Well, it’s finally happened – Carmelo Anthony has at long last made his decision, and he’s headed back to the New York Knicks. What does this mean for Anthony, for the Knicks and for the NBA? There are a lot of angles to dissect, so the guys at HP got together for a roundtable discussion of the Melodrama 2.0′s resolution. Joining us today will be Evans Clinchy (@evansclinchy), Evans Clinchy (@evansclinchy) and Evans Clinchy (@evansclinchy). Evans Clinchy (@evansclinchy) will moderate, with Evans Clinchy (@evansclinchy) also chiming in at the end to share some concluding thoughts.
Evans: Seriously, guys? Carmelo signed with the Knicks? THE KNICKS?!?!?! What in the world is he thinking? Doesn’t he realize what he’s gotten himself into? The Knicks have won 50 games only once since Patrick Ewing retired. They went 37-45 last year and promptly traded away their best defensive player for a handful of spare parts. How are they supposed to build a team from here? Trades? With what assets? Free agency? Don’t tell me you really think 68-year-old Phil Jackson is still a draw to these 20-something kids? The draft? Please. The Knicks haven’t drafted an All-Star since 2005, and that was David Lee who doesn’t count. The Knicks are hopeless. Melo is going to waste away the prime years of his career. This sucks. This royally, royally sucks.
Evans: Dude, you need to calm down. There’s another way of looking at this, and it makes for a much prettier narrative – Carmelo’s return to the Knicks was about loyalty. Think about it – LeBron James just announced his comeback to Cleveland yesterday. He sold the American public a beautiful story about going home and proving your commitment to your local community. Isn’t it laudable that Carmelo is striving to do the same thing? He’s been a Knick for three-plus years now. He’s been happy there, more or less. He’s revitalized the franchise, sorta. He’s doing that he can to show that he loves New York and he’s committed to it. Shouldn’t that count for something?
Evans: You’re an idiot! Commitment? Carmelo? Please. Have you forgotten how he bailed on the Nuggets, dragged out the trade talks for months, smeared everyone in the media and weaseled his way out of town? This is still the same Carmelo. That guy punted on the whole loyalty thing a long, long time ago. I can’t believe you think Carmelo cares about loyalty.
Evans: What, so you think he’s only signing in New York for the money?
Evans and Evans: YES, OF COURSE! YOU MORON.
Evans: Guys. Let’s back up a second. So what if he did pick the Knicks for the money? It’s tough to blame him. In order to get to a contending team like the Bulls, Carmelo would have had to leave tens of millions of dollars on the table. Would you do that? I don’t think I could ever say no to that kind of money. That money is houses. It’s cars. It’s college tuitions for kids and grandkids and great-grandkids. It’s a better life for himself and his wife and his family and friends. He’s just supposed to say no to all that, just because you want to see him on TV in early June fighting for a piece of jewelry? He’s only human. Why do we expect our athletes to be these cold, emotionless robots that care about nothing beyond winning basketball games?
Evans: But isn’t it aggravating that Carmelo doesn’t care more about winning? Think about how great it would be if he did. The thing is, I’m hating on Melo because I love Melo. I want to see him succeed. He has such a wonderfully unique combination of size and strength and speed and coordination with a basketball in his hands. He’s one of the most gifted scorers we’ve ever seen. How great would it be to see that guy fighting for a championship every spring? Put him with Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose, and it’s such compelling theater year in and year out. Put him with Sam Dalembert and Jose Calderon? Ugh. Let’s just fast-forward to 2025 when Carmelo’s in the TNT studio.
Evans: I get why you’re dwelling on the Bulls possibility, but I think the Rockets option would have been even better. That team has Patrick Beverley, James Harden, Chandler Parsons and Dwight Howard ready to go – all they need is one more guy to round out arguably the best starting five in the game. Melo would have been perfect. He’s got the physicality in his game to play power forward, but he can also spread the floor and open things up for everyone else. Put him next to Dwight and the possibilities are endless. This would have been fantastic. It’s so disappointing we’ll never get to see this happen.
Evans: Naw, you guys are all wrong. Carmelo should have gone to the Lakers! Fame! Stardom! Kobe! He could have had it all.
Evans, Evans and Evans: Shut up, man.
Evans: You guys are just gonna keep arguing about this all day, huh? Look. Here’s the honest truth: There’s no one correct answer to this whole Carmelo debate. We’re all just fans sharing our opinions, and none of us has the right to dictate what Carmelo wants and what he doesn’t. He’s allowed to value winning, money, fame, a better situation for his family – whatever he wants. There’s a lot of factors we’re not considering, and a lot we don’t even know about. Can’t we all just agree that this is a free country, Carmelo has the right to make whatever choice is best for him, and none of us really has the knowledge or the perspective to judge him for it?
Evans, Evans, Evans and Evans: Yeah, all right.