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Jim Boeheim tells Carmelo Anthony to leave Knicks (basically)

Feb 13, 2014, 10:00 AM EDT

Jim Boeheim, who coached Carmelo Anthony at Syracuse, discussed Melo’s pending free agency with Jim Rome (hat tip: Matt Moore of Eye on Basketball). Boeheim:

What I’d tell him is what I would tell any NBA great player. If you’re a great player in the NBA, for you to be recognized as a great player, you have to win a championship. It’s as simple as that. And I think you have to put yourself in the best position possible to win a championship.

LeBron James did it. He did get some criticism for the way it went down, but he got himself with Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh and has been able to win championships. And it’s changed the image of LeBron James forever.

I think you have to be in a place that you have a chance to win a championship. I think Carmelo loves New York, but I would tell him, “Let’s try to get some place where you can win this thing.”

So, no Boeheim doesn’t explicitly say Melo should leave New York, but you can read between the lines.

Even if the Knicks re-sign Melo, they’re not going anywhere next season. They’re old and capped out, stuck with a dismal roster.

New York should have cap room the following summer, and it seems someone like Rajon Rondo is the dream target. But could Melo and Rondo really lead a championship team without major help? And it’s not likely the Knicks actually get that extra help – even though it’s necessary.

Building a championship team around Melo is very challenging. He gets paid so much money, it’s difficult to fill the roster with quality pieces around him. And because Melo’s contributions are so scoring-centric – both when it comes to helping himself and helping teammates – he needs a strong supporting cast, especially defensively.

So, if Melo wants that championship, he should accept less money or play for a franchise that has at least indicated it could build a  winner around him. That’s not the Knicks.

Boeheim makes a sound point about the need for great players to win a championship. Though I believe a great player can just get stuck on the wrong teams through no fault of his own, few grant that leeway. It’s extremely rare, though not unprecedented, for a player to be viewed as great without a championship.

But here’s the flaw in Boeheim’s logic: Melo is not an all-time great player. He’s a very good player, but he doesn’t hold a candle to LeBron James and Kevin Durant in his generation. Melo falls below players like Chris Paul and Dwyane, too. Several slightly younger players could pass Melo, as well.

Of course, a championship would improve Melo’s legacy considerably and maybe even make me re-think Melo’s place in history – which is exactly Boeheim’s point. If Melo cares about how he’ll be remembered, a championship is the most-essential missing piece.

What Boeheim won’t say: For Melo to follow the advice, he must leave New York.

  1. cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM

    He should go to Chicago.

    • shuttaman1990 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:58 AM

      lol chicago the same chicago that couldn’t get no one for D.Rose and put it on him to win a chip?
      Seriously when is the last time you saw a team win a chip with only a PG as a superstar????????????
      He’s not even better than Iverson in his prime and Iverson got washed by the Mighty Lakers.
      and now D.Rose is injury prone.
      No way in hell he goes to that joke of a franchise, these bums got lucky with MJ. They don’t know how to scout talent at all.

      Lakers all day.

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        He’ll go to the Clippers before the Lakers. He’s not playing for D’Antoni. Kobe’s old & Nash is done!

      • shuttaman1990 - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:06 PM


        LMAO you think he’s staying?
        Listen here playa, step your basketball awareness up.

        Lakers all day.

      • stephenlin - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:43 PM

        Shuttaman, you’re aware that adding “Lakers all day” to the end of every post doesn’t give your ideas any more credibility than what little they already have, right…?

      • therealhtj - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:54 PM

        Only way Melo can go anywhere and have enough cap room left over to compete for a championship is to take a pretty steep paycut off the 23mil starting salary the Knicks will gladly fork over. We’re talking $16-$18 mil / season for 4 years as a free agent (around 70 total) to leave enough cap room to be real contenders vs the $125 mil range to likely stay ringless with the Knicks.

        Lakers fans, even the morons who still think Kobe is the best player in the game, should hope against everything their team doesn’t get Melo on a max deal. Melo + Kobe + whatever draft pick they get and the Jetsam Flotsam they can pick up on minimum deals likely doesn’t get them out of the 2nd round, if that far.

        Regardless, Melo has never stricken anyone as the type to make that, or any, sort of financial sacrifice. The Miami trio took a slight cut, but still got upwards of a $120 mil guaranteed. The CBA makes that sort of deal impossible today.

      • shuttaman1990 - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        I know. So? What’s the problem then? Why you so jell? I’m spitting facts and I don’t care about adding it.
        Lakers all day

    • hwatt - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      so on a serious note, the problem with Chicago is Tom Thibs isn’t going to fool around with him. Melo would need to
      1)transform his defensive skills overnight AND
      2)take a paycut big enough to play with D.Rose and Noah

      Thibs does not fool around with players who can’t play defense. Worst case… and most likely case… he’d turn into Carlos Boozer+. A bit more points on offense, still on the bench when it’s time for some serious defense. As the article said, for that type of money Thibs would expect not to have to play musical chairs with him.

      • casualcommenter - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:34 PM

        I’m not a huge Carmelo Anthony fan, but he’s a better defender than Boozer.

        And it’s a bit of a joke to say Carmelo Anthony is only worth “a few more points” than Boozer. Boozer the past 2 years has only managed to score around 15 points per game. His effective field goal percentage this year is just 45%. Anthony has scored 29 points per game this year with an effective field goal percentage of 50% this year with nobody else on his team to create good looks for him. Unlike Boozer, he also draws fouls and has 3-point range to spread the floor.

        …14 more points per game is significant, especially for a good defensive team like the Bulls that can’t score.

    • pbtunpaidwriter - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:56 PM

      there weren’t many lines to read between. It was pretty clear he thinks Melo should leave.

    • chicagosports2014 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      NY better trade him so dey get sumthin lolz

  2. sportsfan18 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    This is what I’ve been saying in many different ways on different Melo and Knick threads…

    From the article above…

    “Building a championship team around Melo is very challenging. He gets paid so much money, it’s difficult to fill the roster with quality pieces around him. And because Melo’s contributions are so scoring-centric – both when it comes to helping himself and helping teammates – he needs a strong supporting cast, especially defensively.

    So, if Melo wants that championship, he should accept less money…”

    Melo is good, but for the money he gets, he doesn’t do enough. A max player should play well on both sides of the floor. He makes more than LBJ and they came into the league together.

    I’ve said it would be difficult for a team with Melo to win a title. Why? Just as this article says, he makes A LOT of money and he’s basically only a #2 player. There isn’t enough money left to get a #1 player and a strong #3 player.

    The #1 player would make less than Melo.

    Melo needs to do what LBJ and Bosh did and that’s take less money, if he wants to win a championship that is.

    • aboogy123456 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:03 AM

      players on melo’s level will always outperform their contract. Any team would be willing to max out guys like him, howard, lebron, paul, durant, westbrook, etc.. It’s not those guys that are blocking a team from affording a championship, it’s guys like stoudemire getting 20 mil, or now chandler getting over 10 mil. When teams get stuck into those contracts, it’s hard to surround a player like melo with talent. The key is getting two of those max players, and then solid role players will take less money to come and play for a potential contender. If you don’t think melo to the bulls would be a smart move for the bulls, then tell us how you think the bulls should spend that money.

    • sleepyguy24 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:18 AM

      very well said sportsfan18. Even if Melo were to take less money who would the Knicks bring in? The Knicks management haven’t been the greatest in building a good team in years. I honestly think they got lucky last year.

      Personally my guess all Melo wants is money. He’ll take the huge paycheck from the Knicks, light up the offensive stat sheet and when all is said and done he’ll be sitting on a boat load of money with no rings. I think he’ll be fine with that. Melo’s legacy will be money. Sucks for us Knicks fans though.

      • cruzan80 - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:16 PM

        Riiiiiiiight! Because Amare Stoudamire (who hasn’t played a full season in 3 years) doesn’t make MORE money than Anthony ($21,679,893 mil this year & next)…right??? Tyson Chandler isn’t making $14,100,538 (more than Surge Ibaka & same as Russell Westbrook)…right??? Carmelo is making ALLLLLLL the money on the Knicks…..the other guys are using Monopoly money…right fellas???

  3. shuttaman1990 - Feb 13, 2014 at 10:59 AM

    You guys know where he going, Jim got it right.
    Jim knows that Melo can fufill his destiny playing for the Los Angeles Lakers.
    Melo will win his first ring with the purple and gold.

    Lakers all day, Kiss the rings baby babeyyyyyyy!

    • mickdamill - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM

      and they still dont win… Neither Kobe or Melo are going to put the ego aside to let the other lead the team and handle the ball. Wade passed the torch to Lebron thats why that duo is so effective. Besides Melo and Kobe are both greedy and I’m willing to bet they aren’t willing to take a pay cut in order to get some decent on court support.

      • aboogy123456 - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        It’s not an ego thing, both players respect each other very much and want to win. The issue when you pair two superstars is whether they need the ball to be effective. Lebron loses so much effectiveness when he doesn’t have the ball, and Wade is actually very good off the ball, that’s why the pairing eventually worked where lebron dominates the ball. Kobe and Melo can be successful because both of them can play well off of the ball, but can also create offense with the ball in their hands. We have to see if Kobe can get healthy again but his ego is not an issue.

      • macka4 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        You know Kobe and Melo.

    • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Kiss the rings? You need to dust them off, it’s been a while.

    • rodyaugu - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:27 PM

      Everybody going to the lakers according to lakers fans.

      • mickdamill - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:12 PM

        Good one! haha

  4. fotydaze - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    Jim is right, putting himself in position to win going to Miami did change LBJ’s image forever…it made him look soft

    • legend30 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:29 AM

      Leaving Cleveland doesn’t make you “soft” … Who are the two worst teams in all professional sports? Cleveland Browns and Cleveland Cavaliers. Cleveland = cursed

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:01 PM

        Leaving a team that you could not carry to team up with 2 all stars at the prime of their career is what makes you soft. It’s comical that you call yourself one of the best of all time after you do so

      • legend30 - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        Who were the two other All-Stars in Cleveland? Please don’t say Mo Williams……

      • legend30 - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:18 PM

        I read you’re comment like ten times and I still don’t understand it.

      • cantonbound13 - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:04 PM

        Ok. I understand Dade county is not exactly known to have a great school system, so I’ll try this again. LeBron could not carry the Cavs to a championship. Unlike the great ones Kobe, MJ, Bird & Magic. He needed to team up with 2 all stars (Wade & Bosh) in the prime of their careers to finally get a ring. After doing so, he talks about himself being one of the best of all time. That I find comical. Even Wade carried his team to a championship.

      • therealhtj - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:10 PM

        Lebron couldn’t carry a sorry Cavs team with likely the worst coach in NBA history, granted. But all the teams you named had multiple HOF players and coaches. It’s a weak argument from a jilted schoolgirl.

      • paleihe - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        What a ridiculous argument.

        Kobe had Shaq, Pau, and Phil Jackson.
        MJ had Pippen, Rodman, and Phil Jackson.
        Magic had Kareem, Worthy, and Pat Riley.
        Bird had McHale and Parrish.

        LeBron had More Williams, Mike Brown, and Larry Hughes.

        If you’re gonna compare…Please use something that’s comparable.

  5. legend30 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    Jim, is probably my top 3 favorite college basketball coaches and he’s right. Carmelo should strongly consider leaving New York.

    Don’t be surprised to see Melo wearing a Miami Heat jersey next season. People keep on forgetting Miami only has one guaranteed contract for next season (Norris Cole, and he’s really cheap). LeBron and Melo… Watch out!

    • tomtravis76 - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:36 PM

      Riles has to get bosh and wade to redo their deals to stay in Miami in stead of taking the player option for next season at the full boat. Pat and LeBron are going to get melo down to south beach to extend their title reign.

      • therealhtj - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        G’luck with that.

    • cruzan80 - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:17 PM

      As a Knicks fan…I’ve been worried about that possibility. Especially if the Heat fall short of repeating & Bosh or Wade go missing for any of those games in the process.

  6. irvfin3 - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:13 PM

    He really should go to Chicago if he wants the best chance to win. He’ll be surrounded by good defensive players (Butler, Gibson, and Noah) who can take slack off of Melo while him and Rose can give 20+ per night. Look what my Mavs did for Dirk in 2011 Kidd Stevenson Marion and Chandler were/are good on the defensive end while Dirk isn’t and they won a ring. The Knicks haven’t surrounded Melo with the right players.

    • casualcommenter - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:21 PM

      Agreed. The key thing is that Noah, Butler, Gibson, etc. aren’t guys who are going to demand 15 shots a night. There won’t be an issue of not having enough shots to go around since the offense would revolve around just two players, Rose and Carmelo, instead of trying to form a Big 3 on offense where shots would be harder to come by (Bosh in Miami is often the forgotten man on offense when LeBron and Wade are also playing).

      Boozer is bad defensively and not as good as Carmelo on offense, so swapping out Boozer for Carmelo improves the Bulls’ offense without hurting their defense.

      • irvfin3 - Feb 14, 2014 at 3:08 AM

        Exactly my man that’s what I’ve been trying to tell others. I hope the Bulls see and put this into their future plans.

  7. therooneyskilledwebster - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:25 PM

    He won’t win anything until he leaves the Bengals of the NBA.

  8. stephenolszewski - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:46 PM

    If Thibs stays in Chicago, Melo should go there he gets the best out of any player on the roster

  9. knoxxlive - Feb 13, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    Dwayne getting old (knees) Carmelo looking for a new home, Hmmm. . . Something to ponder, you read between the lines

    • casualcommenter - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:25 PM

      Nothing worth pondering.
      The Heat are well over the luxury tax line, which is why they amnestied Mike Miller to try to ease their tax burden. They can’t afford to sign any player, including Carmelo, to anything more than the mini-mid-level exception worth around $3 million per year.
      Teams like the Knicks, Bulls, and Lakers can offer Carmelo over $20 million per year.

      Read between the lines.

  10. toasted54 - Feb 13, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    If Wade retires, wouldn’t that free up nearly 20 mil?

    • therealhtj - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:21 PM

      If Wade did retire, for Medical reasons, he wouldn’t come off the books until the 15-16 season, so no.

  11. unxpexted1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Not saying it wouldn’t happen but you can’t tell me that this is not a contending starting five:

    D. Rose
    Jimmy Butler
    Taj Gibson

    Thibs as coach

    Its a perfect mix of offense, defense, flashy, hard-nose, skill, grit, talent, and hustle.

    • therealhtj - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:23 PM

      Amnestying Boozer doesn’t get you enough cap space to sign Melo – you’d likely have to salary dump Gibson to make room.

      • unxpexted1 - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:26 PM

        true, keeping gibson is crucial. he should be starter right now.

      • cruzan80 - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:23 PM

        Unless Melo takes less….which he might at this point to join a line up like that.

  12. fotydaze - Feb 13, 2014 at 2:36 PM


    Thank you…Finally someone gets it!!!!

  13. billtetley53 - Feb 13, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    Hooked on ebonics works for shuttaman.

    Yes Shutta, I WILL have fries with that.

  14. lucasblack12 - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Melo to the lakers? If he has a brain he will see they won’t have cap space to put anyone else worth a damn to put around him, because kobe take up 1/3 of the cap space, get real with yourself lakers fans. Dwight left for a reason.

  15. dperk123 - Feb 13, 2014 at 4:20 PM

    YES! YES! YES! Come to BOSTON MELO! Come play with the PG you are so dying to play with plus we got guys that are young and play grate D so you dont have to lol……C’mon son. What would you rather have RINGSSS or money!lol

  16. chargerdillon - Feb 13, 2014 at 5:48 PM

    As a Laker fan and not just one of these idiots who rambles the same line about the Lakers being the best, the very last thing I want after going through the lack of effort Dwight Howard gave me is to spend the next few years watching a broken down Kobe take too many shots paired with another player who does not make a single effort defensively.

    At this point it’s even fair to say Melo is a better defender than Kobe. And that thought should scare the hell out of every real Laker fan.

  17. dinofrank60 - Feb 13, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    To be recognized as a great player, you have to win a championship??? Who etched that piece of malarkey in stone?

  18. Miami305 - Feb 14, 2014 at 10:43 AM

    Melo to Miami!! It has a good ring to it.

  19. therealgrande - Feb 14, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Melo has 2 approaches clearly.
    1) If he wants money, because professional sports has become business as much as a game, he’ll stay in New York.
    2) If he wants to pursue a championship(s), he will leave. Chicago seems like the best fit for him and he’s already claimed if he did leave, that would be a spot he would like to go to.

    Boeheim said it perfectly. Melo won with Jimmy, I don’t doubt he listens to him to chase a championship elsewhere.

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