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.
“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.