Carmelo Anthony said he plans to opt out of the final year of his contract with the New York Knicks in order to test free agency this offseason. That announcement has had a lot of people buzzing — could Melo bolt for L.A., or perhaps team up with a 51-year-old Jordan in Charlotte (you heard it here first)? It would feel like a kick in the teeth to the Knicks, who essentially blew up their team in 2011 to snag one of the league’s premier scorers, not to mention a hometown kid.
Perhaps sensing that he was making New Yorkers uneasy, Melo said in an interview with TNT before last night’s game against the Bulls that he wants to retire a Knick:
“They pulled all the strings to get me here, and I wanted to be here, you know,” Anthony said in the television interview. “And I want to retire in New York, let’s be quite frank. I think a lot of people jumped the gun when I said I wanted to be a free agent. And yeah, I want people to come to play in New York. I want them to want to play in New York. I want New York to be that place where guys want to come play in New York.”
Whew! Crisis averted, Knick fans! Carmelo Anthony isn’t going anywhere! Hooray!
Call it bad timing, but right after saying he wanted to finish his career in New York, Melo gave us a glimpse of what that future looks like by missing the potential winner in Chicago. Worse, Derrick Rose showed him how it’s done on the other end by sinking a sideline floater (via CSN Chicago):
Meanwhile, Melo tried to counter with holding the ball for five seconds, then taking the most inefficient shot in the league: a two-pointer with his foot on the three-point line. It rattled out, and the Knicks lost.
Saying that Melo lost the game would be oversimplifying things to the extreme, and several other players contributed to coming up just short (Tyson Chandler only hitting one free throw the possession before Rose’s game-winner, anyone?). But it was the most Melo ending to a Knicks loss you could imagine: He holds the ball, he holds the ball, he takes a long jump shot, he misses. In fact, he missed his last five shots.
So, Knicks fans, how happy are you that Melo plans to be a Knick for the rest of his days? He’ll certainly hit his fair share of game-winners between now and the end of his time on the court — but is a Melo-centric team, in the era of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Chris Paul and Derrick Rose (among many others), a winning formula? You better hope so.
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