Manhattan Horror Story: Carmelo Anthony


He was born in Brooklyn. He grew up a Knicks fan. He wanted to play for the New York Knicks when no one else did. He was thrilled about Madison Square Garden when no one else cared anymore. He loved the bright lights of New York City. He won a National Championship at Syracuse University.

He was supposed to be a Knick. All that hype is long gone. Instead of being the franchise’s savior, just five short seasons later he is the most criticized player since Patrick Ewing. How did it get this bad? That story is a complicated one.

More from Daily Knicks

The Knicks gambled their future in a trade that sent six players and multiple draft picks to the Denver Nuggets for Carmelo Anthony and Chauncey Billups on February 22, 2011. The blockbuster deal came two days before the trade deadline and brought a much-needed buzz back to Madison Square Garden. Anthony struggled to get used to new coach Mike D’Antoni’s offense and the season ended with New York getting swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round.

2011-12 was different. In his first full season with the team, fans expected more. However Anthony continued to clash with D’Antoni. Of course the superstar won that battle and D’Antoni resigned after the team started with a disappointing 18-24 record. He was replaced with assistant coach, Mike Woodson. Anthony flourished under the new regime.

The 2012-13 season was the best one for the Knicks since the Jeff Van Gundy era. Anthony won the scoring title (28.4 points per game) and the team won 54 games. The Knicks were the two seed in the Eastern Conference and won their first Playoffs series since 2000. It looked like the Knicks were back. They at least had something to look forward to. They were wrong.

More from Knicks News

The 2013-14 season was a giant setback. Anthony played brilliantly again. He averaged 27.4 points per game, 8.1 rebounds, and perhaps most impressively he led the league in minutes played with 38.7 per game, per After starting off 3-13, the team never really escaped that funk and finished just 37-45. The season marked a few important outcomes for Carmelo, his handpicked coach Mike Woodson was let go. The dynamic duo that never materialized was finally put to bed when the Knicks gave up on the idea of Amar’e Stoudemire as a starter. It was clearly time for a change.

Mar 18, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks new president of basketball of operations

Phil Jackson

is introduced at a press conference at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: William Perlman/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

Enter Phil Jackson. The coaching legend signed a mega-deal to be President of Basketball Operations and appointed his protege Derek Fisher the head coach. Jackson cleaned house. He cut ties with incumbents Tyson Chandler, Raymond Felton, J.R. Smith, and Iman Shumpert, and Amar’e Stoudemire.

Suddenly the Knicks weren’t Carmelo Anthony’s team anymore, they were Phil Jackson’s. His looming presence from the stands carried more weight than Anthony’s did in his few appearances on the court.

Last year was a disaster of epic proportions. There’s no doubt about it. But the offseason pushed forward a plan based around first round pick Kristaps Porzingis. They have a long way to go and they know it. New York doesn’t want to rush anything and showed that with their free agent spending.

The Knicks are rebuilding from the bottom. They look destined for another bad year. How many more nightmares can Carmelo take? He doesn’t need to languish at the bottom when there are other teams that would love to take on his services. He will have important personal decisions to make in the 2015-16 season. We all look forward to it.

What will be the ending to the story of the Brooklyn born hero turned Manhattan present-day villain?