarter.
This year was supposed to finally be the year Melo had enough around him, the year that the Knicks made it back to the playoffs.
Unclear of his Role
After the game, Melo didn’t sound satisfied about his future in New York. He even told Ian Begley of ESPN that he does not know his role on the team anymore.
“I don’t even know my role. I don’t know my role, to be honest. I’m just here to kind of help those guys and keep those guys positive and motivated. I get in where I fit in. … At this point, I think my role is to be there for those guys — the younger guys — throughout this time and help them along the way, not just in the games but in practice and other ways. Just to be there for them.
No Need for Melo
Additionally, Melo said scoring the most points will not help the team at this point. All things considered, his tone sounds like his run with New York might come to an end.
“I don’t think me going out there trying to score 30 and 40 every night and playing that way is going to help them out at this point.”
Changing His Game Style, Triangle Problems
From this response, Anthony is possibly considering waiving his no-trade clause in the offseason. The Knicks are trying to change the way Melo’s play. In particular, Phil Jackson is trying to modify his fully entrenched skill-set.
We already know how fully committed the team is to the triangle. However, Melo informed the reporters that he’s more comfortable playing in Jeff Hornacek uptempo offense.
“It’s difficult because it’s hard to kind of change a player’s game in the ninth inning. I am who I am. I’ve gotten here all these years by playing the way I’ve been playing. So it’s hard to kind of take that step back. It’s challenging, but I think it’s for the greater good of everybody on this team at this point.”
The route New York is on for the future is the opposite of what Melo had in mind. The Knicks are rebuilding and tanking the rest of the season. Hornacek acknowledged the fact that the starters minutes will reduce. The younger guys on the team will get more playing time. That is a sign of rebuilding.
Carmelo Anthony has been giving us hints all year long on the only way he will waive his no-trade clause.
The Real Reason Why Melo Will Leave: Rebuild = Red Flag In Melo Book
Melo has been transparent about leaving a team before. Don’t forget that he’s already left an NBA organization.
Here are some interesting old quotes from Anthony when he was in Denver. What he said is quite similar to what he’s saying now in New York. In 2011, Melo told Adrian Wojnarowski that he did not want to be apart of the rebuilding process.
“People didn’t really know the business side of this situation we were in. Everybody’s contract was up. They had plans of going younger and rebuilding. People on the outside looking in didn’t get it,” Anthony said.
In this situation, it’s no different. Derrick Rose‘s contract is up and is currently perceived as a goner in the offseason. Much like the Nuggets nearly a decade ago, the Knicks are planning to go younger. In Denver, Anthony did not want to be a part of that process. Melo said the same exact words again this year.
“I think it will be more on the front office,” Anthony told Newsday this week. “I have the power, but still I would talk to them. We would be in communication if they feel like they want to go in a different direction, they want to start rebuilding for the future. If they tell me they want to scrap this whole thing, yeah, I have to consider it.”
The reason why the 13-year veteran did not say he wanted to leave because of the rebuild vaguely like he did in Denver because he is older. At the time, Carmelo was 26-years-old. Now, Melo is 33 and wiser. He is showing that he still has respect for New York and his teammates. However, New York has young players they are ready to commit to moving forward.
The Knicks have two young talented players on their roster. According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Jackson is looking to build around Kristaps Porzingis, Willy Hernangomez, Justin Holliday, Ron Baker, Courtney Lee and Chasson Randle.
Carmelo Anthony Misses The Playoffs
The Knicks have not been to the playoffs for four consecutive seasons. Carmelo Anthony is a 13-year veteran and has not won a ring. Melo does not have enough of his “elite” time in the NBA to waste on a rebuild. Anthony showed his frustration by letting Marc Berman know that he misses the playoffs.
“It’s something that you sit back and think about; it’s something you miss,’’ Anthony said. “I miss it. It’s something I’ve gotten used to throughout my career. Just being there, getting a shot, what can happen in the playoffs. I miss it. I miss it a lot and something I think about.’’
Not Interested In Next Season
Melo does not want to talk about training camp next year. When diagnosing his words, Anthony feels like the team should have stuck with the Hornacek’s offense. He’s not a big fan of the triangle and he let Marc Berman knows how he feels.
“I don’t even want to talk to that or next training camp,’’ said Anthony, who scored a modest 16 points in Utah despite logging 36 minutes. “It’s too much. I don’t want to talk about that. I don’t want to talk about next training camp and what’s going to happen next year. That’s hard for me personally to think about that. We still have these games to deal with, and it’s hard to look toward next season.’’
Ian Begley said New York would possibly shop Melo in the offseason after they failed to do so at the trade deadline.
“The Knicks shopped Anthony in trade talks before the deadline and, barring an unforeseen change, of course, remain committed to moving Anthony in the offseason, per sources.”
According to Forbes, Anthony is one of the top NBA earners off the court through deals with Nike’s Jordan Brand, SMS Audio, Draft Kings and Las Vegas Sands. He launched his venture capital firm, M7 Tech Partners, in July 2014.
In my opinion, Melo tries to manipulate his brand by what he does on the floor. He still thinks he can squeeze a little endorsement money out of his brand. Melo wants to look good for that last big contract he’s up for in 2019.
New York making Porzingis the number one option on the team is not what Melo wants because of his endorsement. Porzingis becoming the star of the team will possibly cost Melo lots of money.
If Anthony’s the star of a team and the go-to guy, he will be able to squeeze more money in from his brand. That’s one of the reasons why Melo chose New York. New York is a big city for NBA players with good endorsement deals.
Currently, Melo makes eight million dollars off the court, according to Forbes.
Right now, Anthony iss averaging 22.5 points and 5.9 rebounds a night. He has been in the NBA for 13 years. As he gets older, Melo’s shooting percentage is tanking.
Several teams in the offseason will consider Anthony. The teams who will check in on Melo will be the Los Angeles Clippers, Cleveland Cavaliers, and Boston Celtics.
Only time will tell if these comments were the beginning of the end for Melo in the Big Apple.