Since the start of the 2013-14 NBA season, the basketball world has been intrigued about the debate on Carmelo Anthony‘s free agency status after the season. Anthony made it clear early that he has plans to test the market, but he never confirmed whether he would be staying with the New York Knicks, or looking for a new home with another team.
The Knicks are in the middle of one of their worst seasons in recent history, combined with multiple off the court distractions, as well as plenty of on the court issues. Most of the blame has been placed on the Mike Woodson and the front office, but there is too much going on to place the blame on one or two people within the troubled organization. It is clear that there are more than a few reasons that the team is currently 28-40 and at risk of missing the playoffs, even though they are currently on a seven game win streak.
It is clear that this team is underachieving, and their problems may seem more severe than they actually are. The team hired legendary head coach Phil Jackson to help fix the broken franchise. Jackson has assumed the duties of Team President, and will be overseeing every important decision that comes through the organization, in hopes of getting the team back on the right track before the start of next season.
If Jackson is going turn things around for the Knicks, then he will need the right players to mold into winners. He cannot afford to let Anthony waltz out of the organization — a move that would doom this franchise for years to come. Anthony has made it clear that he is willing to change his game if Jackson thinks he can help him improve, becoming the winner that Jackson made of Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Anthony’s willingness to settle himself under Jackson’s wing is a hopeful move for the Knicks. While Anthony may still have the urge to test the market, he seems hopeful that Jackson can fix whatever it is that is wrong with the Knicks. Jackson’s record of accomplishment is undeniable, and Anthony should not pass up the chance of learning from the basketball mentor alive today.
Not only does Jackson make a great sell for Anthony to stay put in New York, it also gives other big name players a reason to think about joining forces with Anthony in the Big Apple. New York will forever be one of the most popular franchises for free agents to land. The nightlife, amazing scenery and loyal fanbase are just a few reasons why New York is such a desirable place; the addition of Jackson makes it an even more pleasurable location to play profession basketball.
Rumors of LeBron James possibly being interested in playing for the Knicks alongside Anthony have already started to spin out of control. It is obviously a long shot for James to land with the Knicks, but it makes sense why such a rumor would start after Jackson signed on. Imagine if James opened up to learning from Jackson, following in the footsteps of some of the greatest players to ever play in the NBA.
Even if the Knicks miss out on signing James, I think it’s evident that Anthony plans to stay put after opening up about changing his game for Jackson, if that is what the Zen Master sees fit. No player is going to make such a statement without the strong possibility of working together for years to come. If Jackson was not involved, then Anthony would surely be gone. With him in the picture, I think Anthony now realizes how much the organization wants him to stay, and just how serious they are about improving on their horrible season.
For the first time in the long time, Knicks fans can sit back and relax, as things are slowly beginning to take a turn for the better.