Carmelo Anthony was recently asked if he’d consider leaving the New York Knicks when he becomes a free agent in either 2018 or 2019. Anthony laughed the question off and, told reporters that he’s here to stay.
Anthony doubled down on his commitment to the Knicks on Monday, October 5.
Anthony’s, “Here to stay,” comments made quite a splash in the basketball community. His public support of the organization appears to grow by the day, and that makes him all the more appealing to the New York masses.
According to Marc Berman of The New York Post, Anthony has two words for people who wonder if he’d waive his no-trade clause—before 2018, of course—in the event of New York underwhelming again: “Hell no.”
"Asked Monday if he would seek a move if the Knicks’ season goes wayward, Anthony said, “No, hell no. For me to get to this point, then decide this is not what it’s going to be, I already came this far. I don’t even come across my mind at this point.’’"
“Hell no.” That’s the end of that.
The general belief is that Anthony forced a trade from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks in 2011. Thus, he’s battled the stigma of a player who would quit on his team when times get hard.
Anthony did plenty of damage control when he re-signed with the Knicks, but even then his critics implied that he cared more about money than winning.
For Anthony, his reputation and relationship with the media has often bred lose-lose situations. Even in his greatest of moments, rumors have run rampant and speculation has remained strong.
Per Berman, Anthony called the media out for that history of alleged misrepresentation.
"Anthony said all the reports of his disgruntlement are off base…“It’s a long list,’’ Anthony said. “The draft pick [of Kristaps Porzingis] was one. Me waiving my trade clause, not wanting to be here. Just every day it was another team that I was going to be traded to. I was in everybody’s trade this offseason, so after a while, at first it’s like, ‘OK, I know it’s not true, it’s stupid.’“Then after a while it gets old. You’ve got to walk around and you’ve got to hear the people, fans are asking, you’ve got to deal with that everywhere you go, family, downtown. So things like that starts to get overwhelming at times.”"
It’s hard to say Anthony is anything but entitled to complain.
In an era where players leave mediocre teams to form super-teams, Anthony trusted New York to build around him. Despite passing up the opportunity to potentially win immediately with the Chicago Bulls for a chance to develop something long-term, he’s been harshly criticized.
Somehow, Anthony is paying the price for doing what most fans demand of the contemporary stars and superstars: believing in himself as a true franchise player.
Overcoming the absence of support accurately summarizes Anthony’s experience with the Knicks and the relentless New York media. Fortunately, he’s responded to the stress by channeling it into a seemingly undying passion for his team.
The question is, can Anthony silence the rest of his critics by leading the Knicks to the playoffs in 2015-16? If he does, there won’t be much left to say.
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