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Carmelo Anthony thinks he influenced LeBron James to go back to Cleveland

LeBron-James-Carmelo-AnthonyYou know why LeBron James decided he wanted to return home to Cleveland and attempt to finish what he started? Carmelo Anthony inspired him. How do we know this? Carmelo said so.

During a recent chat with Michael Strahan for AdWeek, Anthony was asked if LeBron’s decision to return to the Cavaliers influenced him to re-sign with the New York Knicks.

“No. Honestly, I think it was the other way around,” he told Strahan. “I think he saw when I came back home to New York and saw the response and saw the reaction and saw how at peace I was when I came back home. … I’m pretty sure he looked at that moment and saw that that was a very special moment, and he had the opportunity to go back home himself and regain that love.”

That’s cute. Maybe I’m missing something, but I find the fact that Carmelo thinks his situation had an affect on LeBron’s to be pretty funny. Anthony was “at peace” when he returned home to New York because he was unhappy in Denver and wanted a shot at winning a championship. He thought the Knicks could give him that. LeBron is returning home to finish what he started, and if he didn’t have two championship rings already he probably wouldn’t have even gone back to Cleveland.

James returned to Cleveland because he wants to complete his legacy. He knows it is unlikely that he’s going to catch Jordan’s six rings, so now he has a chance to do something no player has ever done — come back to the place he betrayed and try to win a championship. Anthony’s story is nothing like that.

Oh, and let’s not forget that LeBron grew up in Akron, Ohio. Carmelo moved to Baltimore when he was a young boy and even has a tattoo that represents West Baltimore. He also had Orioles logos on his old car calls Baltimore his hometown on his charity website.

Again, it’s cute that ‘Melo thinks he played a role in the biggest story of the sports year.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Business opportunities factor in Carmelo Anthony’s return to Knicks

Carmelo Anthony KnicksWhen Carmelo Antony opted out of his contract with the New York Knicks, many expected him to return to the Big Apple after testing the free agent waters. That’s exactly what happened when Anthony signed a five-year, $124 million contract to return to stay in New York after visits with the Bulls and Lakers.

Anthony mentioned his desire to win and belief in Phil Jackson among the reasons he decided to remain with the Knicks. The first part of that was met with sentence was met with laughs and snickers considering the Bulls presented a better opportunity to be successful in the immediate future.

The money Anthony will make over the life of his new contract was obviously played a part in re-signing, but so did interests outside of Madison Square Garden. Speaking a business summit in Manhattan, Anthony talked about business interests in New York and how they weren’t ignored during decision making process.

“I just couldn’t leave from that perspective,” he said at the Bloomberg Sports Business Summit in Manhattan via Newsday. “There were so many opportunities that I started to build upon here in New York City, business opportunities, different situations.

“I just felt if I was to leave, I would have to start all over in the next place, meet new people, build that foundation up once again, and it took me a lot to build that foundation and get it up and going to where it’s at right now.”

If you want to build yourself into a brand, there aren’t many better places to do so than in New York City. Those ventures will be of use when Anthony’s playing days are over and it’s never to early to start thinking about life after basketball.

As for the winning part, Anthony may have to wait a bit for that. Derek Fisher will be in his first year as head coach during the upcoming season so we will have to see how that works out and the team will gain salary cap space in 2015, but what they do with it is yet to be determined.

H/T Eye On Basketball

Jim Boeheim: Carmelo Anthony would have been better off with Bulls

jim-boeheimJim Boeheim believes Carmelo Anthony would have been better off signing with the Chicago Bulls than remaining with the New York Knicks — at least from a basketball standpoint.

Boeheim, who coached Anthony on Syracuse’s 2003 NCAA national championship team, basically said Monday that he thinks Carmelo would have a better chance of winning in Chicago.

“Just from a basketball point of view it would have been better to go to Chicago because they’ve got better players,” Boeheim told Ian Begley of ESPNewYork.com. “But he wanted to be in New York and he wants to see if they can turn it around there. I think that’s a great thing.”

Anthony’s decision probably had a lot to do with the $50 million more the Knicks were able to offer him. I don’t care who you are or how much money you have made — turning down that kind of sum is extremely difficult. Plus, New York brightened its future by hiring Phil Jackson as head of its basketball operations department. If not for that move, Boeheim believes ‘Melo would have moved on.

[Related: Jim Boeheim told Carmelo Anthony not to be afraid to leave New York]

“He stayed because he believes Phil,” he said. “Derek Fisher, he knows the game. If you’re going to pick a coach who hasn’t coached, he would be the guy I would pick. I think he’s a great choice. I talked to Derek a little bit. I think he’s really smart. I think he’ll be a really good coach. I think they’ll show significant improvement this year. If they get a couple of guys down the road, I think they’ll be good.”

Carmelo is banking on significant improvement. Last season was the first time in his 11-year NBA career that Anthony did not play in a postseason game. He said earlier this week that he is certain the Knicks will not miss the playoffs again.

“Yeah, I think so for sure,” Anthony said when asked if New York will make the postseason, via Fred Kerber of the New York Post. “Absolutely.”

With Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson and a healthy Derrick Rose, it would be surprising if the Bulls aren’t better than the Knicks next season. Boeheim certainly isn’t the only person who sees that.

Carmelo Anthony getting skinny to better fit triangle offense

Carmelo-Anthony

Carmelo Anthony appears to be on the LeBron James diet, as a recent photo the New York Knicks star posted on Instagram showed him looking very slim. Like James, Anthony has entered the second half of his career and is making more of an effort to preserve his health. He also wants to keep up with the triangle offense.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Anthony had Phil Jackson’s famous system in mind when he decided to shed some weight.

“He wants to be as athletic as he was when he was a rookie,” a source told Berman. “Plus he wants to be a facilitator in the triangle and speed will help that.”

Carmelo was listed at 240 pounds with the Knicks last season, but many believe he was closer to 250. When he first entered the league with the Denver Nuggets in 2003, Anthony was listed at 230.

Carmelo has supposedly gone to a mostly no-carb diet, which is the same thing LeBron is doing. Jackson’s offense, which we all know has won championships, has a lot of moving parts. Anthony is clearly committed to helping it work.

Carmelo Anthony is also skinny

Carmelo-Anthony

LeBron James isn’t the only NBA superstar who has gotten noticeably skinnier since the season ended. Carmelo Anthony, whose season ended a lot sooner than LeBron’s, also appears to have shed some extra weight.

Anthony posted a photo on Instagram Monday that shows him looking pretty slim. It’s probably not a coincidence that he is roughly the same age as LeBron, as ‘Melo is seven months older than James and turned 30 in May.

Like LeBron, Carmelo is likely trying to prolong his career by getting into better shape. It also wouldn’t hurt for him to get a bit quicker so he can get open for all of those shots he likes to take. Who’s up next?

Derrick Rose ‘disappointed’ Carmelo Anthony chose Knicks

Derrick RoseDerrick Rose does not like putting himself out there and recruiting players to the Chicago Bulls, but that does not mean he does not want superstars joining him on the team.

Rose was hoping the Bulls would be able to sign Carmelo Anthony in free agency and admitted he was disappointed they didn’t.

“I mean, who wouldn’t be disappointed?’’ Rose said Monday via the Chicago Sun-Times. “Of course. But at the same time, you can’t be mad at the decision he made. If you put yourself in that decision, that’s a hard decision. You got your family to think about. You got money to think about. Not to say you should think about money. But when you’re talking about millions and millions of dollars, you can’t just put that behind you. So I’m not mad with the decision that he made and I wish him nothing but the best.’’

‘Melo chose to re-sign with the Knicks and got an extra year and about $40 million guaranteed compared to the offer he had from the Bulls. He recently admitted that his decision came down to returning to New York or going to Chicago.

The response from Rose is notable because his attitude makes it seem like he doesn’t care about free agents even though he does. It’s just not in his personality to be a recruiter.

At least the Bulls weren’t totally left out in free agency; they signed Pau Gasol, but they did release Carlos Boozer. Their success next season, as usual, depends on Rose’s health.

Carmelo Anthony explains why he chose to re-sign with Knicks

Carmelo Anthony glazed donut face

Carmelo Anthony had no shortage of suitors in free agency, but the high-scoring forward decided to re-sign with the New York Knicks. Anthony says that is because he believes the Knicks are close to competing for a title and far from the rebuilding mode many believe they’re in.

“I want to win. I don’t care about the money,” Anthony told ESPN.com. “I believe Phil (Jackson) will do what he has to do to take care of that.

“I don’t think we’re that far away,” he added. “People use ‘rebuilding’ too loosely.”

While the Knicks were an embarrassing 37-45 last season, they were competitive the previous season and went 54-28 while reaching the conference semis. Maybe ‘Melo figures that having a new coach, new system and some new players will help them become winners again.

Anthony also said his free agency decision was hard to make and that he was strongly considering the Bulls.

“I was flip-flopping,” he admitted. “It was hard. It was Chicago, but then after I met with L.A., it was L.A. But it came back to Chicago — and was pretty much always Chicago or New York. That’s a situation where I could have walked in now to an opportunity to compete for the next however many years.”

Based on Anthony’s comments, that report saying the Lakers were in the mix for him was accurate.

The Knicks will have somewhat of a different roster after trading Ray Felton and Tyson Chandler to the Mavericks for Jose Calderon, Sam Dalembert, Shane Larkin and Wayne Ellington. They also drafted Cleanthony Early. The changes led ‘Melo to say it feels like the Knicks have a new team.