Carmelo Anthony has seen his role reduced this season and with Kristaps Porzingis’ rising star, does this mean that we’ll be seeing the last of him with the New York Knicks?
In his first couple of years in the league, Carmelo Anthony made a name for himself as one of the best forwards to ever play the game. At 6’8”, he not only had the height but he also had great handles. With his offensive skillset, he managed to make 10 All-Star appearances and 2 All-NBA Second Teams. The only knock against him though is that he never managed the same level of success as the rest of his rookie class. In his stints with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicsk, the furthest he ever got in the playoffs was the Conference Finals. Now, it’s looking like another lost season for Anthony with the Knicks again out of playoff contention.
Carmelo Anthony says he's at peace with playing a reduced role the rest of the season so the Knicks can evaluate their younger players. pic.twitter.com/MykyNGwwC4
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 30, 2017
The writing on the wall
In an interview Wednesday night, Anthony noted that he already sees “the writing on the wall”. He’s alluding to the fact that the Knicks are slowly transitioning to Kristaps Porzingis. Since Phil Jackson took over as President of Basketball Operations, the team has seen some drastic changes. The isolation plays that were essential to Anthony’s success were replaced with the triangle. Of course, this hasn’t stopped Carmelo Anthony from being productive. The only difference now is the level of productivity.
— ESPN New York (@ESPNNewYork) March 30, 2017
By all indications, this season has been an improvement for Anthony with his 22.5 points average. This number is slightly up from the 21.8 points he averaged last season. However, his impact on games has largely been inconsequential. Whether he scores 20 or 30 points, the Knicks still was a team that looked out of sorts. Despite adding Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, New York struggled early and often. The mismatched roster suddenly found itself under .500 way before the All-Star break. Now, the team is 28-47 and is significantly worse off than last year.
Is Carmelo Anthony on his way out?
If we go by Phil Jackson’s actions this season, it would seem that way. His constant critiques of Anthony’s game was one of the most lapped-up stories leading to the All-Star Break. And while he had a no-trade clause, Jackson had given the go-ahead for exploratory deals for Melo. Whether this further affected their performance this season, we really can’t say. What we do know though, was that this Carmelo Anthony wants to stay in New York. He said as much when asked about his take on the matter.
— Newsday Sports (@NewsdaySports) March 20, 2017
With that said, even if he wanted to stay in New York, it would seem that Jackson is bent on parting ways with him. Since trading Carmelo Anthony now is out of the question, Phil did the next best thing. Make it hard for Melo by constantly doing and saying things to sour his stay in New York. Why go through all this trouble you ask? The reason for this is pretty simple: Kristaps Porzingis needs to develop his game.
Though I don’t agree with his methods, I think that Phil Jackson is somewhat right. Carmelo Anthony is still a great player but he’s not the player the New York Knicks need. Melo is still a great scorer and could impact the right team. Sadly his age and his history of injuries means that a team will be taking a big risk in getting him. Additionally, even with the Knicks sweetening any deal, the team getting him will also have to deal with his massive contract. Whether New York will actually get better when he does go away is another matter though.
— NY Daily News Sports (@NYDNSports) March 30, 2017
So, should New York part ways with Carmelo Anthony? Are they really justified with making Kristaps Porzingis their new star? Also, how do you feel about Phil Jackson’s actions towards Anthony this season? As always, share your thoughts with us down on the comments section!