Carmelo Anthony was the face of the New York Knicks for close to a decade, but should the franchise retire his jersey? It’s a layered situation.
According to Marc Stein of The New York Times, Carmelo Anthony will sign with the Houston Rockets for the veteran’s minimum. Anthony will join his fourth team, including his third in the last three years, while seeking his first NBA championship.
Anthony received meme-worthy level of criticism for his style of play during his time in Oklahoma City, as he posted career-lows in points, assists, and minutes played. With the prime of his career squarely in the rear view, disgruntled fans have made the Mr. Fantastic reach to say that Anthony is not a Hall of Fame player.
ESPN’s Zach Lowe balked at the idea that Melo wouldn’t make the Basketball Hall of Fame during his latest podcast.
While questions of Anthony’s career achievement earning his access to basketball’s highest honor is dumbfounded, his relationships in the NBA are legitimate. Anthony’s tenure with the Knicks ended in controversies stemming from his relationship with then team president Phil Jackson.
With both Jackson and Anthony gone, the Knicks have looked to rebuild the right way. Once his career is complete, would ‘Melo look for the organization to embrace him? Can the two sides work together to one day honor Anthony with a retirement jersey ceremony?
Or is the damage to much for the two sides to ever reconcile?
After weeks of ongoing discussions, Anthony received his wish and was shipped from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks in February of 2011. The Knicks traded away multiple players and draft picks in order to obtained the then 26-year-old, five-time All-Star.
Images of Anthony alongside Amar’e Stoudemire had Knicks fans dreaming of finally hoisting the Larry O’Brien Trophy down fifth avenue.
The dreams were quickly cast aside and replaced with multiple first-round exists, ultimatums between Melo and the head coach, and Linsanity. The Knicks proceeded to only win one playoff series during Melo’s tenure, paired with three first-round exists, and a four-year playoff drought.
While Anthony made the All-Star team every season he played for the Knicks, they never had any sustained success in the NBA.
Before Anthony and Stoudemire joined the Knicks, the last All-Star player for the team was David Lee. With Stoudemire often out of the lineup with injuries, ‘Melo was the one constant in a hurricane of dysfunction.
‘Melo is top 10 in points scored, field goals made, field goals attempted, three-point field goals attempted, three-point field goals made, and minutes played. Anthony averaged 24.7 points, shot 44.3 percent from the field, and made six All-Star Game appearances.
Anthony made the Charlotte Bobcats go back to the Hornets after this game.
Despite all the issues that plagued the Knicks in the decade, ‘Melo provided the fans with excitement and major highlights. Things clearly didn’t end the way he envisioned, but Anthony was one of the few players who decided to take on the challenge of playing in New York City.
Verdict: No Ceremony
While Anthony will be remembered for his time in the NBA, his legacy in New York was filled turmoil, scandals, and controversy. Instead of winning the scoring title, fans will look at his beef with former (and now new) head coach Mike D’Antoni.
The Knicks’ 54-win-team is looked upon as a mirage instead of a foundation. And his All-Star Game appearances are now flat.
Carmelo Anthony did a lot for the New York Knicks, but the verdict is no ceremony.