Through all the “Knicks Must Get Carmelo Anthony NOW NOW NOW” nonsense that has been steadily building to a crescendo over the past week, it seems that no one has addressed the one main issue that would have everyone take a breath, think this thing through and then just chill out:
Just where the hell else is Melo going to go??
And I don’t mean for the next three months, I mean for the next three seasons if not more. There’s no massive bidding war from a bunch of teams that Anthony would gladly play for. There are only two (count ‘em TWO) teams that Melo has said he would sign long-term with, the Knicks and Chicago. And the Bulls, the only other credible threat to getting him long term, are humming along quite nicely right now and barely seem to be interested. That might change as we reach the deadline but they’re not even in the mix right now. So, that leaves the Knicks and….the Knicks.
The Bulls aren’t interested. The Nets have the best offer but were shot down by Melo. Houston and Dallas have sniffed around but nothing close to concrete has come from it. Anything else is just a plant from Denver or Melo’s agents trying to goose the market (cough Lakers trade cough). There’s nothing else out there. Denver has to get SOMETHING for Melo before he leaves and honestly, unless he agrees to be sent somewhere as a rental, the Knicks are their only shot. By the time February 24th rolls around, Denver might be ready to trade Melo for a Shake Shack burger. And if they don’t and decide to keep him? Fine, the Knicks will have the pen and paper ready for Anthony this summer. Where the hell else is Melo going to go? This is a great position for the Knicks to be in.
You’d never know it though. From the idiotic “We Want Melo” chants (really?? Me too!)) to the panic button pushing New York media to our moron owner sticking his dick in the mashed potatoes, the amount of self-created pressure that has come from everywhere to conspire to kill the Knicks rebuilding plan just as it gains momentum is jaw-dropping. Remember, this is the franchise that shrewdly outbid itself for Allan Houston by over $30 million a little more than a decade ago and a similar type of stupidity is poisoning the air. The Knicks have the leverage in this situation. Why is everyone hitting the panic button and looking to undermine it??
Why are Knick fans chanting for Melo at games? If you’re frustrated at the team’s performance that night, take it out on the coach. God knows, D’Antoni has deserved it lately. Chanting for Melo and creating fire where there’s no smoke is not helping. At the beginning of the season we had a slightly better than .500 team looking at a low playoff seed. Approaching the All-Star break we have…a slightly better than .500 team looking at a low playoff seed. We are right on schedule and where we’re supposed to be! Yet 50 games into the season and we’re throwing tantrums at home games because the Knicks aren’t beating clearly superior teams?!? What is going on?
When Donnie Walsh took over the NBA equivalent of a Superfund site, there was this sense that enough was enough for Knick fans and that we would sit tight until the necessary pieces were progressively and thoughtfully put together. Walsh would be given time to do this right because like the old advertising slogan went, Knick Fans Know. I always had faith in the knowledge and savvy of the New York sports fan to endure a rebuilding plan. I take it back.
And then there’s the media. Just google Knicks and Carmelo Anthony and you’ll get everyone from far and wide saying the Knicks have to get Anthony NOW, no matter the price. Stephen A. Smith, Chris Sheridan, Ian O’Connor, Marc Berman, Mike Lupica, etc. All mashing the panic button as if their lives depended on it. Even levelheaded writers, like Frank Isola, have caved and drank the Kool-Aid. Read the articles and you tell me any concrete threat to the Knicks eventually getting Melo that is pointed out in any of them. The best you’ll get is some phantom team might swoop in or the Nets might get back in it or Melo could decide to sign with some other team in the off-season. It’s all hypothetical worse case scenarios that really aren’t there, like the Muslim Brotherhood turning Egypt into Iran.
Honestly though, I’m sure Mr. Walsh can handle the hue and cry from the fans and media. That’s just part of the territory. The big concern is the idiot who runs the team, the one person who can actually screw this up. I can imagine James Dolan stomping around his office like a spoiled kid on Christmas Eve demanding that he get to open his Christmas gift now. I have no idea what Dolan Jr. is doing behind the scenes but it’s not good. It’s horrifying enough to learn that Dolan went over the head of Walsh to speak directly to Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke about Melo. Mr. Kroenke probably hung up the phone after speaking with Dolan, turned to his aides and said” Well, at least there’s something working in our favor”.
That crazy offer Denver made which would have left the Knicks with Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudamire and a bunch of D-leaguers and ball boys? Dolan would’ve signed it in a heartbeat, taken all the credit along with Isiah Thomas and set everything Walsh was able to accomplish back a year, at least. And if Melo isn’t a Knick by the trade deadline (again no big deal if he’s still a free agent by season’s end), you can see Dolan jettisoning Walsh completely ignorant of the fact that Knicks wouldn’t even be near this position without the work that his GM did. All this manufactured nonsense from people who should know better is providing the impetus for unwanted intervention from the one person who definitely does not know better.
Donnie Walsh knows better. He knows he has the leverage in this situation and he’s playing it perfectly. He is showing patience and he will eventually get a willing Carmelo Anthony, either next week or in June. Everyone just needs to chill out and let the man do his thing. Please. Unless you want Dolan and Isiah flying to Denver to speak with the Nuggets and Melo’s agents………didn’t think so.