Tag: Carmelo Anthony

NBA All-Star Game 2015

Carmelo Anthony says he thought LaMarcus Aldridge would sign with Knicks, threw his headband when he found out how Knicks pitched Aldridge


LaMarcus Aldridge said he strongly considered the Knicks in free agency – until they asked him to play center to accommodate Kristaps Porzingis at power forward.

True? Maybe.

I still think Aldridge would have chosen the Spurs – who are better, play in his home state and play in a state without income tax. But it’s at least possible Aldridge would have chosen the Knicks if they pursued him as a power forward.

One person who believes New York could have gotten Aldridge with a power forward pitch: Carmelo Anthony.

Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News:

the Knicks forward learned only recently, through a conversation with Aldridge at Team USA training camp, why a meeting never happened. As the Daily News reported, the Knicks wanted Aldridge to play the unfamiliar position of center to free up minutes at power forward for rookie Kristaps Porzingis.

“I didn’t know that. When he told me that, I didn’t know that. I took my headband and threw it across. . . . I honestly didn’t know that,” Anthony said.

It should be noted that Anthony — who was in an exceptional mood during the two Team USA practices this week — was playful and smiling while recalling the headband toss. But his belief was sincere that Aldridge, who signed with San Antonio for $90 million, would’ve chosen New York.

“I think we could have gotten LaMarcus. I believe, the conversations me and him had, it was a big chance that he was going to end up in New York,” Anthony said. “So I don’t really know where the playing the center position came in. I know from when I was talking to him we had a greater shot of getting him.”

Again, I don’t believe this matters. I think Aldridge would have signed with the Spurs either way, and I think other teams – including the Suns – would have also appealed to him more than a Knicks team offering a power forward spot.

But for those who thought New York would lure Aldridge – apparently including Melo – this has to be infuriating to hear. It’s no secret Aldridge prefers not to play center. When he’s picking his team, that matters.

Melo has clearly stated he’s happy with the Knicks’ offseason and supports Phil Jackson. Whether Melo truly feels that way or is just toeing the company line, I don’t know.

Whether he’ll continue to say he’s happy with New York’s direction… I don’t know that, either.

Knicks have most favorable schedule for back-to-backs, Raptors least favorable

Toronto Raptors v New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony called having fewer back-to-backs “the dream.”

The NBA fulfilled that dream, significantly reducing the number of back-to-backs in the 2015-16 schedule.

In fact, the league did Melo’s Knicks one better.

New York plays just 17 back-to-backs, tied for seventh-fewest in the NBA,. More significantly, the Knicks opponents are on a back-to-back a league-high 25 times.

That gives the Knicks an NBA-best +8 difference in back-to-backs.

On the other side, like the Knicks, the Raptors play 17 back-to-backs. But Toronto’s opponents are on back-to-backs just 10 times, giving the Raptors a league-worst -8 difference.

Here’s how every team stacks up, using data from NBAstuffer.com:


Team Back-to-backs Opponent back-to-backs Back-to-backs difference
New York 17 25 +8
Brooklyn 15 21 +6
Phoenix 14 19 +5
Oklahoma City 16 21 +5
Indiana 17 22 +5
Dallas 17 20 +3
New Orleans 17 20 +3
Portland 19 22 +3
San Antonio 17 19 +2
Chicago 17 18 +1
Utah 18 19 +1
Atlanta 19 20 +1
Orlando 19 20 +1
Washington 19 20 +1
Denver 16 16 0
Detroit 20 20 0
Houston 20 20 0
Milwaukee 20 20 0
Charlotte 16 15 -1
LA Lakers 18 17 -1
LA Clippers 20 19 -1
Minnesota 14 12 -2
Boston 19 16 -3
Miami 17 13 -4
Sacramento 19 15 -4
Cleveland 19 14 -5
Golden State 20 15 -5
Memphis 18 12 -6
Philadelphia 19 13 -6
Toronto 17 10 -7

Kudos to the NBA for reducing the number of back-to-backs. It’s important for preventing injuries and improving the level of play.

But the next step is equity.

The Knicks and Raptors play in the same division. They shouldn’t face such radically different schedules.

LaMarcus Aldridge didn’t meet with Knicks because they asked him to play center

LaMarcus Aldridge

LaMarcus Aldridge is one of the game’s most skilled power forwards, able to dominate from the left block or knock down fadeaways in the midrange.

Just don’t ask him to play center.

Which is what the Knicks were going to do — they had just drafted Kristaps Porzingis and he is the future at the four spot.

That is why Aldridge cancelled his free agent meeting with the Knicks this summer, he told Frank Isola from the New York Daily News, out in Las Vegas where Aldridge is part of the USA Basketball mini-camp.

“They were saying they wanted me to be more of a center to let their guy develop and I just wasn’t looking to be that,” Aldridge said. “So I was looking to play power forward, and they weren’t really interested…

“Melo and I talked a little bit over text and we have mutual friends that passed messages along. I was interested,” Aldridge said. “I talked to other guys to see if they were interested in going there too. I was interested but when they say they want me to play a position that I don’t want to play, I get it.”

Aldridge ultimately chose the Spurs, and most likely would have done the same after meeting with the Knicks regardless.

I can see the comments now about how this is the Knicks being the Knicks and Phil Jackson screwing up again.

Except he didn’t — this is exactly the right play.

Aldridge, at 30 years old, is a guy looking for a win-now situation, and the Knicks are not that. They should not try to be that — their years of floundering around have been in large part due to quick fix after quick fix trying to make the playoffs rather than following a long-term plan. Aldridge would only have been another in those line of quick-fixes. With him, the Knicks make the playoffs as a middle-of-the-pack team (but no real threat to the Cavaliers) but don’t build for the future. The Knicks need to play Porzingis at the four and the five (playing Carmelo Anthony at the four for stretches as well) and while that learning curve could be painful at times they need to suffer through it.

We can debate whether Jackson is up to the task, or if his triangle system can thrive in a modern NBA, I have my doubts. But at least someone in the organization is focused on the big picture right now. That has not been the case consistently for far too long.

Besides, the pitch from Jackson and coach Derek Fisher impressed DeAndre Jordan, who at the same event told Marc Berman of the post he strongly considered the Knicks.

“I had a great meeting and great presentation,’’ Jordan said after Tuesday’s US Olympic Team mini-camp. “Phil Jackson speaks for himself. Fish [Derek Fisher] did a great job. The whole team had a plan with the organization, a plan for me that was cool. I just decided to stay with the Clippers, but it was great.

“The Knicks were definitely a team I was considering.’’

Maybe Knicks fans should be happy Jordan didn’t first choose them. But at least the pitch — to a true center (they eventually landed another one in Robin Lopez) — was on point.