Carmelo Anthony had a promising career, until he became a New York Knick.
In 2011 at the NBA trade deadline the New York Knicks traded Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov and picks to acquire Denver Nuggets superstar Carmelo Anthony. Although the Knicks landed the scoring machine, many Knicks fans were irate about how much was given up to acquire Carmelo.
Despite the fans dismay to the blockbuster deal, the trade had a very high ceiling. Having two of the top 5 scorers in Melo and Stat (Amare Stoudemire) on the roster, a championship point guard that can still orchestrate an offense in Chauncey Billups. The pieces were in place to build around but to no one’s surprise, things went downhill fast.
The Knicks managed to make the playoffs the first three seasons with Melo in his peak prime years, the front office failed to put help around the superstar. In the 2012-13 season, the Knicks went 54-28 and were the number 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. With the amazing play from the established veterans and an unstoppable Melo, the Knicks were back in championship contention. They beat the Boston Celtics in 6 and then went on to face the blazing hot Pacers in the East Semis and lost that series in 6. Despite Melo averaging 29 PPG and 7 RPG, he was battling a left shoulder injury for most of his playoff run which ultimately led to an earlier than expected playoff exit. Anthony was heavily criticized for not getting his team over the hump and evidently underachieving.
The 2013-14 season was supposed to be a fresh start for Carmelo and the Knicks. The Knicks had their core guys remain on the roster despite losing veteran leadership. The Knicks only won 37 games after winning 54 the previous year. Carmelo averaged 27 a night but his teammate’s inconsistency and lackadaisical effort were a direct effect of losing that veteran leadership in the locker room. The highlight of the season was Melo scoring 62 on 23-35 shooting in 39 minutes and the hiring of new President of Basketball Operations, Phil Jackson at the end of the season. The Knicks just missed the playoffs at the 9th seed to cap off a disappointing season.
Phil Jackson’s resumé falsely gave New York Knick fans something to be excited about. Phil won 13 championships in his career, two as a player and eleven as a coach. He coached some of the greatest players of all time in Shaquille O’Neil, Kobe Bryant, Scottie Pippen and Michael Jordan. Phil Jackson’s basketball mind being in control many assumed better days were ahead. Phil immediately dismantled the roster. Mike Woodson and the entire coaching staff were fired and hired his long-time point guard in Los Angeles, Derek fisher. Phil then resigned Carmelo to 5 years 124 million contract and traded Raymond Felton and Tyson Chandler to the Dallas Mavericks for Jose Calderón, Shane Larkin, and Samuel Dalembert. The trade was pointless.
The next season the Knicks posted their worst season to date only winning 17 games. Melo battled injuries all season only playing 40 games and Phil Jackson traded Iman Shumpert and Jr. Smith to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Phil Jackson has been less than unflattering these past few seasons. Jamming the outdated triangle offense down the Knicks organizations throats without having the proper personnel to execute. Constantly ripping Carmelo to the NBA media and selling false hopes and dreams with no real solution in sight. Sure, Phil has been active in his signings but what was supposed to be the end result? How are the players that Phil is acquiring complementing Carmelo Anthony’s game? I’m no executive but the moves were hollow.
Melo’s prime years were wasted by a team that never really cared for him. Anthony’s loyalty remains to the fans and the city of New York. He has been nothing short of professional and his front office has been nothing short of ill-mannered. Carmelo gave his blood sweat and tears to the city of New York and all they did in return was spin the narrative in his entire career making him a villain in a city where he should have been a hero.