Carmelo Gets PAID By The Knicks, Which Is A Good Thing For Both Sides

Posted: July 12, 2014 in Basketball, Knicks, Sports, Uncategorized
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Well, there you have it. The biggest domino of the Knicks offseason (LeBron was never a true possibility) has fallen in the Knicks favor.  Say what you want about Carmelo, but he is a legit superstar that has proven he can handle the pressures that come with playing in New York City.  There were not many enticing Plan B’s out there if Melo had wanted to leave.  The Bulls were reportedly very hesitant to include any real assets in a sign & trade and the Lakers didn’t have much to offer period.  One rumor that was floating around on draft night was the possibility of the Cavs sending Andrew Wiggins and cap fodder to New York in order to pair Anthony with the soon-to-be-signed LeBron James, which would have been VERY intriguing.  The Knicks would get a possible superstar earning pennies compared to the near-max contract Carmelo was expected to receive and give the Knicks a chance to build from the bottom.  But since that is not going to happen, I will happily take the 2012-13 NBA scoring champion and see what Phil Jackson can build around him.

When the Knicks hired Phil Jackson, they didn’t just get a name.  They got a Team President that is both basketball-smart and book-smart.  Jackson will be looking for the right types of players to fit into his system, not ones that his marketing department or owner may want.  If he can continue putting together his plan with minimal distractions from the outside, I think he will form a real team around Melo.  The bright lights and financial appeal of NYC should HOPEFULLY attract another star next summer (preferably one with knees that can be insured).  Post-Shaq Kobe was known as a gunner without a conscience until Pau Gasol arrived.  Paul Pierce had a terrible reputation until Danny Ainge brought in Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.  And even then, Boston and Los Angeles would not have won a championship without role players like PJ Brown, James Posey, Derek Fisher, and Trevor Ariza.

Phil was able to reel Carmelo back in with the promise of a plan and more money than he could have made anywhere else.  Now the Zen Master needs to put that plan into action and build a legit team around his superstar.  Carmelo has the type of game and body that many scouts think will age better than even a physical freak like LeBron James.  I expect Melo to mature as he gets older and his basketball mortality becomes more apparent.  If Phil can get another superstar with next year’s cap room and fill out the rest of the roster with good role players that fit his system and vision, there is absolutely no reason the Knicks cannot contend for an NBA championship.  Any Knicks fan worth his/her salt knows that this will require some patience, luck, and the unlikely chance that Jim Dolan doesn’t fuck it all up.

Finally, Melo has been labeled as a player that cannot come through in the playoffs.  However, Carmelo’s playoff exits have come against the Timberwolves, Spurs, Clippers, Spurs again, Lakers, Lakers again, Jazz, Celtics, Heat, and Pacers.  With the exception of perhaps that Clippers series, Carmelo’s teams have clearly been the weaker team every time.  So it is on Jackson to give Melo a fighting chance with a good-to-great supporting cast, as quickly as 2015.  I don’t think that is too much to ask.

However, if the Knicks are one of the best teams in the East but don’t win a title the next few years, is it all really that bad?  Just watching these videos and hearing these songs make me smile, even if you have that pit of regret that the Knicks never won a ring when it is all said and done.  Go New York, Go New York Go…right?


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