There are $30 million reasons why Carmelo Anthony will re-sign with the Knicks because in the NBA, like everywhere else, money talks.
Steve Mills, the newly installed president and general manager of the Knicks, finally addressed his recent hiring and demotion of Glen Grunwald on Monday. While Mills revealed little of the back-room dealings involving the Garden that led to his hire, he did disclose plans to hire more people to work under him, immediately sparking speculation that he might find a position for Isiah Thomas.
After a bizarre offseason in which the biggest change to the Knicks was a shift in general managers, Carmelo Anthony had a chance on Monday to alter the discussion, clear the air and offer a little hope and clarity to the situation involving his contract.
The Knicks probably won’t be the best team in town, but if Monday’s media day was any indication of what’s in store this season, then the Nets are going to have an impossible time matching their cross-river rivals when it comes to creating back-page headlines and staging soap operas and all the other silly stuff that don’t really matter.
For the grind of training camp, the Miami Heat headed to paradise.
The N.B.A. All-Star Game will be in Toronto for the first time in 2016.
Kevin Garnett will very likely emerge as an outsize presence for a Nets team that Coach Jason Kidd said did not have an identity last season.
The Knicks announced on Monday that they elected to pick up the option on Coach Mike Woodson’s contract for the 2014-15 season.
Amar’e Stoudemire did not have a starring role at the Knicks’ preseason media day as he once did. Instead, he answered questions about his knees and his rehabilitation.
While Steve Mills, the Knicks’ new top executive, made it clear during N.B.A. media day that signing Carmelo Anthony to a contract extension was a priority, the team’s star was more circumspect.
It’s as much a rite of fall as leaves changing colors and New Yorkers panicking over their pro football teams: Media Day talk of NBA championship aspirations.
The Knicks were true to form Monday. And they wandered into one other arena of the obvious: Their desire to keep Carmelo Anthony a Knick.
While the session was laced with talk of re-signing the NBA’s reigning scoring champ, Anthony wasn’t doing the talking.
“When that time comes, I’ll deal with that,” said Anthony, who can opt out and become a free agent at season’s end. “I’m not going to go through the season thinking about my contract. I’m actually under contract now, so I’m not going to think about what I’m going to [do].
“I’m not going to keep addressing that situation,” added Anthony, who upon coming to the Knicks in 2011 signed a three-year, $65 million extension with the ability to opt out after 2013-14. “My focus is really on being here, being a Knick, doing what I have to do to: hopefully, win a championship.”
So others addressed the contract issues for Anthony, who among other tidbits noted, A) his knee and shoulder both feel “great,” although he hasn’t been 100 percent “since I was a little kid,” B) he doesn’t give a hoot some feel the Knicks regressed over the summer, and C) he doesn’t want the pressure of “championship or bust” weighing on the Knicks’ noggins.
Obviously, the Knicks fell short last season. After tinkering and juggling and front-office shaking, the Knicks return for another try.
They won’t go anywhere with a subpar Anthony — some feel they won’t even live up to last year. Anthony dismissed those thoughts quicker than the chance to talk contract.
“I’m not worried about people’s opinions of whe-ther we took a step back,” Anthony said. “As players we know what we have, we know what we can do, we know how good we can be.”
Knicks brass craves success for obvious reasons, but also as a means to keep Anthony. Kind of tough to sell a star on a rotten environment.
“We are fortunate to have a player like Carmelo Anthony. He’s one of the superstars who don’t come around very often,” new general manager Steve Mills said. “While it is premature in the process, we have made it very clear we have every intention of making Carmelo a Knick for a long time to come.”
The best way to do that is to win.
“For me it’s all about being involved, being a part of a winning organization, a winning atmosphere,” said Anthony, sidestepping the recent Mills-for-Glen Grunwald move.
“I really don’t know the reason behind Mr. Dolan, Steve Mills and Glen Grunwald. I can’t worry about that.”
Keeping Anthony is worry enough for the Knicks.
“There is no doubt that we want Melo in a Knick uniform,” said coach Mike Woodson, whose contract option getting picked up for 2014-15 was the day’s appetizer. “Our ultimate goal is to win a title.”
For which they need another Carmelo Anthony-like season from Carmelo Anthony. See how all this stuff ties together?
“I expect him to have a great season, so therefore I expect us to have a great season,” Tyson Chandler said.
Kenyon Martin insists the star loves New York.
“It’s the city, man,” Martin said. “People out here love him. It’s home for him. … The city alone should entice him to re-sign. But ultimately, it’s going to be his choice.
“Personally, I can’t see him going anywhere else.”