What we’ve seen time and time again from different teams is that a championship franchise has star players, but more importantly, depth on the roster. Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James couldn’t carry their teams to the championship by themselves, even though they tried time and time again. It was only when joined by other stars and put in a system that works best for them that they managed to win their beloved rings.
Anthony is a beast on the court. Everything he does is majestic, and it’s all so beautiful that the Knicks need to let him go. Anthony, being the player he is, prevents a team from developing roster depth, and sadly, the team’s head coach is neither Phil Jackson or Gregg Popovich.
A lot has been said about the pros and cons of him leaving, but with the arrival of Jackson and Derek Fisher, the team is aiming for a complete revamp, and the Knicks are better off without Anthony.
For one, the Knicks don’t have any financial flexibility for this summer, which is great because in the summer of 2015, they will be a powerhouse when it comes to attracting big names through free agency to New York. The Knicks cannot make any headline moves next month, so they have to trust their roster and front office to make something happen for the team this next season. Fisher needs to explore every single opportunity, every single player, and every single system to try and figure out a new identity for the franchise.
Developing Toure Murry, Tim Hardaway Jr., Cole Aldrich and Iman Shumpert is a must if the Knicks want to have a deep roster for when the stars come. If the team is compact, efficient and playing for each other, then they will be ready for contention. Just take a look at the Chicago Bulls, a team that has been said to be one piece away from immediate contention. Carmelo himself has acknowledged that whoever coach Thibodeau puts on the floor, the team always performs at a high level. That’s what the Knicks need to be.
If ‘Melo stays, the team won’t be as efficient in experimenting with the different kinds of pieces and strategies, having to revolve the game around him once again, which would be worse in the long run. Expect everyone to develop to their full potential while having to pass the ball to him won’t help make the supporting cast step up their games.
Only under true pressure do the clutch performances come out, and the franchise needs that from everyone in order to win a championship.
With Carmelo leaving, the team can finally sit down and think long-term, plan their next steps without having to rely on anyone else. A good leader says that everyone is replaceable but commends those who do a great job, so that’s what Jackson and Fisher need to do. They need to experiment to get the team on a type of run that places like San Antonio, Miami, Chicago and Los Angeles all know about, and one that New York hasn’t seen in 40 years.