On February 22nd, 2011, Carmelo Anthony was traded to the New York Knicks in a multiplayer deal from the Denver Nuggets, the only NBA team he had ever known. It is now the 2016-2017 NBA season and we have seen a young superstar grow into one of the greatest leaders the Knicks have ever had.
Sure, we haven’t won any championships since Walt Clyde Frazier played for the 1973 championship team. And of course, other teams have created dynasties right before our very eyes, virtually making it impossible for other teams to breakthrough to that next level.
However, there is something special cooking up in New York.
Interestingly enough, Phil Jackson was also on the 1973 championship Knicks team. He coached Michael Jordan’s Bulls, winning six rings, and he coached Kobe’s Lakers, winning five championships. The man could have retired in a blaze of glory, but instead took the title of President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks. The man is obviously not done; he’s got one more trick up that old sleeve.
But let’s get back to Melo.
On June 23rd, 2014, Carmelo Anthony re-signed with the Knicks for five extra years. In other words, Melo agreed to give the rest of his prime years to one of basketballs holiest conquests: to bring New York another NBA Championship.
Carmelo is the Knicks’ indisputable captain. He has been here for all of the ups and downs, all of the difficult decisions that were made over the years. He has won the most Gold medals ever for US basketball in the Olympics. He has dominated Lebron James overall in head-to-head matchups several times since High School. Here is a video showcasing both Lebron and Melo’s career high points games:
Knicks fans should be proud that he bleeds blue and orange. The man is a legend and will most likely go down as one of the greatest Knicks ever if he manages to lead a team to victory before he retires.
With that said, the Knicks now have a brand new nucleus. A nucleus highlighted by the 21 year old Latvian, Kristaps Porzingis. There will come a day when Carmelo will hang up his Knicks jersey and Kristaps will inherit leadership and whom do you think he will pay tribute to? His mentor and captain Carmelo Anthony.
“I just want him to just – or want the [media] to just give him the opportunity to grow as a player.” – Carmelo Anthony on the young neophyte, Kristaps Porzingis.
Great teams can be formed over years of development or can be made overnight.
Let’s reminisce on 2007 when Boston Celtics GM Danny Ainge managed to rearrange the roster and acquire both Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett to partner up with Paul Pierce.
One of the greatest moves in NBA history.
With Phil Jackson in position of power, sometime in the upcoming seasons, hopefully sooner than later, we will see some magic.
There will be a push for a ring and Carmelo will be right there in the mix of it all. This means his leadership is even more valuable at this point in time.
Also, Derrick Rose is here and is only 28 years old. Yes, he is has unfortunately been beleaguered with injuries, but athletes have recovered from worse injuries before. Paul George had his lower leg split in half and is now geared up to have one of his best seasons yet if projections prove accurate.
Carmelo Anthony spoke about the acquisition of Derrick Rose to the New York Daily News saying,
“I’m reinvigorated. I feel a little bit more confident — just the fact that they made that move. Made that decision. So it shows me that they are looking at right now and not looking at the future just yet. The time is now and we have to capitalize on what we have right now.”
In this time of “superteams” and “Big Threes” it is reassuring to see certain players still value loyalty. Carmelo Anthony could have jumped ship and left for a contender back in 2014.
The Knicks leader will show the world why he is one of the greatest to ever grace the hardwood floor whether it be by bringing a championship to NYC while he wears the jersey or by setting up the foundation for tomorrow’s Knicks.