If one were cynical, one would say Carmelo Anthony re-signed with the Knicks because they could guarantee him the most money.
But decisions are rarely that simple, factors such as family and lifestyle do factor in (by all accounts Anthony’s wife Lala wanted to stay in NYC). In the couple seasons since he signed that deal, the Knicks have been a mess (although an improved mess this season). There are teams that think if Phil Jackson strikes out landing a big time free agent (as is likely), Anthony will consider waiving his no-trade clause. So is Anthony not loyal to New York?
Don’t tell him that. Here’s what Anthony said at shootaround Wednesday about his loyalty to the Knicks.
“I know the reason why I stuck it out,’’ said Anthony, who feels fully recovered from his migraine headache that caused him to miss the Knicks’ game on Sunday. “People that really understand it know why I’m sticking it out. It’s odd to question my loyalty at this point in time, especially when you showed and I’ve showed time and time again my loyalty to not just the organization, but New York and vice versa.”
I have no doubt Anthony wants to bring a title to New York, it’s just hard to see that happening while he is still a major contributor.
Phil Jackson will look to make moves this summer, but he doesn’t have a draft pick or enough cap space for a full max deal (without a couple of roster moves), meaning it’s going to be difficult to make the kind of changes that move the Knicks way up the pecking order in the East. The best way to speed that rebuilding may be moving Anthony.
But does he want to be moved? Last week he didn’t guarantee he would be back with the Knicks next season, but considering his salary and demands to go to a contender New York is most likely where he plays next season as well.