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Carmelo Anthony: “I want to come back…I also want to win.”

Apr 17, 2014, 3:15 PM EDT

Carmelo Anthony AP

It’s seemingly the only question anyone has asked while the Knicks floundered through a season that ended up with them missing the playoffs despite playing in the Leastern Conference:

Will Carmelo Anthony be back with the Knicks next year?

He loves being in New York and the Knicks can offer more money than anyone, but they also have some rebuilding to do. And by some I mean a lot.

At his exit interview and meeting with the media Thursday, Anthony was intentionally vague. Here are quotes via Frank Isola of the New York Daily News and Ian Begley of

All the issues here have been well hashed out. Anthony has said essentially the same thing over and over since the All-Star Game.

New York is certainly a place that can attract free agents and they are paying Phil Jackson $12 million a year to set a tone, put in a structure, and get those players to come (also to keep owner James Dolan away from basketball decisions). The problem is Jackson has his hands tied this summer thanks to oversized contracts to Andrea Bargnani, Tyson Chandler and Amar’e Stoudemire that eat up the Knicks’ cap space. You can’t move expiring deals under this CBA like the last one, the Knicks are going to have a very hard time making major changes to the roster this summer.

The Knicks are better poised to make a leap in the 2015-16 season than next year. Yet with a new coach and a system in place (rather than their “catch as catch can” approach in recent years) the Knicks can improve and set a foundation that lets them make big leaps in the coming years.

Anthony’s core question to answer is pretty clear cut:

Does he trust Phil Jackson and Knicks management to build that winner? He gets more money and stays in a city he loves if the answer is yes. If the answer is no, if he can’t wait and is willing to take a healthy pay cut, Chicago and other contenders would move pieces to make that happen.

It’s up to him now.

  1. cmart0907 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:20 PM

    Simple solution Carmelo. PASS THE BALL!!!! You’ll win.

  2. antistratfordian - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:24 PM

    Phil better find some way to make a major move otherwise it sounds like Anthony is gone. Personally, I don’t think Melo should even consider leaving Jackson at this point – but he is not known for making the wisest career choices.

    • calkinsrob - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:33 PM

      Do you really think phil can turn this around within the next year with the highest paid(most overpaid) front line in the history of the NBA, AND NO FIRST ROUND DRAFT PICKS!??

      Theyll have another bad season next year and I think if Carmelo truly is about winning theres no good reason to stay with the knicks.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

        One obvious influential move that Jackson can make that doesn’t involve signing players is hiring the right coach. That might be enough to convince Anthony to stay until the FA splash of 2015-16.

      • calkinsrob - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

        I guess that would help. but even with a new coach it’ll be real tough to turn around this knicks team in time for melo to stay. Woodson helped lead a similar lineup to 54 wins the previous year. I dont think coaching is the big problem. but Phil helps to create a winning environment, I know melo sees that.

        Im real excited though it sounds like the bulls have a shot at getting him.

      • pharohislife - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:54 PM

        @antistratfordian Tom Thibodeau definitely knows how to win my guy. I mean it’s not like the man was a HUGE part of Boston success from 2008-2010 or anything. He was key to their Championship in 2008 and went to another Finals in 2010. You probably didn’t know that though, it’s okay fella.

    • arrondior - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:49 PM

      If he’s not house shopping in Chicago already, I’d be surprised.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:11 PM

        Chicago is fool’s gold. Nobody in Chicago knows how to win a championship. Nobody there even knows what its like to lead a team to the finals. There are no proven winners in Chicago, so why would Melo buy what they’re selling? (the only reason he would is because, as I said, he doesn’t make the wisest career choices)

        Not only that, but I question the wisdom of pairing an inefficient shooting Derrick Rose with an inefficient shooting Carmelo Anthony. Chicago plays at such a slow pace that they really can’t afford for Rose and Melo to be missing so many shots. So if one of them is going to be a 40-some-% volume scorer then the other shouldn’t be. Thibs is offensively challenged as it is, adding a boat load of missed shots to the mix might just be too much for him to handle.

      • arrondior - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:22 AM

        What are you talking about. Chicago’s game is actually perfect for a guy like Melo. They are a grind it out defend and rebound focused team. That’s why a volume shooter could actually do well there. Its really hard to critique Rose at all or the role that he’d play after missing 2 seasons. I doubt that he will be much more than a facilitator until he finds his rhythm. Going to Chicago doesn’t guarantee him a ring, but it does guarantee that he’d be in the play-offs with a much better chance than with the Knicks. There are few destinations in the league that he could go to where he’d fit in as well as he could in Chicago.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Any team’s game is perfect for a chucker. They can chuck just the same in any system. The problem is that Melo’s game is not perfect for the Bulls.

        Thibs would prefer to add more high percentage shots closer to the rim so his defense has more opportunities to get back and get set. But Melo is going to miss a lot of long jumpers and threes – this will obviously lead to additional unwanted long rebounds which will allow their opponents to run out and attack a Bulls defense that is out of position and unprepared to defend their basket. It will drive Thibs bananas.

        But that is how a chucker can hurt any team. The problem for the Bulls is they already had a guy doing enough of that in Derrick Rose. Adding Melo to that would be counterproductive.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        “Nobody in Chicago knows how to win a championship.”

        After you win one you learn how. A healthy Derrick Rose could have led to one.

      • pharohislife - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        @antistratfordian Tom Thibodeau Definitely knows how to win my guy. I mean it’s not like he was a HUGE part of Boston’s success from 2008-2010 or anything. He was key to their Championship in 2008 and went to another Finals in 2010. You probably didn’t know that though, it’s okay fella.

      • philtration - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:38 AM

        “Chicago is fool’s gold. Nobody in Chicago knows how to win a championship. ”

        I will stack the Bulls history against the Knick’s any day of the week.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        @pharohislife – Thibs was an assistant. He obviously contributed to that team’s defense, but that team won because they had hall of famers coming out the ying yang.

        Mike Brown also won as a defensive assistant on a championship Spurs squad. That doesn’t mean he knows how to win as a head coach. Thibs is in the same boat.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        @philtration – The Bulls championship history is Phil Jackson’s championship history, and Phil Jackson is a New York Knick.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:50 PM

        @jimeejohnson: “After you win one you learn how. A healthy Derrick Rose could have led to one.”

        “Okay. Well win one first then come talk to me, because I have several other proven winners knocking down my door.” – Melo

    • chicagosports2014 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      Heart in NY, mind in da Chi.

      Melo gonna be a Bull nxt season!

  3. mackcarrington - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:25 PM

    You can’t always get everything you want in life. Sometime you have to make a decision that will entail some kind of sacrifice.
    My advice would be to take the most money and remain in a city that you and your family love being in. Plus you have the “cachet” of having Phil Jackson in the building. If you win, then that would be a bonus. You’re a professional. That means you play for money. Winning is only incidental.

    • calkinsrob - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      kind of agree. but if you had the option to work for a bigger more successful company in your line of work wouldn’t you take a little less money? he cant be very happy going to work for a team thats losing.

      I’m afraid his wifes “career” lol will really affect his decision, which is perfectly fine but I feel strongly that he wont win in NY. Plus im a bulls fan lol I want him on my team.

      • jimeejohnson - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

        Give Phil Jackson a chance to work his magic. Carmelo is a valuable asset in every sense of the word. Surround the guy with some healthy talent and the Knicks have a shot.

  4. LilTmac2003 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:27 PM

    “I want to come back…” = New York Knicks.

    “I also want to win.” = Chicago Bulls.

    If he leaves, I see him going to Chicago. Really doubt he will sign with the Rockets or even the Lakers for that matter. Chicago is really in a prime position to win it w/ him if they don’t completely dismantle the team. Look at this years Bulls squad, now imagine adding Rose & Carmelo and getting rid of Boozer.

    That’s scurry.

    • antistratfordian - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:29 PM

      Rose and Carmelo chucking together is scary for all the wrong reasons.

  5. calkinsrob - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:30 PM

    Wooo! good to hear. One thing for sure is that the knicks wont be in a position to win for at least another 2-3 years. Come to chicago!!!

    • LilTmac2003 - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      I definitely agree.

      The soonest the Knicks can rebuild in 2015. Plus rebuilding does NOT equal championship. Rebuilding equals trying something new and see if it works. Trying to see if it works takes time.

      Plus from now until the end of the 2016 season, they have 1 first round draft pick.

  6. prareedoggin - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    If he wants to win = Bulls?


    If he wants to win = Miami.

    You know the team thats on its way to 4th straight final appearance, btw the Heat dominated the Bulls the year Rose won MVP and handled them easily the year(s) he was out.

    • calkinsrob - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      please tell me how miami brings in another star like melo. Unless you somewhat know how a team like miami will afford him please just keep to yourself. classic heat fan thinking htey can just sign anyone.

      • Kurt Helin - Apr 20, 2014 at 8:00 PM

        The only way, as been floated by some Heat fans, is that Miami’s current big three all opt out then collude with Melo to come to Miami with each of them taking a big pay cut down to $13 million or whatever to play together. There is close to zero chance of this.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:32 PM

      A bit cocky, aren’t you.

  7. bballhistorian - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:37 PM

    Kobe to the Knicks (trusts Phil Jackson)

    Melo to Chicago (best chance of winning)

    • calkinsrob - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      The kobe that just signed 2 years 48 mil??

  8. aboogy123456 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    It sounds like he’s staying, he’s not even saying he needs to contend, he just wants to be “put in a position to at least compete at a high level”. It doesn’t sound like he’s asking for much, they competed at a high level last year with a similar roster. Maybe just a coaching change and a small move or two will do it.

  9. chargerdillon - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:48 PM

    If he REALLY wants to win, he’s going to Miami next year.

  10. cantonbound13 - Apr 17, 2014 at 3:55 PM

    If he stays or goes, we’ll be fine. Trust in the Zen Master & his 13 rings.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:34 PM


      • cantonbound13 - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:52 PM

        Stalker. Canton fever, little girl?

      • leahcima1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:53 PM

        Snappy comeback cantonjerk0. You sure put old jimeeJohnson in his place. lol

    • icanhazblogs - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM

      Agreed. It’s gonna be good to be a Knicks fan in 2016. Not talking trash either.

    • leahcima1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:51 PM

      When was the last time the Zen Master hit a jumper? Cantonjerk0, always the dreamer, always the loser.

      • cantonbound13 - Apr 18, 2014 at 1:03 PM

        He never had to hit a jumper & got 13 rings, idiot!

  11. nykfanwakemeupin2015 - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    Bye Melo dont let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Sign and trade melo and chanlder to bullls for Noah…lol

  12. cruzan80 - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    Bring on the “thumbs down” but I disagree with that notion that the Knicks are gonna bad next year.

    In no particular, here is in my opinion the factors that doomed the Knicks season :

    1. Andrea Bargnani’s insertion to the starting lineup (changed the entire identity of last season’s team)
    2. J.R. Smith’s suspension & injury recovery (couldn’t get back to what he was last season until March)
    3. Tyson Chandler’s injury (30 missed games by any teams starting center would hurt)
    4. Amare Stoudamire’s injury recovery (can’t be effective with a strict minute restriction for over half the season)
    5. Raymond Felton’s flat out poor play (can’t be the worst starting PG in the league man)

    Long list of issues for sure but a list that doesn’t have to repeat itself. This team went 15-6 over 21 games before Melo sat out the last two. In those 21 games prior Woodson started:

    C. Tyson Chandler
    PF. Amare Stoudamire
    SF. Carmelo Anthony
    SG. J.R. Smith
    PG. Raymond Felton

    Everyone was healthy, no minute restrictions & playing in their natural position. Tim Hardaway Jr. & Pablo Prigioni had defined roles in the rotation & Bargnani was on IR… was simply too little too late.

    This summer…aside from resigning Melo…their priority should be to get an upgrade at PG & health….that’s pretty much it. People forget that the lineup they ended the season with is the same one they projected to start two years ago….Amare’s rash of injuries is what prevented that hence forcing Woody to go with “small ball” which was successful but had its flaws revealed once they ran into the traditional line up of the Indiana Pacers. I know it’s written somewhere that Knick fans are asking to trade everyone now but I think if you look closely…it’s not as horrible as people may think.

    • sumkat - Apr 17, 2014 at 5:55 PM

      Any team that missed the Eastern Conference playoffs this year, and expects to be good next year without major changes, is fooling themselves

      • cruzan80 - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:59 PM

        Really? What do you call the Wizards then…..?

      • sumkat - Apr 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM

        a team that made the playoffs this year

      • cruzan80 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:30 AM

        Exactly….what was the “major change” they made from the team that missed the playoffs last year????

      • sumkat - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:40 AM

        “Any team that missed the playoffs this year, and expects to be good next year”

        What does your question have to do with my comment? I said nothing about last year

        But their change would be that their franchise player is a year older, and someone had to make it with the knicks falling off and the bucks falling apart. I would say Cleveland could be in that spot, but Deng isn’t staying, and they are going to have major changes if they want to or not (they should)

      • cruzan80 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:27 AM

        ” their change would be that their franchise player is a year older”

        That…OR…the fact that their franchise player didn’t miss half the season this year like he did last year. If you want to just flat out ignore the FACT that injuries do still matter in team sports then go ahead say so…then your comment wouldn’t be so completely void of logic or common sense.

      • sumkat - Apr 18, 2014 at 11:13 AM

        The only one ignoring FACTS (why is that capitalized?) is the one who thinks all of a sudden the Knicks will be healthy. The guys you are crying about are always hurt. Chandler hasn’t been healthy in 3-4 years. Amare hasn’t been healthy since he was 23.
        The only “FACT” that matters is the Knicks at best, will be a 1st round loser next year

      • cruzan80 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:32 AM

        The Wizards didnt make in “major change”….they simply got healthy….thats it.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 17, 2014 at 8:44 PM

      Given their injury histories, is it realistic to expect full, healthy seasons out of Stat and Chandler? I really don’t think so.

      • cruzan80 - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        @ Kevin S.

        Agreed. Its a huge “if” when talking about Amare & Tyson remaining healthy throughout 82 games. My point however was that this isnt a situation where the team is void of talent. If…& yes again that is a big “if” they can stay healthy…this almost exact same team can finish as high as 3rd in the East in my opinion.

    • borderline1988 - Apr 18, 2014 at 3:00 PM

      I do agree that NY is not as bad as people think…in the East they can easily be a playoff team if everything goes right, perhaps even a 3 – 5 seed.

      But there’s zero chance this team is a contender. It doesn’t matter if every possible thing goes right in 2014/15, and everything possible goes wrong to every other NBA team. NY will never be better than a middling Eastern Conference playoff team. This team needs a full rebuild to get to that point, although that’ll take 5 years because NY doens’t have any tradeable assets or draft picks.

      I still think NY should try to re-sign Anthony…maybe in 2016 they’ll have some cap space and if they can sign 2 stars and make other wise moves, they can maybe make some noise.

  13. 12444uggg - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    He’d be gone, except I don’t think there’s many good fits for him and his game. Do you think Thibs wants in on his no D game?

    • aboogy123456 - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:27 PM

      What do you mean no D? Carmelo plays D, where did you get that idea from? Do you think the Bulls have enough offense?

      • 12444uggg - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:41 PM

        He plays to his size on D, he’s not an effort guy.
        The Bulls offense is injured last I heard, and they’re still winning games.
        Where would Carmelo be able to land with a more immediate chance of winning? If that answer was more clear, I think he’d scoot, but it isn’t, so I don’t think he will.

      • LilTmac2003 - Apr 17, 2014 at 9:07 PM

        Funny thing is, the Bulls actually have the number one defense in the NBA right now — and that’s with Boozer as their starting power forward.

        Anyone that says Bulls don’t want Carmelo b/c Thibs wants defense and Carmelo doesn’t play it is just fooling themselves.

    • cruzan80 - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      @ 12444uggg

      Last I heard their “offense” was MVP of the league when they got bounced in 5 games to the Heat…so no…they DON’T have enough offense.

      • drose1516 - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:09 PM

        so did durant does that mean durant is no good? No he is best scorer of league its just lebron got more years then both of them

  14. drose1516 - Apr 17, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    chicago can afford missed shots because of there defense when deng was playing for chciago he would always go 8-23 on shots but chicago still won games carmelo on a bad day will shot 10-21 but imagine a derrick rose who is going to take alot of attention off of carmelo he can have alot of better looks great fit for the bulls dont care what anyone says all i can see is championships

  15. sportsfan18 - Apr 17, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    Melo, at SOME point, it does become about you… this was your 11th yr in the league…

    Your career playoff winning percentage is only 30 something percent wins and 60 something percent losses.

    Year after year after year after year your team loses in the playoffs…

    And when you finally retire from the NBA, you still will not have won a championship and without a doubt your career playoff winning percentage will be well BELOW .500 (that’s set already folks…).

    So, If you’re going to lose, may as well stay in a city you like and make the most for losing vs. go somewhere you don’t want to be and make less and still lose…

    Thank you

    P.S. Now, if somehow someway you could go to the Lakers, forget all I said… GO there and infect them with your losing ways… otherwise stay and continue to doom the Knicks…

    • urodaddy07 - Apr 17, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      LA already infected

  16. eugenesaxe1 - Apr 17, 2014 at 6:49 PM

    There’s not going to be much winning in NY for a few years.

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:17 AM

      Didn’t you get the memo: Phil Jackson’s in town.

  17. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 18, 2014 at 12:29 AM

    Like the song goes… “Chicago is.. my kind of town.” We are waiting for you in Chi-Town Melo!

    • jimeejohnson - Apr 18, 2014 at 9:16 AM

      Daaaaaaaa Bulls!

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