After weeks of deliberation, Carmelo Anthony has finally decided to return to the New York Knicks. Anthony made the announcement Saturday (even though he had probably made up his mind by Friday) that he would be re-signing with the Knickerbockers. The deal will be worth $122 million over the next 5 years. Who said Melo wasn’t a team player?? This guy just made the ultimate sacrifice by taking a whopping $7 million less than the max deal over 5 years. He just saved the franchise $1.4 million per year over the next 5 years. What a guy! Now the Knicks have the cap space to sign Kurt Thomas. Can you say game changer?!?! In all seriousness, the Knicks did what they had to do and so did Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks, as much as they didn’t want to, had to throw the whole bag of cash at him, because if they missed out on Melo, where would they be? And Melo actually wanted to leave for a better, more championship ready situation. The only problem was that option didn’t exist in this years free agency. The Chicago Bulls were only a better option if Derrick Rose is healthy, and at this point I’d say that is an enormous if. I don’t believe the Lakers were ever a real option seeing as they don’t have a coach, and they actually have a worse roster than the Knicks. And as good as the Houston Rockets would have become with the addition of Melo, who wants to live in Houston??
As for the Knicks, in the horrid eastern Conference, they shouldn’t fare too badly this upcoming season. They are no championship contender, don’t get me wrong, but don’t be surprised if they creep up to the 4 or 5 seed. Yes, Derek Fisher is a wild card in this equation, but I have the utmost confidence that Phil Jackson will steer him in the right direction. Now, I need to say something to all of the Carmelo Anthony haters of the world. Y’all are out of your damn minds!! As much as critics and fans alike enjoy picking Anthony’s game apart, he is undoubtedly one of the best players in the NBA. He may not be the best defender in the NBA, but does defense really exist in the NBA?? And the notion that a team can not win with Carmelo Anthony on its roster; is ludicrous. Carmelo Anthony is what he is. He is one of the best pure scorers the game has ever seen who also happens to grab 8 -10 rebounds a night. Everyone is trying to turn him in to a player that he simply will never be. You know what Melo’s biggest mistake is? That he isn’t Lebron James. Ever since high school, the two have been linked. Their head-to-head matchups in high school were televised, they came out of the same NBA draft class, and most recently they shared the same free agency spot light. Melo is not the passer Lebron is, he’s not the defender Lebron is, and he simply is not the all around player Lebron is. And you know what? That’s okay. That doesn’t mean that you can’t win a championship with Carmelo Anthony on your roster. Phil Jackson will put a roster in place that highlights the strengths of everyone on it, and most importantly, Carmelo Anthony will be utilized correctly for the first time in his career. Just watch for Anthony’s 4th quarter contributions under Phil Jackson opposed to the tired, wobbly legged Anthony we’ve grown accustom to seeing under the likes of Mike and Mike (no not that Mike and Mike); Woodson and D’Antoni. Anthony has always been asked to do too much. With a real point guard and a proper system in place, don’t be surprised to see Anthony thrive as a member of the new look Knicks.
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