Is New York Really A Good Fit For Melo?

Choosing New York wouldn't be the best choice for Carmelo Anthony.

Where do you think Carmelo Anthony will end up?

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The rumor mills have certainly heated up between Carmelo Anthony and New York, especially after LeBron James made his so-called ‘Decision’. And it seems inevitable that Anthony will be playing in a New York Knicks jersey next year, especially after New Orleans Hornets disgruntle point guard Chris Paul toasted to ‘The Next Big Three’ in New York  at Melo’s wedding- meaning that Paul and Anthony are destined to join Amar’e Stoudemire’s services with the Knickerbockers.

But, outside of Knicks fans dreaming of Anthony playing in Madison Square Garden as early as November, Melo and the Knicks aren’t a great fit.

Six-Year Drought

What seems to be the top reason for Anthony to be jumping ship from Denver is the Nuggets porous 12-30 postseason record over the previous seven years. But it doesn’t make much sense to leave a team with a bad postseason record for a team that has a bad regular season record. The Knicks have played in a mere four playoff games in seven years and has exactly zero wins to the Nuggets’ 12.

Nor does it make much sense leaving a squad that has posted a 338-236, and has won over 50 games the previous three years for a team that is 212-362 and has lost 50 games the last three years.

Lets not forget that the Knicks made some moves upwards last year, by adding Stoudemire, Anthony Randolph and Raymond Felton. But they go along the normal New York sexy moves that has been the reason why the Knicks have lost more than 60 percent of their games the last six years. Stoudemire is a similar pickups as Jerome James and Stephon Marbury in the past.

Stoudemire is playing with used knees and messed up eyes, and not to mention he left the services of one of the best point guard’s in the League for money. He has played exactly six playoff games without Nash by his size and his statistics are destined to drop this next season.

Anthony Randolph, another sexy pick, has missed 68 games over the previous two seasons, and Ronny Turial is actually the most decorated Knicks player next season (he won the title with the Los Angeles Lakers in 2008).

But hey Paul is on his way to New York in exactly two years, but that is two years away – a lot changes in two seasons.

A Legacy

Another strong argument for Anthony to head to the Big Apple is what New York has to offer. As Jay-Z put it in Empire State of Mind,

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of,
Theres nothing you can’t do,
Now you’re in New York,
These streets will make you feel brand new,
The lights will inspire you,
Lets here it for New York, New York, New York

And no doubt if Anthony were to don on a Knicks uniform he’d be arguably the greatest player to ever play in New York- much like he is already considered the best player to play for the Nuggets.

However, if you weighed the pros and cons of Melo going to New York or staying in Denver, Anthony’s legacy would be better served staying in Denver than going to the limelight of the United States.

  • If you look at the all-time greats in the NBA, they all/or mostly played the majority of their careers with one team, Michael Jordan (came back to play with Washington Wizards when he was 39 years old) played with the Bulls in his prime, Larry Bird stayed in Boston, Magic Johnson was in Los Angeles, Isiah Thomas stayed in Detroit and even now a days Kobe Bryant has made a living with the Lakers. There have been a few that switched teams during their playing careers, but who do you want to be next the new Jordan or next Charles Barkley?
  • And for all that New York gives you, they don’t give you a legacy in the NBA. Sure you have Walt ‘The Clyde’ Frazier and Willis Reed, but that was back in the 1970s. The best player to play for the Knicks in the last 25 years was Patrick Ewing and he was overshadowed by Hakeem Olajuwon, David Robinson and Shaquille O’Neal – who all played for smaller markets.
    Ewing did finish his career averaging 21 points and 9.8 rebounds and playing 15 of his 17 years in New York, but he is an afterthought compared to Olajuwon, Robinson and O’Neal.
  • In Denver, Dikembe Mutombo wasn’t anything close to Olajuwon, Robinson, O’Neal or Ewing, but his legacy is huge. He played a mere five seasons in Denver, but will always be remembered as Mt. Mutombo and the stunning upset victory over top-seeded Seattle Supersonics.

There’s No D In New York

No offense to Mike D’Antoni’s coaching style, the guy can coach an offensive game and can guide his teams to 50-plus

Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire would be a pretty weak defensive duo.

wins – with the right personal. However, for all of the credit he gets, D’Antoni has played in exactly zero NBA Finals and part of the reason is the lack of defense his team plays.

And Anthony isn’t one that is known for his defense and teams will run none stop backdoor cuts on him, if him and Stoudemire are on the floor together.

Another issue with a marriage between D’Antoni and Anthony, would be the flow of the game. Anthony, much like James or Dwayne Wade, is more affective with the ball in his hands – but D’Antoni’s offense is more successful fast-paced and free-flowing in non-stop pick-and-rolls. Anthony isn’t one to run too many pick and rolls.

Going East

If Anthony was to leave, there would be no doubt he’d head to the Eastern Conference, but no guarantee to New York. Two teams that have a good mix of young players and veterans who could use Anthony’s services and would be a better fit for Anthony than the Knicks are the Bulls and Wizards.

Chicago is coming into its own behind the exciting play of the young duo of point guard Derrick Rose and center Joakim Noah and newly acquired Carlos Boozer. Adding Anthony would give the Bulls the ideal team to matchup with the Miami Heat and Los Angeles Lakers, especially with a defensive coach like Tom Thibodeau.

While the Wizards are still a few steps behind the Bulls, but adding a player like a young point guard like John Wall carries more weight than somebody like Stoudemire. And considering Washington also has the cash to add max players next offseason makes them just as appealing as the Knicks pre-Paul stage.

(Photos by Jonathan Maness)

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Tags: Amare Stoudemire Anthony Randolph Carlos Boozer Carmelo Anthony Chauncey Billups Chicago Bulls Chris Paul Denver Nuggets Derrick Rose John Wall Mike D'Antoni New York Knicks Ronny Turiaf Washington Wizards

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