On Sunday, Carmelo Anthony formally announced on his website that he is returning to the Big Apple to play for the New York Knicks. He is coming back and accepting a five-year deal worth north of $120 million, the most he could get from any NBA team. While a lot of people believe that Anthony “sold out” and picked money over the possibility of winning, that is not the complete truth.
Anthony has said within the past year that he would accept a pay cut to help the Knicks turn into a title contender, so for him to take this money catches people somewhat off guard. Anthony and president Phil Jackson know this team isn’t ready to compete at that level yet, so this makes it look like ‘Melo’s motive is just money. Think again, people.
New York is where Anthony was born, it is where he chose to go when he wanted out of Denver and now it is the place that he wants his fate as an NBA player to be decided. The Knicks didn’t make the playoffs last year and now currently have a young roster working out chemistry issues. After how unpredictable they were last year, who knows what next year has in store. However, that doesn’t mean Anthony is giving up on winning — since when did this competitor ever give up or roll over easy when defeated?
Many say Anthony isn’t a winner because he has gotten past the first round of the playoffs only twice in his career and made just one trip to the Conference Finals, but this season was just his first season of 11 years in which he didn’t make it to the postseason. There are players who are stars in the league and haven’t even made the playoffs in their career, like Kevin Love with his six years in the NBA. Anthony is a winner, a national champion at Syracuse, a gold medal winner and a scoring champion. He’s had a lot of success and likes how it tastes, so why go to New York if you want to get your hands on some of the tastier treats?
Phil Jackson must have some sort of master plan for the Knicks within the next five years. First off, this guy is a winner. Eleven titles. His head coach, Derek Fisher, has won five as a player. These two may be “rookies” at their current position, but have a whole lot of winning experience, so that is what they naturally want to do and Anthony realizes that. After this season, the Knicks will also have a couple of big expiring contracts from Amar’e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani, giving them a fair chunk of change to spend in the summer of 2015. This team will have time to grow together, have better team chemistry (which they have already done) and use their financial assets to make a better team.
While new plans are still brewing in New York, Anthony deciding to take close to a maximum contract with the Knicks leads many to believe that he isn’t about winning as much as he claims. The money obviously played a huge role in his decision. How could that much not play a role in anybody’s decision? With winners like Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher now working in the place that Anthony calls home, on the brightest stage of New York where he wants to win the most, waiting a little bit longer for that win could be enticing. We know Anthony is guaranteed the money and winning doesn’t come easy, but who says that he can’t have both?