Melo And The Knicks: How The Savior Complex Has Ruined Everything

Dearest Carmelo Anthony,

Recently I heard the news that you had second guessed your decision to stay with the Knicks. I’m writing this to inform you that, unfortunately for you and millions of Knick fans, you’re stuck here.

Can I buy you a drink?
Can I buy you a drink?

I’d like to use an analogy to make your situation clear: you’re like a woman with the savior complex who’s in a bad relationship. You have entered into a union that’s doomed. Actually, it was doomed from the start. The Knicks are that handsome guy, that treats women like garbage. The evidence was all there before you made your decision. This team, the one that you chose over any other, treated everyone that entered a relationship with him like crap. But when you looked at him, you ignored the logical part of your brain and only saw the potential. You decided you would be the one to fix him.

When you were in Denver, with a good coach, a decent cast, and a competent front office, you thought you deserved more. You treated the team you were with like crap, because it wasn’t as attractive as some of the other destinations. It was a good team, in a good situation, but it would never be good enough. Good guys finish last. No matter what Denver did, they would never match your ideal of how life would be like in New York. So your lust won over.

To get with the Knicks, you burned every bridge you could find. You forced their hand, and they had to get rid of everything of value that they had, so they could be with you. So now you’re wondering why you’re here by yourself? Well, half of the good stuff had to go before you would walk in the door. And anyone who was more than decent has left since.

Donnie Walsh? He was here keeping the franchise sober until he saw you’d drag them back to the bar. Tyson? Gone because one of you two had to go to shake things up. Lin? Gone on your behalf. Kidd? Saw the writing on the wall. Mozgov? Had potential, and now is more likely to have a ring than you. Shumpert: ditto.

Let's dot this!

The combination of your greed and the team’s stupidity has kept anyone with any sense away. The recent rumor is that the Knicks are going to give the max to Greg Monroe. Why? To paraphrase Rick Pitino: Kevin Durant isn’t walking through that door. Kevin Love isn’t walking through that door. Anthony Davis isn’t walking through that door. Marc Gasol isn’t walking through that door. LeBron James isn’t walking through that door.

Everyone can see the toxicity of this situation. So the only option the Knicks have left is to overspend on mediocrity. They have to pay an extra fee in order to get anyone else to join this mess.

In a recent article, former teammate J.R. Smith attempted to defend you, then went on to describe LeBron James.

Playing with LeBron is different in the way he demands nothing less than the best of his teammates, and doesn’t have to have an individual focus on scoring to maximize his impact.

He expects us to be accountable, and doesn’t hesitate to make plays that ensure that we do well before he does. LeBron is both willing and able to carry the load. From the very first time you meet the man, it’s crystal clear to you that he is very much aware of what he needs to do to get the most out of his teammates. LeBron sacrifices his own scoring stats to grab every rebound, to make every smart pass, to defend every possession – all in the name of winning.

LeBron James saved Cleveland. Then he saved Miami. Now he’s saving Cleveland, again. You thought you could come to New York and have the same effect. The problem is the savior complex only works when you are willing to make that sacrifice.

So, ‘Melo, you’re wondering if it was a good idea to stay here. Well it wasn’t a good idea to come here in the first place. Not in the way you came. This isn’t the team for you. You’re a valuable player, no doubt. But you’ll never be the most valuable player in the NBA. And you’ll never make the sacrifices needed to make this team a championship caliber franchise, neither in your contract nor on the floor. As long as James Dolan and his logic defying cronies are in charge, this place is going to be a wreck. One that you’re married to.

Sincerely,
Mike Kurylo
KnickerBlogger.Net

In sickness and in health

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Mike Kurylo

Mike Kurylo is the founder and editor of KnickerBlogger.net. His book on the 2012 Knicks, "We’ll Always Have Linsanity," is on sale now. Follow him on twitter (@KnickerBlogger).

149 thoughts to “Melo And The Knicks: How The Savior Complex Has Ruined Everything”

  1. Great stuff. I’ve thought about the situation in similar ways but you articulated it better than I ever could. The sad reality is a Melo trade is, in all likelihood, the only realistic way for this team to be a contender within the next decade or so.

  2. I’ve said it over and over again, to the hatred of most other commenters here.
    This team will never win with Melo. Doesn’t matter who they draft. Doesn’t matter what FA they sign.

    “LeBron sacrifices his own scoring stats to grab every rebound, to make every smart pass, to defend every possession – all in the name of winning.”

    This is what it takes to win, and Melo’s got none of it. He’s more concerned about his “brand” and “star power”

  3. I think it’s possible that they win with Melo but the chances are low enough that we might as well keep it abstract. Like BC often says, for the Knicks to win with MMM requires a home run at every stage of team building. It’s not impossible, but it sure isn’t likely.

    And while winning a championship is important and all, I think it’s just as important to build a proper foundation for the Knicks and get them winning again–it’s a bit unreasonable to me to expect a team thats been so bad for so long and traded away all its picks to suddenly turn around and become a chip contender; I’d be satisfied with a few seasons of 40-50 wins and “fringe contender” status as our ceiling if that meant we didn’t trade our future picks and even if we had to wait a few years before we could fully start over with a winning foundation in place.

  4. It could honestly be as simple as drafting a franchise player in this draft and signing a good player or two. And who’s to say Kevin Love doesn’t leave Cleveland this year if they win a championship? I could see him taking his ring and then going to play in a larger market for a ton of money and a larger role. I think Kevin Love signs in either New York or LAL this off-season, and we have a better situation than them, honestly. Melo > Kobe in 2015, and if we have a better pick than them? It’s possible he could leave Cleveland for us. What happens if the Knicks land Kevin Love and Jahlil Okafor or Karl Towns this off season? Greg Monroe for max money is a terrible idea for sure. Signing Melo to a max deal through his thirties was never a good idea. But again, we could end up with Justice Winslow (who really isn’t as bad as some of you want to believe; I think he’ll be a stud on both ends and a top rebounder for his position) and Greg Monroe, or Kevin Love and Jahlil Okafor/Karl Towns. We should just hold our judgement on any of this until the middle of July.

    I do agree that the Knicks have been a shit show overall, but the Clippers’ entire franchise changed when Blake Griffin was selected #1 overall. The Cavaliers would have never gotten LeBron back if they didn’t select Kyrie Irving #1 overall. The bottom line is we still have hope because landing the number one pick has nothing to do with our decision making. Maybe it’s our turn to get lucky.

  5. The Knicks will never win with Melo as its number one player, absolutely. But draft Jahlil Okafor and hopefully Okafor, Melo, and a max contract to play in New York are enough to lure Kevin Love after he wins a championship. You now have a 27 year old Kevin Love and a 19 year old Jahlil Okafor (or Karl Towns because he’s a better fit defensively I suppose) to go along with your 31 year old Melo. Melo is no longer the best player on your team, and in a season he could be the 3rd or 4th best player on your team depending on what you do with Jose Calderon and if Jahlil Okafor/Karl Towns or even Justice Winslow is the real deal.

  6. — The sad reality is a Melo trade is, in all likelihood, the only realistic way for this team to be a contender within the next decade or so.

    HYPERBOLE. How do you figure this?

  7. This offseason is the one where Jackson needs to make hay. Melo and how he got here or how good Lebron is doesnt matter anymore. For fucks sake, lets go draft someone and sign some people and try to improve the franchise going forward. If the Knicks mess that up, THEN you can complain.

  8. Look, we all know my views on Melo and his contract. But we did win 54 games with Melo on a similarly stupid deal and with Amare on an even worse contract. I mean, yes, if Melo is the best player on the Knicks, we’re not going very far. We saw that last year. But Melo being wildly overpaid doesn’t prevent us from putting together a winning team.

    Looking at the Knicks and saying ‘how can we build a good team around Melo’ is looking at things the wrong way. And, sadly, I worry that’s what we’re doing. What we should be doing is saying ‘how can we build a good team’. We don’t need to draft a player who can contribute immediately because we stupidly gave a ton of money and a no-trade clause to a relatively unproductive player on the wrong side of 30. We need to draft the best player possible. If our best chance to win (hypothetically) is 3 years from now with an aging Melo coming off the bench behind rising superstar Justise Winslow, so be it. Don’t throw that away for a much smaller chance of winning next year.

  9. HYPERBOLE. How do you figure this?

    Because when a player who is at risk of not contributing much (as is the case with a 30 year old coming off major knee surgery) takes up 27% of your cap (assuming the cap is at $92 million), building a legitimate contender becomes extremely difficult. Not impossible, as others have pointed out, but it would take some serious front office wizardry.

    I agree with DRed that we should not make any moves with “fit with Melo” or “Melo’s window/timetable” in mind. We should aim to acquire productive players at good prices. That’s it. If Melo is able to contribute to our next contending team, great. But we can’t build a team whose success is dependent on that happening. For that reason I think a trade is the best case scenario (for both parties, by the way).

  10. Knicks have the first round picks after next year also.

    Only in the Knicksiverse is this considered some kind of bonus or advantage. You’re supposed to have your own damn picks unless you’re a contender.

  11. It seems like an odd time to be yet again reflecting on Melo. The Knicks are going into their biggest offseason in years, an offseason in which really the only thing that isn’t in question is Melo’s status (you want a trade, I want a trade, but a trade isn’t happening), and instead we’re talking about Melo because…I’m not really sure why. What prompted this piece? Jr Smith writing something nice about Lebron?

  12. instead we’re talking about Melo because…I’m not really sure why.

    I have to figure it’s pretty common to talk about the highest paid and longest tenured member of the team for any fan base. That player tends to have far-reaching implications for the rest of the team, and is consequently always a relevant topic.

  13. I have to figure it’s pretty common to talk about the highest paid and longest tenured member of the team for any fan base. That player tends to have far-reaching implications for the rest of the team, and is consequently always a relevant topic.

    Sure. If the article had anything new or original or even interesting to say about the Melo situation, I’d certainly be interested to read it. But this is a pure rehash of the situation. I mean literally the article just lays out the situation: Melo was in Denver, he made a stink, the Knicks made a dumb trade to get him, he burned his bridges, he chased away people he didn’t like on the Knicks, he isn’t as good as Lebron.

    That’s the entire content of the piece, all wrapped around a tortured metaphor that isn’t really informing the piece in any way, or actually even working: The Knicks are the handsome man that treats women like garbage, and Melo is the woman who thinks he can fix them, except then in the middle paragraphs it’s about how Melo’s selfishness and greed doomed the Knicks.

  14. –Only in the Knicksiverse is this considered some kind of bonus or advantage. You’re supposed to have your own damn picks unless you’re a contender.

    NO its not a bonus. What i am saying is that we have stopped stupidly trading picks. For who said we are fucked for 10 years. There have been 2 first round picks in the last 5 years.

  15. —Sure. If the article had anything new or original or even interesting to say about the Melo situation, I’d certainly be interested to read it. But this is a pure rehash of the situation. I mean literally the article just lays out the situation: Melo was in Denver, he made a stink, the Knicks made a dumb trade to get him, he burned his bridges, he chased away people he didn’t like on the Knicks, he isn’t as good as Lebron.

    That’s the entire content of the piece, all wrapped around a tortured metaphor that isn’t really informing the piece in any way, or actually even working: The Knicks are the handsome man that treats women like garbage, and Melo is the woman who thinks he can fix them, except then in the middle paragraphs it’s about how Melo’s selfishness and greed doomed the Knicks.

    Exactly…like whats the point? This is the biggest offseason in years

  16. So in that light, how can someone who joined this disaster, help make it worse, then have the audacity to question whether he made the right decision?

    It’s like when my kids get mad when I ask them to clean the legos. Don’t give me that look! If you didn’t want to clean this huge mess you shouldn’t have made it.

  17. —So in that light, how can someone who joined this disaster, help make it worse, then have the audacity to question whether he made the right decision?

    So what you are saying is that you are upset that a guy who was mired in an injury plagued disaster of a season has no right to have human emotions? Ok then.

  18. No knock on Melo, but I wholeheartedly agree. That said, I like the fact that Melo has spoken his mind so sincerely. I just can’t bring myself to dislike the guy, not that I would want to.

  19. It’s like when my kids get mad when I ask them to clean the legos. Don’t give me that look! If you didn’t want to clean this huge mess you shouldn’t have made it.

    Exactly.

    The problem is that in Melo’s mind he IS a superstar worth every penny he’s getting. In his mind the Denver deal was fine because he was worth that much. He is incapable of connecting the dots and understanding that he’s a major part of the problem.

  20. —The problem is that in Melo’s mind he IS a superstar worth every penny he’s getting. In his mind the Denver deal was fine because he was worth that much. He is incapable of connecting the dots and understanding that he’s a major part of the problem.

    This is flawed as hell. How is he a major part of the problem? When a half decent team was here a few years ago they played well. How was he a problem then?

    The problem since melo was here has been management. Bad trades and bad signings. The Bargnani thing is incomprehensible. Signing Novak to the deal that caused it was ridiculous. Amnestying Billups with one year left was barf worthy. Saying that melo is “a big part of the problem” is lazy. He has a bad contract that wont be bad next year. Thats about it. Last i checked he wasnt out here playing GM.

  21. This is flawed as hell. How is he a major part of the problem? When a half decent team was here a few years ago they played well. How was he a problem then?

    He’s a major part of the problem because he’s taking up a large plurality of our cap space and not producing at a level that would make that appropriate, even when healthy. The only thing “flawed as hell” is the argument that the fact that Melo has been on good teams proves he’s worth all of it.

    The problem since melo was here has been management. Bad trades and bad signings. The Bargnani thing is incomprehensible. Signing Novak to the deal that caused it was ridiculous. Amnestying Billups with one year left was barf worthy. Saying that melo is “a big part of the problem” is lazy. He has a bad contract that wont be bad next year. Thats about it. Last i checked he wasnt out here playing GM.

    Some half-truths here. Yes, bad management has been a problem since Melo has been here. It’s been a problem since before he was here as well. The thing is, what we gave up for him (twice, the trade and the contract) is perhaps the best example of said bad management. Also Melo’s contract will take up 27% of the new cap. Sorry, but that’s still bad. Impossible to build a contender around? Probably not. But it makes it extremely difficult to do so.

  22. This is flawed as hell. How is he a major part of the problem?

    Agree 100%.

    Melo is NOT the problem. The problem is thinking that when you’re rolling with the past three years of lineups (Calderon-injured, Shumpert-sucks, Melo-injured, Bargs-injured, Dalembert-who?), you can do well. Hell, even NOT injured this is a shitty lineup.

    Let’s be real here. Melo is not meant to be LeBron. He is not that kind of player. Stop blaming him for it. Just use him in the way he is meant to be used: he is a volume scorer who rebounds well. If you put some defense, distribution, and decent players, he has been, and will be, part of a really good team. It’s not like the lineup of two seasons ago was all that great. They weren’t.

    To those of you resisting building around Melo, well, that’s what a good GM does. He builds around each player individually so you compensate for weaknesses and synergize their strengths.

    Ugh. He’s not the problem.

  23. Saying that melo is “a big part of the problem” is lazy.

    The point of the article is that Carmelo Anthony could have played anywhere and chose New York. So now he get’s a pass that management is inept?

    If I quit my job for another (better paying) one that I know is a wreck, can I then blame it on management year later when things go wrong? No. That was expected. I knew that going in.

  24. -The only thing “flawed as hell” is the argument that the fact that Melo has been on good teams proves he’s worth all of it.

    Im not sure what you mean by this. He was the hub of the offense for the third ranked offense in the League in 12-13. Being the focal point on a good team means something right? Everyone needs good role players to win. Draymond Green is a role player, Serge Ibaka is a role player Ho Grant was a role player.

  25. —The point of the article is that Carmelo Anthony could have played anywhere and chose New York. So now he get’s a pass that management is inept?

    If I quit my job for another (better paying) one that I know is a wreck, can I then blame it on management year later when things go wrong? No. That was expected. I knew that going in.

    I dont think he blamed management. I didnt read that anywhere. All im saying is that its a human emotion to second guess yourself when things arent going well. He said it was a fleeting thought he had for a short while and that he was over it and ready to go forward with NYK. I think the problem with Melo is that he is too brutally honest for people who love to hear PC answers.

  26. Let’s take that analogy further. If that company was paying me like a director, but I was only qualified to be a manager, and I told them I was a director & could manage those tasks. Then I take the job and lo & behold I’m not able to do those directorial duties. Am I part of the problem? Even if I had good managerial skills (manage small groups of people, get assigned tasks done), but I lacked the director skills (manage large projects, groups, budgets, etc.)?

    A player like ‘Melo would be good on an established team that can acquire pieces to help him. But his ego made him think he’d be able to lift a shitty organization on his back. And he stripped the Knicks on the way in by the way he handled the situation. And once he was here he was part of others going too (Walsh, Lin, etc.), even if indirectly. So his hands aren’t clean in this mess.

  27. —But his ego made him think he’d be able to lift a shitty organization on his back. And he stripped the Knicks on the way in by the way he handled the situation. And once he was here he was part of others going too (Walsh, Lin, etc.), even if indirectly. So his hands aren’t clean in this mess.

    Walsh and Lin? Really? Is today revision day? So to be clear Melo made you mad by saying second guess so you decide hey lets throw some shade on Melo because his hands arent clean? Idk i just dont understand this thinking but you and your ilk can go ahead. Keep up the blame game i guess , have fun.

  28. Im not sure what you mean by this. He was the hub of the offense for the third ranked offense in the League in 12-13. Being the focal point on a good team means something right? Everyone needs good role players to win. Draymond Green is a role player, Serge Ibaka is a role player Ho Grant was a role player.

    I would trade Carmelo Anthony for any of those “role players” in a second.

  29. Melo’s not a great value at a max contract, because he’s only “good” and not “great” at the thing he’s supposed to be great at, which is scoring. Lots of pointzz, yes. High usage, yes. But on mediocre efficiency. Look at the season James Harden just had– .600+ TS% on very high usage. Melo has not ever and will never even sniff that level of production. He’s a good scorer, not an elite scorer.

    Does he make up for it with the rest of his game? Well, he’s an okay rebounder, not really a plus rebounder. As a team defender and man defender I’d rate him below average, with frequent lapses in effort on the defensive end. How about intangibles? Does he play a well-rounded, team-oriented game? Does he do things that don’t show up in the box score? The answer to those questions is “not really.”

    He’s Dominique Wilkins without the spectacular dunks. If I’m running a franchise in 1991, am I happy if I have a 31-year old Dominique Wilkins on a max contract as my centerpiece? No, I am not.

  30. Im not sure what you mean by this. He was the hub of the offense for the third ranked offense in the League in 12-13.

    No one is denying that Melo is capable of being a contributor on a good team. He just needs a better team around him than actual superstars do, and it’s hard to build that team due to his contract. It’s pretty simple actually.

  31. If I quit my job for another (better paying) one that I know is a wreck, can I then blame it on management year later when things go wrong? No. That was expected. I knew that going in.

    This is a total misrepresentation of the completely innocuous quotes Melo made in that piece you quoted (which not even the ravenous NY media saw fit to make an issue out of). Nowhere in that piece did he take shots at management. In fact if you actually read his comments you’ll see that he expressed faith in management. “That was one of the reasons I decided to come back. For me to have faith in [Jackson] and believe in his capabilities. [This is] kind of like a clean slate for us and for him. Now we really get a chance and he really gets a chance to put a stamp on what we want this organization to be about, what he wants this team to be about, what players he wants in here.”

    Like er said, a guy in the middle of an incredibly frustrating season said that one day he questioned whether he made the wrong decision and then cleared his mind and felt better. That’s what we’re taking him to task for?

  32. And another thing is that people repeatedly fail to see the real issue: sure maybe “Melo isn’t the problem,” but the OPPORTUNITY COST of having Melo around is the real problem. The assets that were used to acquire Melo in the first place could have been used to acquire a REAL star– perhaps someone like Chris Paul, who was available shortly after. The MMM contract money locks us in to “win now” mode instead of “rebuild” mode when it is plain as day that we should be in rebuild mode. You pay all these hidden costs for having him that add up to more than just his stupid ass max contract.

  33. Again I didn’t decide today out of the blue to pick on Carmelo Anthony. Melo made the news by questioning his decision publicly. He brought himself into the spotlight.

    And it’s not revision day.
    Here’s Carmelo’s thoughts on Jeremy Lin’s contract offer by Houston:
    http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8168386/carmelo-anthony-says-ridiculous-jeremy-lin-deal-new-york-knicks

    “It’s not up to me,” Anthony said with a laugh. “It’s up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that’s out there.”

  34. Most if not all GMs in the league would have signed Melo for the price we paid. Many would have done a sign and trade where they took on a large salary and gave up picks or players in addition. He’s clearly getting market value for his skills, so I say he is not overpaid.

    I know that many on this board think Melo’s large salary isn’t worth it, but that means they don’t want the sort of player that Melo is, and they think you can’t build a good team around the sort of player Melo is and the sort of salary such a player commands. There clearly have been good teams in the past that Melo was part of, so the real question is, were those teams good partially because of him or good despite having him on the team?

    I vote for the latter. Denver did not get better after they traded him, and they got a lot of serviceable players for him. The Knicks two years ago were good with basically him and Chandler as the leading players on the team. So you can have a good team with him as a key component of the team.

  35. And another thing is that people repeatedly fail to see the real issue: sure maybe “Melo isn’t the problem,” but the OPPORTUNITY COST of having Melo around is the real problem. The assets that were used to acquire Melo in the first place could have been used to acquire a REAL star– perhaps someone like Chris Paul, who was available shortly after. The MMM contract money locks us in to “win now” mode instead of “rebuild” mode when it is plain as day that we should be in rebuild mode. You pay all these hidden costs for having him that add up to more than just his stupid ass max contract.

    Exactly. We paid him like a superstar, both in terms of trade assets and money, and he isn’t one. That’s a recipe for disaster. Like, worst record in franchise history level disaster.

  36. –It’s not up to me,” Anthony said with a laugh. “It’s up to the organization to say they want to match that ridiculous contract that’s out there.”

    Like i said hes too brutally honest for people.

  37. —-And another thing is that people repeatedly fail to see the real issue: sure maybe “Melo isn’t the problem,” but the OPPORTUNITY COST of having Melo around is the real problem. The assets that were used to acquire Melo in the first place could have been used to acquire a REAL star– perhaps someone like Chris Paul, who was available shortly after. The MMM contract money locks us in to “win now” mode instead of “rebuild” mode when it is plain as day that we should be in rebuild mode. You pay all these hidden costs for having him that add up to more than just his stupid ass max contract.

    How many WCF has CP3 been to?

  38. –He brought himself into the spotlight.

    No he gave his feelings. Not sure what spotlight you are talking about.

  39. Just to be clear, wouldn’t him preventing the Knicks from matching the Lin deal be an example of him helping to clean up the mess, not make it worse? I was as upset as anyone when Lin left, but time has kind of proven that Melo was right and we were wrong on that one, no?

  40. I was as upset as anyone when Lin left, but time has kind of proven that Melo was right and we were wrong on that one, no?

    Lin’s contract was shorter than Felton’s and he was more productive during that time period than Felton was. So to answer your question, no not at all.

  41. –The MMM contract money locks us in to “win now” mode instead of “rebuild” mode when it is plain as day that we should be in rebuild mode.

    Not true. You have to wait for this offseason. If there are a bunch of trades for aging players then you can say that.

  42. –Lin’s contract was shorter than Felton’s and he was more productive during that time period than Felton was.

    So because he was better than Ray Felton the contract wasnt ridiculous?

  43. Lin’s contract was shorter than Felton’s and he was more productive during that time period than Felton was. So to answer your question, no not at all.

    I’m sorry but this argument doesn’t make sense. I mean the Felton deal was awful, but that doesn’t make the Lin deal good. The Knicks could have found 1000 other PG solutions after letting Lin walk. That part wasn’t the mistake.

  44. The Knicks could have found 1000 other PG solutions after letting Lin walk. That part wasn’t the mistake.

    No, actually, they couldn’t, which is why they were forced to give Ray Fatty Felton a four-year contract that became a negative asset after about one season.

  45. I’m sorry but this argument doesn’t make sense. I mean the Felton deal was awful, but that doesn’t make the Lin deal good. The Knicks could have found 1000 other PG solutions after letting Lin walk. That part wasn’t the mistake.

    We would have been in a better position if Melo didn’t force out Lin, because we wouldn’t have acquired Felton. I didn’t say Lin was the best solution at point guard, I said he was a better one than Felton. So letting Lin walk didn’t benefit us in any way and almost certainly hurt us. Also because of our cap situation, no we couldn’t have found 1,000 other solutions.

  46. Denver did not get better after they traded him, and they got a lot of serviceable players for him.

    Actually they did. They were 32-25 when they traded him and then went on to go 18-7 to win 50 games that year.

    And the next year they were better too.

    And the next year they won 57 games. (that was 2012, aka the “good” year that Carmelo Anthony had with the Knicks).

  47. The Knicks could have found 1000 other PG solutions after letting Lin walk

    Yes, because “finding PG solutions” has been the Knicks forte over the past 30+ years.

  48. Actually they did. They were 32-25 when they traded him and then went on to go 18-7 to win 50 games that year.

    And the next year they were better too.

    And the next year they won 57 games. (that was 2012, aka the “good” year that Carmelo Anthony had with the Knicks).

    And apparently we’re the ones engaging in revisionist history!

  49. No, actually, they couldn’t, which is why they were forced to give Ray Fatty Felton a four-year contract that became a negative asset after about one season.

    So you’re really arguing that it’s smart to give out bad contracts because they prevent you from having to give out even worse contracts? There’s no scenario in which we don’t give out either the bad contract or the worse contract?

    There are d-league guys who can give you 90+% of Jeremy Lin (or Ray Felton) for the minimum.

  50. —-Actually they did. They were 32-25 when they traded him and then went on to go 18-7 to win 50 games that year.

    And the next year they were better too.

    And the next year they won 57 games. (that was 2012, aka the “good” year that Carmelo Anthony had with the Knicks).

    Yes they constructed a fantastic reg season team. 2 cheers for Denver

  51. So you’re really arguing that it’s smart to give out bad contracts because they prevent you from having to give out even worse contracts? There’s no scenario in which we don’t give out either the bad contract or the worse contract?

    There are d-league guys who can give you 90+% of Jeremy Lin (or Ray Felton) for the minimum.

    You’re talking as if Melo’s objection to the Lin contract was “well Mr. Grunwald, I think we can find more economically efficient options in the D league. I’ll be completely satisfied if you sign Patrick Beverly.”

  52. Yes they constructed a fantastic reg season team. 2 cheers for Denver

    Meanwhile we’re out here doing big things with ‘Melo.

  53. Yes, because “finding PG solutions” has been the Knicks forte over the past 30+ years.

    If you guys really can’t see where this logic leads you I don’t know if I can help you. When the Knicks sign Greg Monroe to an ugly contract in a couple months just remember that finding good players hasn’t been our forte, so I guess that makes signing a good player to a bad contract a smart move.

  54. If you guys really can’t see where this logic leads you I don’t know if I can help you. When the Knicks sign Greg Monroe to an ugly contract in a couple months just remember that finding good players hasn’t been our forte, so I guess that makes signing a good player to a bad contract a smart move.

    The Lin contract really wasn’t bad though. He was a reasonably productive player who wouldn’t have altered our ability to acquire other players in the slightest due to the cap situation. Raymond Felton’s extra year meant that both of those things didn’t apply to him.

  55. So, winning in the playoffs means everything. How have Melo’s teams done in the playoffs over his now very lengthy career? The Nuggets went to the WCF that one time. How about the rest of Melo’s career? Full of smashing postseason success, right?

  56. You’re talking as if Melo’s objection to the Lin contract was “well Mr. Grunwald, I think we can find more economically efficient options in the D league. I’ll be completely satisfied if you sign Patrick Beverly.”

    His objection to it was that it was a bad contract. It wasn’t as bad as some others but it was a bad contract. He was right. The way you can tell whether a contract is bad isn’t by comparing it to the worst possible other thing you can do (Felton – by this standard 99% of the GM’s in the league win the Executive of the Year Award) but by comparing it to something decent you could have done.

  57. —You’re talking as if Melo’s objection to the Lin contract was “well Mr. Grunwald, I think we can find more economically efficient options in the D league. I’ll be completely satisfied if you sign Patrick Beverly.”

    No EVERYONES objection was that you paying a guy for 35 games.

  58. We actually could have had CP3 and Melo had Walsh or Grunwald or Dolan whoever made the call not amnestied Billups or just simply didn’t re-up the last year of his deal. This might have been the single biggest mistake in my opinion of the last 5 years. Amare gave us nothing and was maybe a net negative on the one good team we have had in over a decade and without an amnesty it has all been a waiting game until this summer. So lets relax and see what happens. However I do find it interesting that nobody faults Tyson for “forcing his way here” and “making us amnesty billups”. Though people want to use it against Melo for “forcing his way here” as if he engineered the trade. Honestly the haul we gave Denver isn’t even a collection of highly valuable assets anyway. I feel some people may have a bias because we drafted gallo and wilson. If I remember correctly we were a .500 team or maybe a few games worse at the time of the Melo trade. Gallinari, Felton, Wilson haven’t exactly “lit it up” the last several years. Mozgov looks like the best out of the bunch at this point and that’s with Lebron.

  59. Lin had a .550 TS% over the life of that contract, so I don’t agree that you could have just found some random bum from the D-League to give you similar production on a minimum contract.

  60. No EVERYONES objection was that you paying a guy for 35 games.

    Except he’s been reasonably productive for the past three seasons and wouldn’t have changed our ability to acquire other players one iota. Just looking at the numbers and calling it a “bad contract” is useless outside of the context of our cap situation and alternatives (which weren’t exactly vast, due to said cap situation. It was pretty much Lin, Felton, or D leaguers.).

  61. Yes they constructed a fantastic reg season team. 2 cheers for Denver

    Well, winning games is kind of the point.

    But to the point of article and the context of this argument: The Denver team Anthony left was in a really good position. They had rising young players, a healthy cap, a hall-of-fame coach, and a great general manager. Denver wanted to keep Anthony. But instead, Anthony wanted to go to NY and subsequently complain about the coach and the management. Then he got everything he wanted, and now he’s second guessing his decisions. (Sure, it’s honest human emotion, but that doesn’t mean commenters on a blog can’t point out to him how foolish he’s been.)

  62. —Except he’s been reasonably productive for the past three seasons and wouldn’t have changed our ability to acquire other players one iota. Just looking at the numbers and calling it a “bad contract” is useless outside of the context of our cap situation and alternatives (which weren’t exactly vast, due to said cap situation. It was pretty much Lin, Felton, or D leaguers.).

    Doesnt matter. I was simply talking about the people who didnt want to match at that time.

  63. The Lin contract was as bad as the Landry Fields contract, maybe worse. It took a 1st round pick to unload the last year of it. He has been replaced by D-leaguers and rookies on the 2 teams he played on, and made $25 million in those 3 years.

    That said, I personally doubt that Melo had anything at all to do with Lin not being matched, that was all Dolan. In either case, he knew (contrary to all the admirers here) that Lin was a flash in the pan like no other.

    Let’s see what Lin’s next contract will look like. I’d be shocked if anyone offers him more than $2 mill per.

  64. “I try to keep myself from thinking like that. But as a human being, those thoughts definitely come into play. You sit down at night and you’re thinking, ‘Did I really make the right decision?’ and just things like that,” Anthony said Thursday at the team’s training facility. “Not often did I think about that. There was one point in time this season where it was just cloudy and I didn’t really have any clarity; I was second-guessing what I did and the decision I made. But after that, I was smooth sailing.”

    That’s the actual quote. If you can really find something to be upset with Melo about in that quote I would suggest that it might have more to do with you having a bone to pick than with the actual quote.

  65. The Lin contract was as bad as the Landry Fields contract, maybe worse. It took a 1st round pick to unload the last year of it. He has been replaced by D-leaguers and rookies on the 2 teams he played on, and made $25 million in those 3 years.

    For Houston, the contract was entirely different than it would’ve been for us. This is exactly what I’m talking about with regards to looking at the numbers of the contract and not the context. It hurt their flexibility because they actually had some. We didn’t.

  66. @68 thats all i been trying to say. Can we build a decent fucking team please. Even that 12-13 team was extremely flawed as hell. K Mart for god sakes , Novak , Copeland. Lets get some people who can play this offseason and build for the future. Im so sick of looking back to 3 years ago.

  67. @72

    1. You may be right but look at the context of the league, how many actual superstars are there that make any team they are on a playoff team/contender? The answer might be just Lebron possibly Durant

    2. Perhaps but hopefully he continues to average 27 and 8

    3. correct if phil does in fact do something stupid this summer

    4. I do not think there is enough information for this to be said. Mediocrity is also a big step up from where we have been most of the past 15 years

  68. – I do not think there is enough information for this to be said. Mediocrity is also a big step up from where we have been most of the past 15 years

    Yea people on this board love to say shit like this.

  69. people want to use it against Melo for “forcing his way here” as if he engineered the trade

    I think it’s pretty much accepted knowledge at this point that Anthony’s reps at CAA engineered the trade on behalf of Anthony.

  70. As long as Melo doesn’t complain about lack of good teammates, then I’m cool with him. And he hasn’t done that since he got here, because even he, a guy who really doesn’t know how to say the right thing 90% of the time, knows that that wouldn’t play. So I’m fully down on Dolan and not Melo at all.

  71. @81

    I certainly could be wrong but just accepting knowledge that is not actually written or statement of fact is essentially just conspiracy theory. Obviously you can believe whatever you want but I am of the opinion that the people who are paid to make New York Knick basketball decisions made the trade.

  72. Respectfully, Mike, I also disagree with the savior complex narrative and think your article is hyperbolic. If anyone fits that narrative, it’s Phil. Melo didn’t come here to “save” the Knicks, he came here for the money and the glamor. He is selfish, immature and inarticulate. He is arguably overpaid relative to his production and efficiency. But the burning bridges stuff? In comparison to what LeBron did to Cleveland when he left them for zero return? And then left Miami for nothing in return? And the whole “The Decision” business? And the “laying down” in the finals vs. Dallas?

    I think its pretty pointless to psychoanalyze Melo and blame his ulterior motivations for the Knicks troubles. I side with Brian C, who has said repeatedly (and I think correctly) that everything Melo says should be taken with a grain of salt, not because he’s dishonest, but he’s a combination of goofy, immature and inarticulate.

    As to second thoughts, by signing the MMM, clearly Melo went for money over championship probability, no one is disputing that. But when your team is out of the playoffs in December, and the future is murky compared to teams you might have signed with, what is wrong with saying publicly that a times you wonder about whether you made the right decision? If what you are basically saying is that Melo is not intelligent enough to have foreseen what would become of his career in NY, and that you are more intelligent than he is to have foreseen it, OK, I can agree with that. But it doesn’t make your article any less gratuitous.

    On the other hand, it generated a lot of commentary on an otherwise dead day, so there’s that.

  73. —-So, winning in the playoffs means everything. How have Melo’s teams done in the playoffs over his now very lengthy career? The Nuggets went to the WCF that one time. How about the rest of Melo’s career? Full of smashing postseason success, right?

    Nope. But neither has Chris Paul, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and on and on and on. Only people who have success are teams are well constructed and have multiple all nba level players. Yeah yeah Lebron too. But shining a light on a nuggs organzation who has won less playoff series than we have isnt good.

  74. “The Lin contract was as bad as the Landry Fields contract”
    I was fooling around on my phone on the bus last night and I happened upon an Orlando Magic version of Knickerblogger. There was an article about whom the Magic should target in free agency to take the team to the next level. His brainstorm was that they should offer Landry Fields a 3 year $24 million deal because now is a good time to “buy low” on Fields. One caveat — in the article, when he said that he wanted to take the Magic to the “next level,” he didn’t say whether he meant the next level up or the next level down.

  75. So Denver played 0.560 ball before they traded Melo and then finished with 50 wins which is 0.610 ball. I agree that is an improvement, but not such a big one and could have been due to their schedule, noise or other factors. I do think that we paid through the nose for him and I hated giving up all those player, so I’m not surprised Denver didn’t get worse after the trade. . But even if they got a little bit better that year, that doesn’t detract from my argument that Melo can be an asset in building a good team and that he’s being paid market value.

  76. I love Mike K and all but I find his letter to be revisionist and inaccurate, and unbelievably judgmental given that he doesn’t know most of what he’s intimating to be fact.

    For once, I’ll agree with Captain Luke:

    1. Melo is a good player, not a superstar.
    2. Melo’s production does not match his contract.
    3. Melo is not responsible for Phil Jackson’s stupidity.
    4. The Knicks will suck for at least 5 more years (mediocrity is their ceiling).

    It’s not Melo’s fault that someone offered him a near max contract, unless you are expecting him to just give away money that is offered to him.

    It’s not Melo’s fault that Dolan gave away the farm for him (although he certainly could’ve played better poker in the situation) in the “negotiations” with Masai.

    It’s not Melo’s fault that Grunwald shit the bed with all his contracts (Felton, Novak, JR) and made seriously AWFUL trades for Camby and Felton. I’m giving him a pass for the Bargs trade, but that trade wouldn’t even have been on the radar if not for that awful Novak contract. And I’d wager we would’ve gotten more for Tyson if we didn’t have to dump Felton’s contract too.

    It’s not Melo’s fault that Jason Kidd was offered a HC job and so didn’t continue with the Knicks, or that Rasheed got injured, since i think it’s pretty plausible that Kidd/Rasheed/Kurt were a big part of that team’s success.

    It’s not Melo’s fault that Woodson thought the best way to combat the “big” Indy lineup by adding kenyon Martin to the starting lineup. If we squeak out the Indy series and then move on to play Miami, a team we spanked 3 out of 4 games that year…?

    And then to say you’ll “never” do this or that. Never’s a very long time. Paul Pierce was a malcontent inefficient chucker until he wasn’t. Maybe it’s naive or over-optimistic, but I rarely say “never” about anything.

  77. But kudos to Mike for kicking off the offseason with such a provocative piece.

    meanwhile with the news out of Indy re: Hibbert — would anyone here want him at a reasonable price, which I’m assuming will be around $15-17MM/year?

    Still an elite rim protector but getting worse on offense, can only play about 25 minutes/game. Dunno.

  78. meanwhile with the news out of Indy re: Hibbert — would anyone here want him at a reasonable price, which I’m assuming will be around $15-17MM/year?

    NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  79. I wholeheartedly agree that most of the blame for this entire situation falls on the various front offices we’ve had (though I think you’re underselling Grunwald, who put together the only good team I’ve been able to fully experience and was almost certainly coaxed into his bad moves). That said, Melo hasn’t helped at any point along the way (reluctance to come as a free agent, reluctance to sign for less than the mega max, etc.). But yes, there was no gun to their heads, and they are mostly to blame.

  80. Re: Grunwald – he put together a good team, but at what expense? He was responsible for trades that gave away all our 2nd round picks for 5 years, at least one NBA-level prospect (Papanikoloau sp?). And whereas he probably was coerced into the Bargnani trade, he also gave 3 terrible contracts out, each of which ended up costing us valuable assets to get rid of — JR/Felton/Novak. He knew Tyson/Melo/Amare were all expiring at end of 2015, presumably giving us huge flexibility, yet he gives out 3 contracts that go until 2016 – on 3 players that NO ONE WANTED. Maybe you can give him a pass on the JR thing since he had just won 6th man, but he was going into major knee surgery. What kind of planning is that?

    Just imagine he didn’t give out contracts going to 2016. The Tyson and JR/Shump trades probably never happen. Or at least we get a lot more out of them.

    Captain Luke keeps blaming Phil for these moves, but these are really all moves to clean up Grunwald’s mess. And I’m even giving him a free pass on the Bargnani trade.

    Objectively, Grunwald built a good team in 2012 but sacrificed a ton of future flexibility to get a bunch of 40 year olds on the team, then destroyed our cap situation going forward giving out idiotic contracts. There really is no other way to look at it.

  81. Gotta agree with Luke and BC and especially Frank on this score. Melos kinda dumb but not really to blame at all for the dumpster fire that is the Knicks (he didn’t give himself his contract)–if he does share any portion of blame it pales in comparison to the continued sins of management and ownership

  82. by the way Larry Bird really does not f*ck around. He wants Hibbert to opt out and has the party line trying to push him out. “role will be diminished”, “possibly benched”, but of course “we expect him to opt-in”. Hilarious.

    I hate the Celtics but man, I would love either Bird or Ainge to be in charge of this team. These guys are straight out assassins.

  83. 1. Melo forced his way to NY instead of waiting for free agency. He made the Knicks gut their team of the young players and draft picks we accumulated after suffering through the initial stages of the Walsh/D’Antoni rebuild. Had he waited, we’d have had much of what we are trying to build now.

    2. Melo refused to play within the D’Antoni system and forced out a series of players he and Walsh brought in.

    3. Melo has no comprehension whatsoever that his domination of the ball and scoring does not add a lot of value because he’s only about an average efficiency scorer. That delusional state of affairs makes it harder to get him to play the right way.

    4. Most important, given the fact that he’s only a mildly above average player getting paid the max, it’s extremely difficult to build a serious contender within the cap when there are better players in the NBA making less.

    Given 1-4, you don’t get to put the pressure on Phil to build the right team around you now or second guess your choice to come here given it’s half your fault we are still a mess (the other half being Dolan’s fault).

    Given 1-4, it’s laughable than any Knicks fan still defends him above saying he’s a pretty good player and generally OK guy.

  84. To your points:
    1) How did Melo “force” Dolan to give up everything? does he have mind control serum or does he have pictures of Dolan in compromising situations?
    2) What series of players might you be talking about? Landry Fields? Extra E?
    3) agree with this, although overall I’d say he’s been trying
    4) maybe. certainly would be easier if he were getting paid less. but remember we were one Woodson away from possibly the ECFs in 2012 with Amare getting paid the max too.

  85. “would anyone here want him at a reasonable price, which I’m assuming will be around $15-17MM/year?”
    “Still an elite rim protector but getting worse on offense, can only play about 25 minutes/game. ”
    I think that the second part of your statement kind of answers your question.

  86. –Given 1-4, you don’t get to put the pressure on Phil to build the right team around you now or second guess your choice to come here given it’s half your fault we are still a mess (the other half being Dolan’s fault).

    This makes no sense. Phil signed him. Phil put the pressure on himself.

  87. So Denver played 0.560 ball before they traded Melo and then finished with 50 wins which is 0.610 ball. I agree that is an improvement, but not such a big one and could have been due to their schedule, noise or other factors.

    The Nuggets were 32-25 (.561) and 18-7 (.720) after the trade. That is a big improvement.

    I certainly could be wrong but just accepting knowledge that is not actually written or statement of fact is essentially just conspiracy theory.

    Well then I guess pretty much all news that comes from a “source close to the team” is just conspiracy theory, which is basically all NBA front office news from even the most credible writers in the country. But there are hundreds of reports that can be dug up that state that Anthony’s reps were engineering his exit from Denver. Like this one for instance: http://sports.espn.go.com/new-york/nba/news/story?id=6133683

    (“Representatives at CAA pushed for the meeting between Anthony and Dolan, sources said. They also said Anthony wants to know how badly the Knicks want him.”)

    Melos kinda dumb but not really to blame at all for the dumpster fire that is the Knicks

    I don’t think Mike is blaming Anthony for everything that is wrong with the Knicks. He is just pointing out that Anthony, who less than a year ago stated that “at this point in my career, it’s about winning”, could have made vastly different decisions if winning was his true and ultimate goal. He could be playing for Chicago or Houston. Or with a different looking Knicks roster.

  88. This is like 3 days worth of posts for this site lately, including game threads. Lol. Only Melo could stir the nest like this on a harmless quote. :)

  89. –I don’t think Mike is blaming Anthony for everything that is wrong with the Knicks. He is just pointing out that Anthony, who less than a year ago stated that “at this point in my career, it’s about winning”, could have made vastly different decisions if winning was his true and ultimate goal. He could be playing for Chicago or Houston. Or with a different looking Knicks roster.

    No, thats actually what he did. Maybe not every single thing thats wrong with the team but most of it.

  90. –Only Melo could stir the nest like this on a harmless quote. :)

    Ive never seen anything like Melo in NY. Maybe Arod i guess.

  91. by the way Larry Bird really does not f*ck around. He wants Hibbert to opt out and has the party line trying to push him out. “role will be diminished”, “possibly benched”, but of course “we expect him to opt-in”. Hilarious.

    Even Miami and Indiana are both saying they are going to play smaller and faster next year. The Knicks are heading in the direction of playing slower half court post up ball. smh

  92. No, thats actually what he did. Maybe not every single thing thats wrong with the team but most of it.

    I disagree. Mike is saying that Carmelo made his bed and now he has to sleep in it. Which is true.

    How did Melo “force” Dolan to give up everything? does he have mind control serum or does he have pictures of Dolan in compromising situations?

    CAA offered him a gig with the Eagles! (If that’s not unfair manipulation of the weakminded, then I don’t know what is… it’s classic Faust:)

  93. ) How did Melo “force” Dolan to give up everything? does he have mind control serum or does he have pictures of Dolan in compromising situations?

    It is well known that Walsh and D’Antoni wanted Melo to wait until the off season so they could keep their core and add Melo. Melo wanted out and wanted every penny he could possible get. He and Denver were BOTH using the Nets to try to force it to happen when it did so Melo could get the better contract. You can’t fully blame Melo on that. It was on management to say “no” also. That’s why I said it was only “half” his fault and the rest Dolan’s. But if you really want to win, you don’t conclude that gutting the team you are heading to is a good strategy. It’s doubly obvious when you are not even a superstar player. But he was delusional about his own value back then and he’s still delusional despite overwhelming evidence of his lack of high value in both the advanced stats and how true superstars impact teams with and without their presence.

  94. So by that logic do we blame Tyson for forcing us to use the amnesty on Billups for him to get “every penny he could possibly get”?

  95. I’m just of the opinion that a vast majority of players in the NBA are short-sighted and it’s up to management to limit the impact their short-sightedness has on your team construction–Walsh and Dolan (this was really mostly Dolan though) failed the test of good management by kowtowing to a player’s short-sightedness who’s only recourse was to go to the equally miserable Nets if he failed in wooing the Knicks (LOL).

    So yeah it’s partially Melo’s fault in being dumb but it’s hardly 50/50–part of management’s organizing goal is to not routinely make horrifically dumb decisions because of one player’s wishes.

    Also, any argument about Melo “not being serious about winning” because he refused to take a discount is lame. Players shouldn’t be expected to take a discount when the owners, parasitic rentiers that they are, make a majority of the money with a fraction of the effort. The only time I expect or even ask a discount of a player is a Duncan or Dirk scenario. That’s it. Anything else is putting an unfair burden on the players. If they want to pull a Miami, that’s fine, but demanding that of people independent of their own will is lame.

  96. This makes no sense. Phil signed him. Phil put the pressure on himself.

    I agree that Phil made the mistake of resigning him at that price.

    However, Melo is already talking about how the ball is now Phil’s court to add the players to create a good team with his imprint on it and how he was having second thoughts early in the season. He’s already distancing himself from any responsibility going forward despite his salary and ball dominating style that runs counter to what we are trying to accomplish.

    As others have said, he made his bed here. We were gutted to bring him here. We sucked with him last year. He didn’t give us much of a discount. So what did he and what does he expect?

  97. So by that logic do we blame Tyson for forcing us to use the amnesty on Billups for him to get “every penny he could possibly get”?

    No, because we really couldn’t even consider Tyson without making that move. Melo could have come as a free agent.

  98. BTW the correct title to this article is supposed to be Melo, The Knicks, And The Savior Complex, but my site isn’t behaving today.

    The main point is that Melo chose, of all the teams he could have gone to, this dysfunctional franchise and then chose again to stay with them and now is aloof at the predicament he willingly put himself into. Much like your friend that always seems to pick the real “winners” to date and then wonder why they’re 35 & not married yet.

  99. I mean, on the other hand, you’re almost never winning a championship with Melo as your centerpiece, but it’s not wrong of Melo or indicative that he doesn’t want to win to want the maximum amount of money to earn. Again, it’s a kind of short-sightedness that is up to management to rectify–either by convincing him to take a discount (which he isn’t blameable for refusing and is a little exploitative) or by signing-and-trading, or even by letting him walk. Melo shouldn’t be blamed for his short-sightedness, as players are incentivized to act in such a way when there isn’t a massive salary cap increase imminent and that’s also just who he is. That management was able to fuck up negotiations with such a known quantity is really doubly embarrassing honestly.

  100. @114 so Melo saying what we have all been saying is a bad thing? He said Phil has to do his job, how is that pressure?

    We sucked with him last year meaning what?

  101. We sucked with him last year meaning what?

    Why would he be questioning his choice of returning this year given our struggles last year and lack of flexibility coming into the year? It was obvious we were going to be bad this year. Maybe no one predicted we’d be this bad, but we knew making the playoffs was not going to be easy.

    Why would he expect anything special coming out of this FA year given we are hampered by his contract long term?

    All of us are hoping PHil does something special this offseason , but many of us are accepting of the fact that once Melo was signed at the max, we were immediately in trouble. I know I am not expecting miracles from Phil.

  102. There are d-league guys who can give you 90+% of Jeremy Lin (or Ray Felton) for the minimum.

    Shane Larkin’s PER is 70% of what Lin’s is. The mighty Langston Galloway is 79%.

    /troll on
    Lin’s career TS% is 54.7% which is .1% higher than a certain Knicks’ TS%.
    /troll off

  103. Trades are NEVER on the player. If they have leverage, good for them. That trade was zero % on Melo and 100% on the Knicks mgmt/ownership.

    That said, I agree that Melo made his bed (by foregoing free agency the first time and then again this time) and now he has to sleep in it. But so what? Where does he blame anyone else (publicly, at least) for his “misfortune”? That’s the point here… having second thoughts is far, far different than blaming someone/something else.

    I just don’t get what Mike, et. al. are trying to say/prove that is worth saying/proving. Whatever he did or didn’t do, he has very little to do with why the Knicks have been disappointing during his tenure, or that he’s here at all. It’s Dolan’s bed, and Phil’s and his predecessors, and D’Antoni’s bed too. Melo was no mystery. Why didn’t he quit right there? What about Walsh? Why didn’t he quit on the spot if he was so concerned about giving up too much in the Melo deal? He can’t pass the buck to Dolan on that one, it was made on his watch and he didn’t have the backbone to walk away publicly at the time and divorce himself from the deal.

    I also don’t get any defending of D’Antoni. He could have gone to Chicago and took the job here, knowing Dolan’s MO. Why? Same reason Melo did. He also ran Steph out of town even though he was 10x better than Duhon at that point, rather than let him play and maybe get something of value for his expiring. He hasn’t done shit since leaving Phoenix and the job offers are hardly bowling him over.

    And after he was fired, Mike Woodson led them on a 18-6 run or something like that, was that all on Melo?

  104. Trades are NEVER on the player. If they have leverage, good for them. That trade was zero % on Melo and 100% on the Knicks mgmt/ownership.

    If you believe that then Mike’s article is 100% correct. He knew what he was getting into initially and again this season.

    I would, and have been arguing, he could have made a different bed by coming as a free agent and/or taking a bigger discount. Point being, do what you are going to do, but cut the BS and second guessing when you made the bed you find yourself in and it was obvious.

  105. However, Melo is already talking about how the ball is now Phil’s court to add the players to create a good team with his imprint on it and how he was having second thoughts early in the season. He’s already distancing himself from any responsibility going forward despite his salary and ball dominating style that runs counter to what we are trying to accomplish.

    In Melo’s own words from the article that inspired this piece:
    “This next season for me and for the organization and for Phil, this is where we earn our money.” In what way is he distancing himself from the responsibility?

  106. 18-7 (.720) is definitely a good winning percentage, but it’s too small a sample size for me to conclude that the trade made Denver intrinsically better. NBA teams go through runs of games against strong teams and runs of home games and such. Denver could have had something like a long home stretch. Even if not, there was a lot of stress on the team because of all the rumors about trades at the time. It’s not surprising they went on a run once the trades were resolved. I do agree that Denver definitely didn’t get worse from the trade, and maybe I misstated that in my original post. But they weren’t bad with Carmelo either, they had a good record in a tough conference.

  107. “This next season for me and for the organization and for Phil, this is where we earn our money.

    Melo had no money to earn this season? (What happened to the playoffs?)

  108. “This next season for me and for the organization and for Phil, this is where we earn our money.” In what way is he distancing himself from the responsibility?”

    +1

    My interpretation: “we knew going in that this season was far less important or telling than next season because of all the expirings. Next year, we will know whether we will have a good team or not during my time here, and will therefore be able to judge whether we are “earning our money” since that is the reason we got paid the money in the first place…not for this year but for the next 4 years, starting with next year.”

  109. If what you guys are saying is true, then why the whole speech about his lack of clarity and questioning his decision to come to NY?

    He thought the team was going to be good. He finally faced reality (a reality most of us were expecting) and now is he looking forward hoping Phil puts together a good team.

    We’ll be lucky to win 41 games

  110. Denver definitely didn’t get worse from the trade… they weren’t bad with Carmelo either, they had a good record in a tough conference.

    That’s the entire point of this article. Denver was a good team, with young talent, and good management. But Anthony chose to leave for New York, a continually dysfunctional franchise.

    The Nuggets didn’t get worse after the trade because they had a diverse portfolio of talent and a manager and a system geared toward utilizing it.

    Had Anthony stayed in Denver, he’d have won more games than he has in NY. But he wanted to be in NY, either for his own lifestyle or for his wife’s, and he’s a jackass if he complains about it.

  111. It doesn’t seem to me that he’s complaining about it. The other posters are right, Anthony is getting criticized for being honest. Everyone wonders about what might have been, but I guess well paid pro athletes aren’t supposed to admit that they wonder. But they have very big choices to make and they are not always easy. It’s nice that we root for a team that some athletes really want to live here and play for. That’s a good thing for the Knicks, not a bad thing.

  112. Much like your friend that always seems to pick the real “winners” to date and then wonder why they’re 35 & not married yet.

    I see it’s pick on DRed day at knickerblogger

  113. It doesn’t seem to me that he’s complaining about it. The other posters are right, Anthony is getting criticized for being honest. Everyone wonders about what might have been, but I guess well paid pro athletes aren’t supposed to admit that they wonder.

    Tonight, go home to your spouse and say aloud “Gee I was just thinking what my life was like if I married (insert former lover’s name) instead. Honey did I really make the right decision?”

    I’m sure your spouse will appreciate your honesty.

  114. Much like your friend that always seems to pick the real “winners” to date and then wonder why they’re 35 & not married yet.

    I see it’s pick on DRed day at knickerblogger

    If this is true on your next date you can say you’re the Carmelo Anthony of dating.

    Better yet, maybe you shouldn’t admit you’re a Knicks fan until after the vows are spoken.

  115. –Tonight, go home to your spouse and say aloud “Gee I was just thinking what my life was like if I married (insert former lover’s name) instead. Honey did I really make the right decision?”

    I’m sure your spouse will appreciate your honesty.

    So you are upset at honesty? Sorry Mike that everyone is not 1000% sure of every decision like you are.

  116. Huh? Mike Kurylo using PER to make a point?????

    Usually if I’m going with a 1 number catchall metric, it’s PER. It’s not great, but you could do worse.

    Shots fired! THCJ where art thou?

  117. So are you suggesting that pro athletes should act like they are married to their fans and their fans are the jealous type? Extend that concept to Bargnani for a moment. He’s married to us by that standard and think how we treat him and what we say about him.

  118. I guess the thing it if he knew or thought the team would be in for a rough year this season then what is the point of re-considering. Really though his comments are being parsed as if this was the text of Hamlet, when he is some dude who went to HS for 5 years and dropped out of college after one.

  119. The thing is most people would never say that to their spouse. But everyone also knows that everyone has those thoughts occasionally (except for my fiancee. Everyone else though). Which brings us back to the fundamental point that Melo was (once again) silly for voicing out loud what he did to the media. But the actual content of the comments in and of themselves aren’t actually controversial.

  120. “It is well known that Walsh and D’Antoni wanted Melo to wait until the off season so they could keep their core and add Melo. Melo wanted out and wanted every penny he could possible get”
    If you remember, at the time, there was real uncertainty over what was going to happen with the CBA. Everyone was projecting that things were going to get much worse for the players that summer. Estimates were that, by waiting, Melo would have forfeited between $10 and $25 million. It didn’t turn out that way, but that is what everyone thought was going to happen. In light of that, I think that it’s pretty unfair to criticize a guy for wanting to make sure he locked in the higher number, like all of his peers did. (Put another way, what would YOU have done if you were in his shoes. I am skeptical of anyone who says that he would have waited.) By the way, if the Knicks wanted to sign him, they would have had to renounce their rights to Wilson Chandler so it’s not like they could have signed Melo and kept everyone else…and they still would have had Felton as their point guard.
    “I see it’s pick on DRed day at knickerblogger”
    Time to turn off my computer. I can’t possibly top this…

  121. Tonight, go home to your spouse and say aloud “Gee I was just thinking what my life was like if I married (insert former lover’s name) instead. Honey did I really make the right decision?”

    I’m sure your spouse will appreciate your honesty.

    Keeping with the metaphor… what do you do if your spouse is always asking you if you wonder what would have happened if you married another? Would you like it? Because that’s what NY’s media do, and it is not nice for Melo either.

  122. By the way, if the Knicks wanted to sign him, they would have had to renounce their rights to Wilson Chandler so it’s not like they could have signed Melo and kept everyone else…

    Walsh wanted to hang on to Gallinari. That’s when CAA went over Walsh’s head and got Dolan directly talking to Kroenke. At that point it became a prestige battle for Dolan to beat the Nets.

    Dolan was used by CAA, and they spent the next few years paying him back.

    I’m surprised there are people who don’t remember this, or think that his is some “conspiracy theory”.

  123. By the way, I’m not even saying what Melo said wasn’t dumb, as it was, but that’s what Melo does, he says dumb stuff. But so long as he doesn’t actively complain about stuff that was a result of his trade (like complaining about a lack of good teammates), I’m fine with the guy. And for all the silly stuff he’s said over the years, he’s never gone to that point, so I’m cool with him.

  124. But so long as he doesn’t actively complain about stuff that was a result of his trade I’m fine with the guy.

    Fwiw, I think it’s safe to say he complained about D’Antoni, who became his coach as a result of the trade.

  125. Keeping with the metaphor… what do you do if your spouse is always asking you if you wonder what would have happened if you married another? Would you like it? Because that’s what NY’s media do, and it is not nice for Melo either.

    Do these pants make me look fat?

  126. Lakers fan and lurker here. Always have respected this site, and its writers and commenters. I have been interested in what you guys have had to say lately since the Lakers are in just as bad, and maybe even worse, shape than the Knicks are, and there is the Jim Buss/Phil Jackson subtext. I will be interested to see if both, one, or neither of them can successfully get his team out of the basement and into relevance or even title contention any time within the next three years. It is not going to be easy in either case.

    Commenting on this for two reasons:

    1. There is a subset of Lakers fans who blame Kobe for his contract. Since Kobe played with Shaq and Pau and for Phil and therefore was able to earn five rings, and is a career Laker, it is a smallish group, but they are there. I am 100% opposed to that, for the obvious reason noted here: Kobe didn’t give himself the deal. Anyone unhappy with Carmelo Anthony’s contract should blame two men for it, and only two: Phil Jackson and James Dolan.
    2. I respect Kurylo as a writer and get his frustration, but while analogies and metaphors are fun and interesting, there is a problem with using them to make philosophical and analytical points: analogies and metaphors are figurative, not literal. Comparing Anthony’s relationship with the Knicks to a marriage makes for a nice hook, but the Knicks aren’t his spouse. They are his employer. So, wondering aloud if he took the right job offer, while unwise to do in public while physically unable to go to work and making millions of guaranteed dollars, just isn’t the same thing as saying something like that to/about a spouse or in-laws.

  127. Fwiw, I think it’s safe to say he complained about D’Antoni, who became his coach as a result of the trade.

    But his problems with D’Antoni weren’t specifically due to the terms of the trade. Complaining about a lack of good teammates is complaining about something that was due to the terms of the trade. So that’s why that is something I’m very much against.

    As an aside, in general, I never begrudge players for bitching about their coach if they disagree with them. I didn’t mind it when Melo did to D’Antoni and I didn’t mind it when Chandler did it to Woodson. That’s ultimately also on the front office to determine what to do about it (side with the player or the coach).

  128. As an aside, in general, I never begrudge players for bitching about their coach if they disagree with them. I didn’t mind it when Melo did to D’Antoni and I didn’t mind it when Chandler did it to Woodson. That’s ultimately also on the front office to determine what to do about it (side with the player or the coach).

    I don’t have a problem with a star player going to the coach and telling him he thinks he’s not being used correctly, but this is what actually happened.

    D’Antoni wanted Melo in the Gallo role. He wanted him outside the 3 point line shooting spot up 3s after the pick and roll and driving to the basket drawing fouls (you know, playing intelligently and scoring with high efficiency).

    Melo likes holding the ball, playing in the post, and in isolation (you know, playing like an idiot and with average efficiency)

    A compromise had to be reached in the same way Karl compromised with Melo to give him x% of the plays in the post.

    The real problem was that Melo challenged D’Antoni by refusing to play within the system and not giving 100%. That split the locker room. Lin starting freezing Melo out whenever he went into the post and he wasn’t supposed to be there. That caused the tension between Melo and Lin. Amare started talking about “trusting the system” and all the success he had with it in Phoenix. Chandler was supposedly griping about Melo also. It was a mutiny with part of the locker room aligned with Melo (the nitwits from CAA like JR) and part of the locker room (Lin, Fields, Amare, Chandler, Novak) aligned with the coach. Facing mutiny, D’Antoni went to management and said “Either trade him or I have to leave”. D’Antoni lost the political battle to CAA and the forces of doom. He was gone and eventually Walsh followed.

  129. The blame-Melo issue is mostly semantic bullshit. There is a more useful way to talk about these things that would leave 95% of the board in agreement. Most of it comes from just leaving out the word “should.” Fans are allowed to root more for players who are more aligned with them. And being willing to subordinate your marginal wealth and certainty in the hope of more wins aligns you with fans, who don’t care about your personal wealth and certainty. It is not hypocritical to root more for players more aligned with you, even if you would take in the money in their position. It’s just the polemics and silly language of morality that’s empty and hypocritical.

    It doesn’t help that Melo is also not a great basketball strategist. Lebron isn’t looking to subordinate his marginal wealth either, but he is an excellent thinker about winning basketball games. Raise your hand if you would ever want Melo as the assistant GM of your team. It further doesn’t help that Melo happens to have a game that is overrated and gets him overpaid. Sure, there is some overlap here with his basketball IQ, but I bet that’s lower than commonly believed. I doubt that a smarter playing Melo who ramps down his isos and shoots more threes results in a huge improvement. I think it is as much bad luck that he happens to have a game that is overrated, and also doesn’t seem to understand what efficient ten man basketball chess has become today. Tony Parker is an extremely smart player, but if he was on a non-Spurs team and wasn’t extremely smart he might have identical numbers and be far less respected, with a lot of his jump shooting and iffy defense blamed on a low basketball IQ.

  130. Dantoni sucks. Who cares?

    Except all the good coaches now utilize his original ideas. He’s a flawed coach for sure, but only as it relates to managing personalities. He has a low tolerance for players who like to play inefficiently and doesn’t really make compromises. He is what he is but he’s probably the best Knicks coach of the past decade or so.

  131. i agree with and enjoyed this article. i love the fact that melo is honest but he is always undermining the team dynamic before every season. whether it was his exit from denver, his quitting on d’antoni, his comments on lin, his comments prior to free agency, his goals outside of basketball (digital mogul?) his new comments it’s always something that cast a shadow over the team and creates the wrong type of attention. he hasn’t grown into a leader for this team and our whole team revolves around his ego far too often. i also believe D’Antoni is a better coach than Mike Woodson and Derek Fisher. i’m not trying to be a hater but this type of discussion is cathartic after the season we just had. melo is an amazing soldier but he is treated like a king and paid to be the general…then he talks like benedict arnold i dunno.

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