Carmelo Anthony wanted to enjoy All-Star weekend as long as he could.
Because here comes reality.
Marc Stein of ESPN:
This is the right move for Melo and the Knicks – and so was him playing in the All-Star game.
Melo’s job is to help the Knicks make money. The primary way he does that is helping the team win games, which draws fans. But representing the team in its home arena in the All-Star game also accomplishes that goal.
Now, Melo can help the Knicks by finally having much-needed surgery and getting healthy for next season. New York is headed to the lottery this year with or without him, and now the main priority is securing as a high a draft pick as possible. The Knicks can also use the rest of this season to develop their young players, which will be easier without Melo playing such a large – or any – role.
They’ll have plenty of cap space to pursue another star this summer, and if they hit on their draft pick, they could be headed in the right direction in no time. That requires a healthy Melo, though.
This is the first step toward getting that Melo.