The story of Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks has finally come to an end. The Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder agreed on a trade that sent Carmelo to the Thunder and Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second round pick to the Knicks. His time was filled with some highs, but mostly lows that made Knicks basketball tough to watch for the past 7 seasons. It wasn’t all your fault Carmelo, but it was time for you to go and time for change.
Carmelo Anthony the Person
Carmelo Anthony had to put up with so much during his tenure as a Knick, a bulk of the problems were due to Phil Jackson. Jackson consistently threw Melo under the bus to the media and often blamed the Knicks struggles on him as the star. Throughout his tenure, Carmelo maintained professionalism and just brushed it off as if it did not affect him.
Not only did Melo have to deal with Phil Jackson, but also the persistent criticism of the fans. Playing in New York is not easy, as a New York sports fan I can tell you just how ruthless we are. Melo never spoke out against the fans, although much of the futility of the Knicks was blamed on him because of his stardom. I was one of these fans that constantly blamed Carmelo, but looking back on it I realize what a true professional he was.
Carmelo Anthony the Player
Carmelo is one of the best pure scorers in the NBA, while arguably also one of the worst defenders at his position. While you could usually rely on Carmelo to score in the clutch, you could also count on him giving up plenty of points. The Knicks only made the playoffs twice in the seven years he was a Knick. Not all his fault, but as the star of the team, there is an expectation for him to lead his team to the playoffs.
Despite Carmelo being mostly unsuccessful in making the playoffs he never had any issues with teammates. In fact Kristaps Porzingis, his most talented teammate with the Knicks loved playing alongside him and did not want him to leave. You would think that a player who demands the ball so much would frustrate teammates. Miraculously, Carmelo never had issues with teammates, only with the front office and Phil Jackson.
The Future of the Knicks
For the first time in seven years the Knicks will not have a “star” on the team. Although if Kristaps Porzingis continues to play the way he has his first two seasons no one will question his stardom. To all Knicks fan he’s a star, but to the rest of the league he still has something to prove. The new look New York Knicks will be lead by Frank Ntilikina, Kristaps Porzingis and new acquisition Enes Kanter. Willy Hernangomez and Doug McBuckets will look to give the bench some firepower.
Besides Porzingis and Ntilikina the Knicks will struggle mightily defensively. Porzingis is one of the premier rim protectors in the NBA and Ntilikina’s 7 foot wingspan makes him one of the longest guards in the NBA. Enes Kanter while very talented offensively is quite possibly one of the worst defensive big men in the NBA.
Well Knicks fans the Eastern Conference is horrible so there is always a glimmer of hope. Remember with Kristaps Porzingis who absolutely dominated at the EuroBasket this summer and no Phil Jackson there is always hope.