Knicks: Nothing Can Come Between Carmelo and Porzingis


We’ve seen this story before. A franchise player is joined by a promising rookie whose early success causes the attention to shift from the driving force of the present day to the rising star of tomorrow.

A rift divides the two as jealousy, envy, and miscommunication sparks the temporary downfall of an NBA organization.

When it comes to the New York Knicks, a genuine fear exists that such a demise is inevitable. Carmelo Anthony is the $124 million man, but Kristaps Porzingis continues to dominate the positive headlines in New York’s unforgiving media market.

As told to Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports, Anthony won’t let anything come between the bond he’s developed with Porzingis.

"“I know what we have as teammates. Nobody can come between us despite what anybody says. Nobody,” Anthony told Yahoo Sports.“When things are going good, they put you way up there,” Anthony told Yahoo Sports. “When things are going bad, they kick the chair from underneath you. Those are experiences that he is going to have to go through. But if I can be there and be that guy who can grab him up and say everything is going to be all right, I’m going to do that …“I support him 100 percent. In New York they can run you in the ground with all that attention. I’m there to just let him know that when it’s good, it’s great.”"

Anthony has readily embraced the role of a mentor.

Anthony told reporters before the start of the 2015-16 that he would happily take on the role of a, “Big brother,” to Porzingis. The 20-year-old has since confirmed Anthony’s effort into developing their relationship by calling him a, “Mentor.”

Anthony’s wife, Lala Anthony, has even gone as far as stating that Porzingis is on his way to earning a permanent spot at their family dinner table.

Fearing that Anthony will be overcome by the shift in attention is founded in the history of the NBA. The relationship of Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal is a shining example of what can happen when a rising star receives touches and attention that previously went through a contemporary superstar.

Anthony doesn’t plan on letting what’s best for the team impact his relationship with Porzingis.

For a rookie who was labeled as a project player, Porzingis has been superb through 25 games. He’s averaging 13.6 points, 8.4 rebounds, 2.2 offensive boards, 1.0 assist, 1.8 blocks, 0.8 steal and 0.9 3-point field goal made in 27.3 minutes of court time per game.

He’s doing so on an efficient slash line of .441/.354/.842.

Impressive as those numbers may be, Anthony is still the go-to player—and with good reason. The Porzingis hype train is moving fast, but ‘Melo is averaging 8.2 more points per game than the rookie on a team that’s desperate for consistent offense.

It’s bigger than scoring, but New York is No. 11 in scoring defense and No. 23 in points scored per game. Thus, there aren’t many players more important than the select few who put points on the board.

No one on the roster does it better than Anthony.

Anthony has struggled with inefficiency, but he’s 24 regular season games into his return from knee surgery. For all of the talk that the Knicks have become Porzingis’ team, Anthony has done nothing but humbly maintain his work ethic as he attempts to get his legs back under him.

Next: Kristaps Porzingis doesn't believe he's hit the rookie wall

Most importantly, Anthony has done exactly what he’s said he would: he’s helped Porzingis every step of the way.