Carmelo Anthony: To lead or not to lead, that is the question


Well Monday has passed meaning Carmelo Anthony has yet to make up his mind.

Anthony is now playing chess with Chris Bosh to see if he takes the bait in Houston. If he does, Miami will have cap space depending if Anthony, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James will maneuver the cap.

For the Heat and Pat Riley this would be a coup, for the NBA, not as much. It would mean the inmates are running the asylum.

Today’s athletes love to reiterate upon a trade, or not getting their way. “It’s a business.” Yes it is, but the San Antonio Spurs this offseason once again taught Anthony and James a lesson.

You don’t have to simply out maneuver other teams in the offseason, but play as a team during the season.

To date Patty Mills needed surgery. No problem, the Spurs still signed him.  Boris Diaw could have made more money in the open market, however, he remained a Spur. To me the Spurs set the standard. They win on the court. They play as a team. They are loyal to the city, the owners and the franchise.

The Boston Celtics used to know this. Danny Ainge, has forgotten this lesson. He allowed Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to leave as he acquired other assets. I believe the Celtics could have competed last year, yet they chose not to.

It is a business. Yes, but if you ask us the fans to be loyal, to worship our teams, our players, to buy your gear, to wear your uniform, to wear your number, give us some love and respect in return.

To the fans this is more than just a business, it is a major part of our lives, and it is our escape, our obsession. As we awake each day, take public transportation, eat pizza for lunch, stay at a Holiday Inn, we rush home to watch and adore our players, our team.  To us it is more than a business. It is a passion, an act of love.  All we ask from the players is some support, some appreciation, not the obligatory autograph.

Carmelo, my father taught me there are only three ways to lead in life
1. By example
2. By example
3. By example

What are you going to teach your family, your fans? What will your real legacy be, the man who couldn’t lead and positioned himself to get a ring?  Are you capable of leading your team, of being a king?

Now is your chance to lead, to win, to show us the fans, the writers, the everyday people that wear your jersey, scream your name, support you, that you love and appreciate us the fans.

That and $129 million reasons should be enough.

Here in New York, you are our King. In Miami James sits on the throne.

Carmelo, you are already a champion, you won the NCAA championship. Which by the way is more difficult and harder to win than an NBA championship.

Just ask Oscar Robertson, Julius Erving, Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Willis Reed, Bob Cousy, Moses Malone, John Stockton, Steve Nash, Bill Bradley, Walt Frazier and all the other greats that never won an NCAA championship.

They were just happy to make it to the NCAA’s. Heck, John Havelcek, who played on the great Ohio State team for four years, only won one NCAA championship, while winning numerous NBA championships. You have something that Kobe Bryant and LeBron could never have, never buy, an NCAA ring.

Plus Carmelo, you won a gold medal at the Olympics.  You don’t have to buy a ring to prove to New York you are a champion, you just have to stay and lead. That will define your legacy.

LA, Carmelo, think about this as you ponder your decision.  Kobe recruited Dwight Howard to LA and the irony is that he is now recruiting you to Houston.  Like others including Shaq before him, Kobe’s ego clashed with Howard.

Why would it be different for you? There’s only one King in LA. Howard learned the hard way. He is now the King of Houston.

Now consider your possible new mattes Lamar Odom, coach Fisher and Phil Jackson all exited LA and Kobe.  Just read Jackson’s book and his references to Kobe. There is a reason why so many exited LA. Rumor has it that since the passing of their father, the Buss family has been in turmoil, their record the last few years represents that.

Is this the Kingdom you want to rule?

New York embraces you, loves you and stands by you. The greats, come from New York.  You want a legacy, just ask Frazier or Reed, what it means to be in New York.

You could be Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Lawrence Taylor.  In New York you only need one ring and you become a God for life.

So, it is up to you, you can buy a championship, or maneuver to get one, or lead your team, your Knicks, to the promise land and you will have a legacy that will stand the test of time.

Carmelo, now is the time for you to lead.

Dr. Eric Kaplan is a Bestselling Author
Follow him on Twitter @drekaplan