Ok, Ok, Carmelo Anthony is finally going to the New York Knicks. Your prayers have been answered Knicks fans. Your savior is here.
I’d like to start by saying, “good for you.” If I was a Knicks fan, I’d be psyched. Carmelo is a top 5 player in the NBA, and having him join up with Amare Stoudemaire is undeniably a potent combination offensively. This trade was widely cited by critics as the Knicks giving up too much — most of the players responsible for the Knicks’ “resurgence”, $3 million in cash, and all of your upcoming major draft picks. I agree that the Knicks gave up too much to get Melo, but my thinking is “so what?” This is what the Knicks had to do to get him, and sometimes you’ve got to take a step backwards in order to go forwards. I have no doubt that the Knicks will be able to recruit other scrubs who are pretty good and simply want to play in NYC with Melo and Amare, just as the Heat did with players like Eddie House and Mike Miller. In other words, this was the right move.
Now, I’m going to play devil’s advocate — hear me out on a few major issues in regard to this trade.
1) Chauncey Billups was included in this trade, which is huge — he’s a great veteran player and already has some chemistry with Carmelo. That said, he’s old and he doesn’t want to play in New York. Denver is his home, and he was thrilled to head back there following his time with the Pistons. While Billups isn’t pleased, he’s a player in the twilight of his career. I’d expect him to suck it up, and make the best of this final opportunity for him to win a Finals and play on the big stage. This isn’t a huge concern for me.
2) While this trade is not about this year, I wouldn’t expect much from the Knicks this year. They haven’t had time to play together and have a completely new roster. They’ll have growing pains, a la the Heat. But in the future, two stars is not equal to three. The Celtics have four, the Heat have three. While Melo and Amare are more than enough firepower, this brings injuries into the game in a major way. If Melo or Amare is injured in the upcoming seasons, or simply in the playoffs, this team will not have enough depth to win. Period. That’s something to be seriously concerned about as you fix your eyes on NBA titles.
3) Melo just made himself Lebron #2, at least to some extent, no? I’m sure you New York fans won’t agree. Whether you like it or not, that’s partially because you are bitter that Lebron snubbed you. But let’s face the facts — while Melo did not hold a ridiculous press conference and refer to himself in the third person a la Lebron, his departure was a bit ugly. Like Lebron, he left a larger contract on the table to go elsewhere after several seasons in Denver. Like Lebron, he made some bad comments like saying “I’ll be playing in Denver for the game on Tuesday at least,” during the course of all-star weekend. This move, like Lebron’s, also seems to suggest that he couldn’t get it done on his own. Sure, James joined D-Wade and Chris Bosh in Miami. Carmelo is joining the second leading scorer in the NBA in New York, which is something even Lebron can’t say. So this whole thing is a little hypocritical, no? If you’re saying Lebron can never be looked at in the same light because he joined forces with Dwayne Wade, then Carmelo can’t be seen in the same light either because he’s joining forces with Amare. Sorry, NYC, but I’m not sure how you can argue that.
I think those are some very valid points, and some legitimate concerns. That said, it is a big day for Knicks’ fans, I understand that and applaud this move. I’d still take the Celtics or the Heat in a series though, sorry guys.