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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Carmelo Anthony Returning Home to New York Knicks? He’s From Baltimore

Much like statistics, it’s amazing how much the truth can be manipulated in the interest of marketing. You’ve probably seen the TV commercial that was running all throughout the week leading up to Melo’s first game as a New York Knick — it was called “coming home.” It was an over-the-top production that actually worked, generating absurdly high ratings for his Knicks debut against the Bucks.

This whole week for Carmelo Anthony was about him returning home to New York to play for the Knicks. That’s left me confused because I always thought Melo was a Baltimore guy.

Though he was born in Brookyln, I’ve read that he moved to B-More when he was seven. When people in Baltimore talk about Melo, they say “We’re so proud of Carmelo here. Everybody talks about him all the time. He’s a hero.” Melo is considered an athlete who made it out of the rough areas on Myrtle Street.

When Carmelo got one of his first tattoos, it was Warner Brothers’ “WB” logo on his left shoulder to stand for West Baltimore, not a Manhattan skyline. When he sold his Chevy recently, it was decked out with Baltimore Orioles logos, not the iconic NY of the Yankees. Even on the website for his Giving Back Fund, it says they’re responsible for “making charitable donations in excess of $4 million for projects in [Carmelo’s] hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.”

Maybe most of this “Melo returning home” effort is based in marketing, but some of it is self-perpetuated. For instance, it didn’t help when Melo called playing for the Knicks an “ultimate dream” last month. He compounded the confusion when he asked rhetorically “Who wouldn’t want to go back home to play?” That was shocking to me given the way Melo repped Baltimore his entire life and career. Or maybe this is just another example of an athlete getting carried away with the bright lights of the big city, so consumed with himself he’s now disappointed two cities he used to call home.

So what is it Melo? Are you switching allegiances? You better make up your mind because you can’t have two different hometowns, only swaying based on what’s convenient at the moment.

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