As we near the start of this NBA playoffs, the big question about Carmelo Anthony — and by proxy the Knicks — remains the one that was asked about him last season, and the one before that, and the one before that, and…
Does he understand and is he willing to make the team play sacrifices to his game needed to lead a team to a title?
Knicks legend Bill Bradley, who was a member of the last two Knicks title teams (and went on to be a New Jersey senator) told the New York Post he wonders if ‘Melo is ready.
“Miami won last year because they played as a team,’’ Bradley said. “They were unselfish. There’s a connection there. I really do believe LeBron, [Dwyane] Wade and [Chris] Bosh and [Shane] Battier, they really want to be champions more than they want individual achievements. They realize being a champion is the highest individual achievement.’’
Has Anthony learned that yet?
“He’s a great offensive talent, no question,’’ Bradley said. “I don’t know him enough. I don’t know if he has. I hope so. And he might already know it.”
Early in the season it felt like Carmelo Anthony had learned that lesson and the Knicks were off to a hot start. But as injuries piled up that team identity seemed to come and go — it’s been back recently on an eight game winning streak.
The real test is the playoffs, of course.
“The ultimate champion is always the most unselfish team. We didn’t have any idea who would score on a particular night. At the end of the game, any one person could take the shot, and if they missed, everyone said you’ll hit it next time.’’
The ultimate champion also usually has the most talent (or close to it). Can the Knicks really match the Heat there? And in team play? We’ll find the answers starting in a few weeks.