While the sports world is still at a standstill waiting for LeBron James to make his decision, there’s another superstar who is still a free agent. He goes by the name of Carmelo Anthony. The 30-year-old might just be waiting for King James to decide where he is going before making his choice amongt the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers, and Chicago Bulls. Let’s look at the five reasons why Melo should stay in New York.
1. Money, money, money
$129 million can buy you an island. The Knicks have offered Melo the maximum contract of five years, $129 million to stay in New York. It’s hard for anyone to see that kind of money and turn away from it. The next highest offer from the Lakers if four years, $96 million. $33 million is a HUGE difference. Nobody is giving Melo that kind of money when he is 34 years old and no longer in the prime of his career. He likely gets half of that or less, especially with some of his injury concerns. Money talks.
2. No place like the Big Apple
New York City is the greatest city in the world. If Melo could win here, he would become an icon. A statue would be built in his honor outside of Madison Square Garden for him. Chicago and Los Angeles are also tremendous basketball cities, but what’s better than playing at MSG? It’s the Mecca of basketball and there have been countless magical moments in the World’s Most Famous Arena. The Knicks even sell out games when they are lousy. This is a passionate fan base that has waited for years for the Knicks to be a title contender. It’s been over 40 years since they last won a title, and being part of a turnaround has to be on the mind of the Syracuse grad. His wife, La La also loves the spotlight and was born and raised in New York City. That’s got to play a major factor.
3. Phil Jackson
It didn’t take Phil Jackson very long to make his presence felt as President of the New York Knicks. He fleeced the Dallas Mavericks in a trade, getting rid of Raymond Felton, much to the delight of Knicks fans. Jackson has 11 rings and wants Melo to win his first in New York. He has the championship pedigree and knows what it takes to win. Jackson has a plan in place to get the Knicks to the promised land again. He’s one of the greatest winners in all of sports, and there aren’t many other organizations and front office executives that will have the influence that he will.
4. Tons of money to spend next summer
The Knicks may be financially strapped this offseason, but next summer is a whole different story. Amare Stoudemire and his $23 million will come off the books. Andrea Bargnani and his $12 million will come off the books. Samuel Dalembert and his $4 million will come off the books. A couple of other deals can also come off, including Wayne Ellington and Lamar Odom. That will leave the Knicks with more than $40 million to spend next summer, which is a star-studded free agent class. Some of those names include LaMarcus Aldridge, Rajon Rondo, Marc Gasol, Paul Millsap, and more. With the way the NBA has worked lately, everyone seems to want to go to a big city. The Knicks will be a lock to get at least two big names next summer.
5. Legacy and loyalty
Carmelo Anthony has been known for his prolific scoring ability and being a great player… but that’s about it. If he retired today, he would be known as a great scorer that never won. Sure, he’s been to the playoffs every year expect last year, but never to the NBA Finals. Winning in New York would put him in a special place and have him earn a legacy not only as a Knick, but as an all-time great player in NBA history. Loyalty also plays a factor here. Most say if he takes the Knicks offer, it’s all about the money, but committing the last big contract of your career to one team also shows a sense of loyalty. It shows he believes in Phil’s plan that is in place and thinks the Knicks could build something that will have all of New York buzzing. When the Knicks are buzzing, there’s nothing like it. Melo will build quite the legacy if he returns and wins a ring with Phil and new head coach Derek Fisher. Those two have plenty of rings. It’s time Melo joins the party.