The NBA Draft is rapidly approaching, and that means that over the next few days NBA fans get to experience the thoroughly obscure speculation and trade rumors synonymous with the event.
Names of stars are tossed around like flies and the talk of “franchise altering” decisions are prevalent in the days and weeks leading up to the draft. Bleacher Report’s TeamStream app spews out the names of every player on every roster, and radio shows are full of garbage speculation.
So I’m not going to speculate. I’m just going to make the case against the ideal big market star, and why, after some excessive Monday morning quarterbacking, it is evident that the Knicks should say so long to their “superstar.”
Carmelo Anthony may be the only player in the league who’s able to knock down 20 after shooting 1-for-15 from the field the night before. His scoring ability is potent, his defense at times looks Tyson Chandler-ish, and his mental toughness is prevalent as he manages to paste on a fake smile while being scorched by the Big Apple media.
In other words, since he’s come over from Denver to the media capital of the world, he’s excelled at being an icon.
Additionally, in a season in which nearly everything went wrong, Anthony wasn’t the problem. Averaging 27.4 points and shooting an acceptable 45.2 percent, he clearly wasn’t the root of the team’s problems when healthy.
The problem is that healthy is a key word. Knee problems have plagued him recently, and his style of bruising, below-the-rim basketball will likely force him to exit the game he’s excelled at earlier than anybody wants.
There’s also the idea that Phil Jackson’s beloved triangle offense — which was supposed to thrive under Derek Fisher’s watch — has not treated Anthony well. He just isn’t well equipped to assume the Michael Jordan role, and the crisp cuts and smooth passing supposedly synonymous with the triangle offense just aren’t there.
Then there’s the fact that Anthony doesn’t exactly bode well for the long-term rebuilding plans. His five-year, $124 million contract isn’t exactly helpful when you could be spending the cash on multiple other contributors.
With so much money allotted into one player, it’s pretty intriguing how the Knicks and Phil Jackson expect to be able to build a formidable roster to compliment their star. So Phil, please don’t listen to me. I’m a member of the media, you’re the President of Basketball Operations for the largest-market team in the game.
Don’t listen to the writer who advised against trading Tyson Chandler, bashed the idea of trading for late second-round picks in the 2014 NBA Draft, and ranted about trusting a rookie coach to elevate the Knicks to the pinnacle of the league.
Phil, Carmelo Anthony may be a star in a place where stars have the highest demand. But trust me when I say that we, the awfully faithful Knicks fans, would rather be hoisting the Finals trophy than watching Carmelo Anthony light up the score sheet in a meaningless regular season game.