Carmelo Anthony: I’m not leaving New York Knicks in free agency

carmelo-anthonyCarmelo Anthony is eligible to become a free agent after the upcoming season if he chooses to opt out of his current contract with the New York Knicks. He is due to make $23.3 million during the 2014-2015 season, but plenty of teams would be lining up to offer him a max contract if he opts out next summer. As of now, Anthony says he has no intention of leaving New York.

“I’m not going nowhere,” Carmelo said during an interview on Bloomberg Television Tuesday, via Newsday’s Al Iannazzone.

Wait, not going nowhere? Doesn’t that mean he’s going somewhere because of the whole double negative thing? For this sake of this discussion, we’ll assume he meant to say “anywhere.”

If Anthony does choose to opt out, the Knicks could offer him a five-year, $129 million contract whereas other teams could only offer a four-year, $96 million deal. As we learned with Dwight Howard over the summer, that doesn’t necessarily mean he won’t skip town. However, ‘Melo insists he wants to bring a championship to New York.

“That is one of the reasons why I wanted to come here to New York, just so I could take on those pressures and those challenges,” Anthony said. “A lot of people do not like to deal with the pressure. A lot of people do not know how to deal with the challenges they face. To me, it is everyday life.”

At age 29, jumping to another team would make little sense for Anthony. The Knicks should be improved next season with the addition of Andrea Bargnani, and the best thing for Carmelo’s legacy would be to prove he can take a team in a championship drought like New York and bring them a title. That being said, don’t be surprised if Anthony wants out if the Knicks fall short of expectations this year.

H/T Black Sports Online

Carmelo Anthony: Andrea Bargnani trade was a ‘steal’ for New York Knicks

andrea-bargnaniThe New York Knicks made a fairly significant splash earlier this offseason when they acquired Andrea Bargnani from the Toronto Raptors. The 7-foot center has played in only 66 games over the past two seasons because of injuries, but he should be able provide the Knicks with some much-needed front court offense if healthy.

While in Las Vegas coaching his Team Melo summer league program, Carmelo Anthony was asked about the moves the Knicks have made this offseason. Overall, he seemed pleased with the front office.

“I’ve been staying under the radar,” Anthony told ESPN.com on Tuesday. “I let them do what they do. We got [Metta World Peace], and I think [Andrea] Bargnani was really a steal for us. He’ll help us spread the floor. We got J.R. [Smith] back and we kept the core guys together.”

Smith is expected to miss 3-4 months after undergoing knee surgery, though New York invested a lot of money in him with a four-year, $24.7 million extension earlier this month. The World Peace signing will give the Knicks depth and experience in addition to bolstering their defense. However, Anthony did acknowledge that the Brooklyn Nets have made the sexier moves.

“It’s special what [Brooklyn] did,” Carmelo added. “J-Kidd will have four or five future Hall of Famers. I played with him for a year and also with USA Basketball and I know his mentality. He knows the game. It won’t be hard for him to deal with those guys because he’ll put them in position and only have to tell them things one time.”

The Nets certainly grabbed more headlines than the Knicks, but that isn’t always a good thing. The product on the court has to live up to the hype. New York was closer to being a championship contender than Brooklyn last season, so the Knicks didn’t necessarily need to do as much as the Nets to improve. Time will tell if either team has done enough.

Carmelo Anthony reportedly wanted New York Knicks to trade for Rajon Rondo

Kobe-Bryant-Carmelo-AnthonyWith all the salary cap space the Los Angeles Lakers are expected to have in 2014 after losing Dwight Howard to the Houston Rockets, there has been some speculation that they could make a run at a big name free agent like Carmelo Anthony. Anthony and Bryant have a close relationship, and there have been some rumblings that ‘Melo is not thrilled with the direction of the New York Knicks.

One of those rumblings came from Marc Berman of the NY Post, who claims Anthony was hoping the Knicks would try to trade for Rajon Rondo when it became clear the Boston Celtics were blowing up their roster. According to Berman, Carmelo feels Rondo would be the “perfect piece” in New York and would be extra motivated to get the best of Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett, who are now with the Brooklyn Nets.

For now, it appears that Boston is planning to build around Rondo and new head coach Brad Stevens. By re-signing JR Smith, the Knicks may not have left themselves with enough money to pursue any significant outside free agents. New York did trade for Andrea Bargnani last month, but it doesn’t sound like that is a move Anthony believes will bring the team to the next level.

Simply put, it appears the Knicks have to build a championship contender right now to keep Anthony around after next season. That could mean bringing in Rondo or another impact player, or it could mean rolling the dice with what they currently have. Either way, don’t expect Anthony to feel any type of loyalty toward New York if the Knicks underachieve again next year.

But Kobe and Carmelo on the same team, with the way they both love launching up shots? I can’t see that happening.

H/T SB Nation

Jim Boeheim rips Knicks, defends Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo-Anthony-Knicks-DefenseAfter an impressive showing against the Boston Celtics in the opening round of the NBA playoffs, the New York Knicks barely put up a fight against the Indiana Pacers. The team was ice cold offensively throughout most of the series and lost Game 6 on Saturday by a score of 106-99, despite Carmelo Anthony’s 39 points on 15 of 29 shooting.

Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim, who coached Anthony during the Orange’s national championship season in 2003, is not surprised the Knicks were bounced from the playoffs. Simply put, he feels that Carmelo was doing everything by himself.

“Not on that team,” Boeheim told the Syracuse Post-Standard when asked if Anthony can win an NBA title. “He did what he can do. He played very well the final game. Everybody’s killing him but Tyson Chandler just didn’t try to catch the ball. He threw him the ball and Tyson Chandler (dodged it). He was wide open. He should have been looking for the ball right here. Kenyon Martin should have been looking for the ball. They both went like this (Boeheim dodged his head). Carmelo gets turnovers and the announcers aren’t smart enough to even think, ‘Well, the guy should try to catch the ball.’”

Boeheim took most of the Knicks to task, adding that JR Smith (who is reportedly sticking around in New York for a while) and Raymond Felton “weren’t great players” on their former teams and now the Knicks are asking them to do too much. But he seemed particularly frustrated with Chandler.

“Tyson Chandler claims he never gets the ball,” Boeheim said.” He doesn’t try to get the ball. He had two points and (Roy) Hibbert had 21.”

He wasn’t done there.

“In Miami the second and third options are Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh,” Boeheim continued. “Your fourth option is Ray Allen, who is still in good shape. Your fifth option is Shane Battier, who is still a good player. The New York Knicks have who?”

Boeheim said he told his son during Game 6 that Anthony would have to score 50 for New York to win. He also blamed the Knicks’ offensive scheme, saying Carmelo has to run an isolation offense and go one-on-one too often. He’s right. Anthony is a great player, but he’s not Kobe Bryant or LeBron James. The Knicks aren’t going to win a title with him taking 30 shots a game.

H/T NY Post

Roy Hibbert had an amazing block on Carmelo Anthony; Stephen A. Smith was not impressed (Video)

Roy Hibbert blockRoy Hibbert had an amazing block on Carmelo Anthony in the fourth quarter of Game 6 between the Indiana Pacers and New York Knicks that was a major turning point in the game.

The Knicks were up 92-90 with around five minutes left and looked like they might send the Eastern Conference semifinals series to a seventh game. The quarter had gone back-and-forth and was a one-possession game for the first seven minutes. But that’s when Hibbert changed the game.

The Pacers center came over to defend the rim after Anthony spun around Paul George and headed for a baseline dunk. He managed to stuff Melo’s dunk attempt at the rim. The ESPN replay showed the struggle between the two at the rim and how Hibbert’s strength stood up to ‘Melo’s. It was a thing of beauty.

The block sparked the Pacers; they went on a 9-0 run and won 106-99 to end the series. They outscored the Knicks 16-7 after the block, which was Hibbert’s fifth of the game.

Carmelo credited Hibbert for causing “havoc” in the paint. Everyone viewed it as a major turning point. But the only one unwilling to heap praise on Hibbert for the play was ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who said he wasn’t about to throw Hibbert “a cookie” for the play.

“It was a pivotal play in the game, no doubt about it, but I’m not about to throw him a cookie. He is 7-feet-2 for crying out loud. It’s nice to see him get up and block that shot,” Smith said after the game.

“That particular play, as great of a block as it was, I guess, you’re 7-feet-2. A guy 6-foot-8 is coming your way. I expect you to be able to make that play. That’s what you’re on the court for. I’m not about to give him cookies and milk for that.”

You can see his comments below:

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Carmelo Anthony: Why is everybody mad LeBron James wasn’t unanimous MVP?

Carmelo-Anthony-KnicksLeBron James won the NBA’s MVP award on Sunday, but he fell one vote shy of being a unanimous selection. The writer who did not vote for LeBron, Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe, wrote a column on Monday defending his decision to give Carmelo Anthony a first-place vote. Not surprisingly, ‘Melo doesn’t see what all the fuss is about.

“As far as the guy in Boston, I don’t know why he catches so much flak for that,” Anthony said after Game 2 against the Pacers, via the NY Daily News. “He has the right to vote for whoever he want. LeBron won the MVP. Why is everybody so mad that he didn’t win it unanimously? … Thank you.”

Of course Carmelo understands why Washburn voted for him, even though 120 other voters felt LeBron was the obvious choice. A lot of people think Washburn only voted for someone other than James to make a point and be different, but it’s not as if he voted for a bench player.

Anthony led the NBA in scoring with 28.7 points per game and has carried the Knicks for a large portion of the season. Washburn said he felt Carmelo was more important to the Knicks than LeBron is to the Heat, which is a tough argument to make. Not only is LeBron one of the best offensive players in the game, he was also in the running for Defensive Player of the Year honors. Anthony is more of a scorer than an all-around threat like James.

In any event, we know who Carmelo would have voted for.

H/T Pro Basketball Talk

Gary Washburn defends decision to vote for Carmelo Anthony as MVP over LeBron

Carmelo-Anthony-KnicksLeBron James won his fourth NBA MVP trophy on Sunday, falling just one first-place vote shy of being a unanimous selection. LeBron received 120 of the 121 possible first-place votes and, during Sunday’s award ceremony at American Airlines Arena, he speculated that a New York writer was the one who voted for Carmelo Anthony over him.

“It’s probably a writer out of New York that didn’t give me the vote,” James said, via ESPN.com. “I know the history between the Heat and the Knicks. So I get it.”

He guessed wrong.

Anthony’s lone vote was cast by the Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn. LeBron assumed it was a New York writer fueling the rivalry between the Knicks and Heat, but the Celtics and Heat dislike each other just as much. However, Washburn attempted to explain his decision — one that he says had nothing to do with rivalries or a personal agenda — in a column on Monday morning.

…this isn’t the Best Player in the Game award, it’s the Most Valuable Player award, and I think what Anthony accomplished this season was worthy of my vote. He led the Knicks to their first division title in 19 years.

That’s a long time ago.

Anthony led the league in scoring average and basically carried an old Knicks team to the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference. Amar’e Stoudemire missed most of the season with knee issues, Raymond Felton missed six weeks, and Tyson Chandler dealt with nagging injuries, leaving Anthony, J.R. Smith, and a bunch of lottery picks from the mid-1990s to win 54 games and beat the Miami Heat three times.

Washburn sternly opposed the notion that he voted for Carmelo simply to go against the grain, insisting he did not go around asking the other voters who they were voting for. He also said he was surprised that he was the only person who didn’t give LeBron a first-place vote, which seems hard to believe when more than 100 other people did it. His argument is simply that Anthony has made the Knicks relevant again.

This isn’t the first time it has seemed like a first-place vote given to a player for no reason and it certainly won’t be the last. It happens every year in almost every sport. That being said, the NBA does not reveal the names of voters. Kudos to Washburn for coming forward and trying to validate his decision.