Want to stress this up front as much as possible. Carmelo Anthony is not talking about Jeremy Lin’s game, or how good he is as a player. Every comment Melo has ever made about Lin has been that he is a promising young player who can help the team win. This is not Carmelo Anthony throwing a teammate under the bus.
Maybe it’s a little like throwing a teammate’s wallet under a four-wheeler, though.
At comments from Team USA practice Sunday morning, Anthony told reporters a throw-away comment. From Sporting News (a lot of reporters snagged the quote):
Anthony said Saturday that he wanted Lin to remain his teammate. But he followed that up with this remark on Sunday: “It’s up to the organization to say that they want to match that ridiculous contract.”
Is the Lin contract a little ridiculous? Of course. Its a pointed effort by the Rockets to construct an offer to shake the Knicks loose of the offer. It’s a poison-pill aimed at being ridiculous enough to get the Knicks not to match. And it’s based on potential, not track record.
But don’t get this twisted. This is a player, saying that the contract another player, a teammate, earned, is ridiculous. That’s a strike where players’ care the most: their money. It’s not a personal attack on Lin, but it’s also a pretty stunning lack of decorum from the leader of the team deciding whether to match the offer or not. Whether you believe Anthony intentionally made the statement or it was a slip without thinking, the result is the same. It paints the impression that the Knicks think that kind of spending is absurd.
From the Knicks.
In unrelated news, Anthony has $67 million left over three years on his contract. The Knicks have yet to advance past the first round.