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Oscar Robertson says if he were Carmelo Anthony “I would leave today”

Apr 24, 2014, 1:56 PM EDT

Washington Wizards v New York Knicks Getty Images

Everyone has advice for Carmelo Anthony right now.

Which I’m sure is exactly what he needs.

A handful of those people may have some perspective for ‘Melo to lean on, guys who were in the league and faced choices and learned lessons. Like maybe Oscar Robertson.

The Hall of Famer will be on SiriusXM NBA Radio show, “Spike Lee’s Best Seat in the House,” which airs Thursday night at 7 p.m. ET, and as you might expect the hard core Knicks fan Lee asked Robertson about Anthony… and may not have gotten the answer he hoped for.

Oscar Robertson: “I would leave today. … Let me tell you why. Wherever that kid has gone, when he was at Denver, they had a team that fooled around with the ball, fooled around with the ball, then all of the sudden when they needed a basket, threw it to Carmelo. Then, when he shot the ball, they said he shot too much. Then when he didn’t shoot they said he didn’t shoot enough. No matter what he does in New York they’re going to criticize him, the people are going to criticize him, because you got guys on that team (the Knicks) that cannot play. You got guys that are hurt all the time…”

Spike: “Yeah but, O, that’s why we got Phil Jackson, to clean this mess up.”

Robertson: “Let me ask you: When was the last time Phil Jackson played? … I think Phil is great to have gotten $12 million out of [Knicks owner Jim Dolan]. Super job. Take the money and run. If I were Carmelo I would say, ‘Listen, I’m not gonna stay here and take all this gruff and all this criticism. You got other guys on this team making $12, $15, $16 million and doing nothing, and here I am averaging 28, 29 points per game.’”

That’s one perspective. Robertson says Anthony should take a paycut to play for the Rockets.

Anthony wants to be recruited first — “the full Dwight Howard treatment” — and he wants the ego stroke that comes with a lot of teams coming to him and telling how he is needed and wanted. He has earned that right. But that is different from what helps him make a good decision.

Anthony needs to decide what really matters the most to him. Is it the money? Is it being a Knick and leading that franchise? Is it being “the man” on a team? Is it winning? You can want a mix of all those things, but Anthony has to be honest with himself and figure out which of those is most important, what is the one that really matters.

Once he knows what he really wants the rest of it falls in line pretty quickly, so long as he is willing to make some sacrifices on the other areas.

  1. fanofthegame79 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    I was more for Anthony going to the Bulls, I thought they would be a good fit for him. However, watching the Rockets and how Harden is disappearing again, maybe it wouldn’t be a bad move to pick up Anthony and have Harden be the second scoring option.

    • aboogy123456 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      I think that team would win the title. Harden as a facilitator, Melo as the pure scorer, and Howard dominating down low. They would all have their set roles and not step on each other’s toes and make each other better. If Melo did actually want to go to Houston though, I think he would have to tell them that Chicago is his second option, because I believe the Knicks would have to participate in a sign and trade with Houston to make it work, so I doubt it happens.

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Agreed. They would remind me of the Celtics with KG, Pierce and Allen. Howard would play the KG role (albeit, with less range), Harden could play the Pierce role (the slasher/facilitator), and Anthony could fill Allen’s role (the shooter/scorer). That might be an interesting team.

      • pharohislife - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        That team could never be that Celtics Title team. Too many egos.

      • trevor123698 - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:22 PM

        since when does dwight howard dominate down low offensively?

    • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:35 PM

      Yeah, Melo never disappears in the playoffs.

      • sportsfan18 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:36 PM

        In Melo’s 21 career playoff games as a KNICK…

        hHe’s shot .404% from the field…

        He’s shot .297% from 3 pt range…

        Uh, Melo, where’d you go?

        These be facts… folks…

      • fanofthegame79 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:05 PM

        I’ll play Devil’s Advocate. It could be who he plays with, as well. If he was surrounded by competent players, the other team’s defense wouldn’t be able to load up on Anthony as much.

      • money2long - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Looking at such a miniscual playoff sample. Can you be that easily fooled and dumb ?
        First off in the playoffs, you’re really focused on one team for an extended period. So if you’re facing a team playing good defense, you’re gonna see that team for 4-7 games. And if your teammates aren’t doing anything and that team is focused soley on you , it won’t be as easy to change your averages. The playoffs are a different format when lookin at that very small size. Think.

      • davidtmp - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:52 AM

        Oh goodness Sportsfan18, learn how to enter percentages! is it .404% or 40.4%??? If it was all the percentages you posted, I wouldn’t sign this guy to a minimum deal! Lean to move your decimal!

    • iammr713 - Apr 24, 2014 at 10:49 PM

      Harden & Melo on the same team? LMAOOOOOO 2 ball dominant players? Dwight will avg. 2 fgs a game.

      • pputnam100 - Jun 12, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        No, folks, there will be an incredible deal made this summer that will fly in the face of modern sports, where around 6 or 7 players will take serious pay cuts in order to win in MIAMI….That’s right!! And all of a sudden, with some proper tuteledge, Carmelo will be a big hero, probably leading the Heat in scoring; LeBron wouldn’t care in the least, neither would Bosh or Wade, they just wanna win and they’d show Melo how…

    • showtimefolks007 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:43 AM

      Bulls make more sense since most of their core players have defined roles already

  2. marcusfitzhugh - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Neither the Bulls nor the Rockets appear to be headed toward the second round. If the business plan is to take less money, to play in a less desirable city, and still not make it to the finals- either of those teams will do nicely.

    • fanofthegame79 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Both the Bulls and the Rockets are missing critical pieces, and Anthony could be that piece.

    • spursareold - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:01 PM

      Yeah, I’d pretty much be terrified of a Bulls team essentially adding Melo AND DRose.

      • bullsfannotabudman - Apr 24, 2014 at 11:36 PM

        plus Mirotic and with Boozer amnestied. You add 2 guys who can get their own & create for others, plus a stretch floor that can pound it from outside the line.

  3. millerje1962 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    just hope he doesn’t come back to Denver

    • money2long - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      For his sake

  4. chargerdillon - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:20 PM

    Does anybody really think Carmelo Anthony is a guy who’s going to be the final piece in any team winning a championship?

    I just don’t get why anybody would overpay for a player let alone give a max contract to a guy who puts up big points and does very little to make his team better.

    I’m not a Carmelo Anthony hater, but every NBA he’s played for has been without question Carmelo’s team and every time there’s excuses to be made.

    If we put Melo on the same Cav’s teams Lebron played for, they wouldn’t be in the playoffs just like the Knicks weren’t this year.

    • aboogy123456 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      I’m just curious, why don’t you think Carmelo makes his teammates better? I haven’t heard that before, is it because he’s not as good as Lebron?

      • azarkhan - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:00 PM

        It’s because he’s not a leader. Anthony will never get in anybody’s face and tell him he has to play better. He’d rather be cool and, well, mellow.

      • chargerdillon - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:03 PM

        Because a champion like Lebron leads by example on both Offense and Defense. It goes hand in hand with him being the leader of a championship caliber team and there’s no excuses made for Lebron. When he wins or loses, you don’t hear about the rest of the team, you hear about Lebron.

        When Carmelo puts up 30 and loses you hear about there not being enough help around him. And it’s a known fact Melo has always been a slacker on the defensive side of the ball.

        Saying Lebron is better than Carmelo is not a matter of opinion it’s a statistical and historical fact.

      • money2long - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:26 PM

        Lol. A champion like lebron. Lebron’s had help along the way in that champion title. Tell me who Anthony has.

      • money2long - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:27 PM

        You people need to get up with the times. Do more research on Carmelo. And realize he is better than you think.

  5. bishopbengals - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Thank you Oscar. All the criticism that Carmelo gets is bs. The best team he has been on went to the Western Conference finals. The rest of his teams HAD to rely on him too much. Yes, he isn’t Lebron or Durant but who is?

    • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      Teams haven’t really had to rely on Melo “too much.” His teams only ask him to score and get some boards. They don’t ask him to play PG and run the offense or play shut down defense. Miami probably relies on LeBron too much, but the Knicks don’t rely on Melo too much.

      • bishopbengals - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        We’ll have to agree to disagree. If you don’t think that the Knicks rely on Melo too much, then who else do they have that can create offense??

      • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        Didn’t JR Smith just win 6th Man of the Year? Didn’t Tyson Chandler just win Defensive Player of the Year?

        A team that is relying on one player “too much” wouldn’t have other players on the team winning awards.

      • bishopbengals - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:29 PM

        Didn’t JR Smith just have a horrible year? Didn’t he have his best year and probably reached his peak in that year that he won 6th man? Weren’t they also a good team that year and made it out of the first round? Didn’t I just ask you who could create OFFENSE and you mentioned a DEFENSIVE player of the year? I’m sorry, but not many teams are winning with an often injured former defensive player of the year and a sporadic former 6th man who is your second best offensive option.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        JR Smith is pretty much the epitome of instant offense. He can create his own shot as well as anybody. No one in history has more than 1 career game of 10 or more threes made – except JR Smith – he has 3!

        Smith can drop 25-30 on any team on any given night.

        And everyone is allowed to have down years – Melo has certainly had his share – but you can’t claim that the Knicks rely on him too much when his teammates have more individual awards than he does.

        Oh what LeBron would give to be playing with a 7 footer who just won DPOY! What a luxury!

      • money2long - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:29 PM

        People are willing to make jr look so nice when wanting got bash MELO. It’s amazing.

      • antistratfordian - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:48 PM

        I’m a Melo fan. I’m not bashing him. Normally I defend him. But it’s just untruthful to say the Knicks ask him to do to much, and its unfair to Smith not to recognize his ability. We all know he can light it up. So it’s kind of laughable when someone says about a team with JR Smith and Carmelo Anthony, that only Carmelo Anthony can create his own offense. When did JR Smith become Steve Novak? Smith is far more athletic than Melo, has superior handles, and can drive better than Anthony can.

    • bishopbengals - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:17 PM

      Epitome of instant offense???? Excuse me while I laugh. HAHAHAHAHAHA Yeah maybe every 5-10 games.

      He’s a career 13 ppg guy. How is that the epitome of instant offense?

      Melo has also been pretty consistent every year, now I know you are just a troll.

      • redbaronx - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:07 PM

        @bishopbengals – antistratfordian has no clue man. He lives through stats, so if he sees someone that did something in 2007, he thinks they can still do that. He’s a fantasy guy. He’s constantly on about how great Pau Gasol is…..Maybe four years ago, but now? No grasp of reality.

        Then he just went on about Chandler winning DPOY….the year before. Not too many years left in those legs and that’s why Dallas let him go. But that won’t prevent Anti from claiming Chandler is still a major force!

        That’s why I call him AntiLogic.

  6. phillysports1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 2:44 PM


    I been saying the same thing. Agree all the way !

  7. indyzown - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:08 PM

    Come to Indiana Melo !!!!

  8. stephenolszewski - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:32 PM

    He’s going to face the scrutiny no matter where he goes, he’s a star and he will stop hearing the critiques until he wins a championship it’s as simple as that

    • ocgunslinger - Apr 25, 2014 at 9:41 AM

      Agreed. In other words he will ALWAYS be hearing the critiques.

  9. bronx77 - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:42 PM

    Go to the bulls for less then the max. If rose comes back healthy the bulls are the second best team in the east if the heat stay together. If the heat lose one of the big three they take a step back. If rose doesn’t come back healthy Noah butler and Carmelo are still good enough to compete in the weak east

    • redbaronx - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      @bronx77 – If you put Melo on the Bulls with a healthy rose, the Bulls might be better than the Heat, not second. Particularly if Wade keeps fading.

  10. ebrownwareagle - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:56 PM


    if Lebrons Cavs had been in the WEST. Screeeeew the Finals. They May Not have even Made the PLAYOFFS with the Schedule he would have faced. Coupled with the fact the 8,9,10 were all 10+ games over 500.

  11. ebrownwareagle - Apr 24, 2014 at 3:58 PM

    Another thing! LBJ has WADE/BOSH. 2 HOF. Name one that MELO has played with outside of The Olympics. You probably can’t.

  12. zerole00 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:13 PM

    Whether you like Carmelo or not, the fact that Stoudemire’s making 23+ M a year and produces nowhere near the level of that salary (understatement there) is going to hamstring any team. Add on the fact that Dolan mortgaged the future to get Carmelo, despite him intending to come to NY anyway, and contention just isn’t in the Knicks’ future unless they 1) get trades served to them on a silver platter or 2) get incredibly lucky with their (low) draft picks.

    • redbaronx - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:12 PM

      @zerole00 – I agree with your overall premise that NY doesn’t have a whole lot going for them in the draft or potential trades. Usually the Knicks are the ones getting fleeced!

      With that being said, Jackson is no dummy, and if anyone can turn that around it’s Jackson.

  13. mogogo1 - Apr 24, 2014 at 4:22 PM

    If they’re going to ask him to sign for less like has been reported, he is as good as gone. And I can’t blame him. This is a team that historically overpays and while it’s easy to see that they need to stop that trend, you don’t do it with the one player on the roster who would command a max contract from every other team in the league.

  14. sensiblevoice - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM

    Why is Phoenix not on the list?

  15. marcusfitzhugh - Apr 24, 2014 at 5:51 PM

    All these sign for less comments are ridiculous. Chicago currently has $64M in committed salaries for the 2014/2015 season. Indy has $65.7M and Houston has $71.9M committed. The salary cap is $63.2M. There are exceptions – biannual, midlevel, early-bird, Larry Bird, but you know, I don’t see a “because we want to sign Melo” exception. Does anyone think “sign for less” means $5M? $10M? Its going to be north of $20M, which means something has got to give. There is always the sign and trade, but do you really think Phil Jax is going to take back $25M to $30M in garbage to make Chicago, Indy, or “Jeremy Lin Stealing” Houston better? If Melo goes, he’s taking that super sized salary with him.

    As a New Yorker, I can’t lose. I’d like to see Melo stay, but if he doesn’t, he won’t be playing for an Eastern powerhouse and in one year the Knicks will have a ton of cash. Now if Boston said they wanted him, I’d be worried. The Celtics only have $46M committed. But Docs gone, they don’t want Melo, and NYC is safer for it.

    • redbaronx - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      @marcusfitzhugh – The salary cap next year is 63.2 as you stated, however, there are mid level and bi annual exceptions that teams can use while still staying under the 77 mil tax penalty amount. So all of those examples you used would probably still maintain UNDER the penalty level at 77 mil.

      Also, I think you’re wrong about Chicago’s committed salaries as you’re calculating this year. Taj Gibson might be off the roster next year and I’m not sure where you got your 64 M number, but I’m pretty sure that INCLUDED Deng. Plus Boozer is coming off next year. Chicago is going to have a lot of cap room to sign another max player straight up.

      Also your perception that NY will have a ton of cash in a year, while correct, is not a good thing. NY has maybe two or three decent young players worth keeping long-term but if you’re counting on all the guys like Stoudamire, Chandler, Smith, MWP, and Melo being gone to free up that cash you’re talking about, NY will be left with about 9 to 11 roster spots to fill on a 14 man roster. Not good. That means NY will have to go through a 3 to 4 year rebuilding process just to fill out strong players in the starting five let alone beefing up the bench. If Melo leaves, that’s exactly what NY can expect. A long-term rebuild.

      • marcusfitzhugh - Apr 25, 2014 at 12:31 AM

        @redbaronx – The numbers I quoted are 3 days old from a USA Today article.

        The Chicago Bulls are at $64,352,653. If you Think Carmelo Anthony will play for $13M next year, and then take a year off the END of his contract, knowing that in 4 years – NO ONE will pay him anywhere near a max money, you’ll know for sure in a few short months.

        How you can predict the future and how long a Knicks rebuild will take is a mystery, considering you don’t know yesterday’s news – News flash MWP’s contract was bought out in FEBRUARY. The 2014/2015 season is the last year of both Amare and Chandler’s contracts. As of today, the New York Knicks have $12.6M committed to salaries in 2015/2016.

        Boozer does not come off the books “next year”. Next year, the 2014/2015 season, the Bulls will pay Carlos Boozer $16.8M.

        Taj Gibson is in YEAR ONE of a year one of a four year contract. The Bulls used their Birds rights on him. After this season, Chicago will owe him $8M, $8.5M, and $9M.

        If the Bulls can talk Melo into playing for $10M to $13M, trust me, Pat Reily will offer him more.

      • redbaronx - Apr 25, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        @marcusfitzhugh – Re: Knicks. The roster slots is no mystery. The Knicks are going to have too many roster slots open and not enough talent if they let Melo go. Melo is their only attraction for FA’s right now, and if they lost him the Knicks would be building through the draft unless they convince a major FA like to come to NY on blind faith like they did with Amare Stoudamire.

        Pat Riley does not have 13M in cap space to offer Melo, so trust me….that’s not happening.

        Re: Boozer. I didn’t mean 2014/2015 by next year. I meant the following roster year of 2015/16 in case that wasn’t obvious.

        You might be right about Gibson. I was going on memory.

      • marcusfitzhugh - Apr 25, 2014 at 10:31 AM

        @redbaronx – I get it, although you said “next year”, you didn’t actually mean next year, you meant “the other next year” – whatever that means.

        And although Reily doesn’t have $13M, and the Bulls don’t have $13M, and the fact that Melo can sign for twice that number, somehow the Bulls lack of funds puts them in the driver’s seat because you think he’ll sign for a $4M exception. Think about what you’re proposing – Melo will forego $20M+ to play for “0-2 in the first round Chicago”. Following this lack of logic – do you think Miami has an exception? “Went to the Finals the last 3 years in a row” Miami, who is in South Beach and has no state income tax, or Chicago? The answer is NEITHER. Max contract players don’t play anywhere for “exception contract” money.

        And although Gibson is factually in year one of four year contract, and every news outlet under the sun says he’s in year one, I might be right about Gibson being in year one, because you’re going by memory.

        And you can tell the future because no one will want to play in NY who has $50M in cap space for 2015/2016. Tell me, if no one will play in New York City, exactly how does Utah field a team?

        Melo taking a $20M PER YEAR haircut is beyond laughable and you need to come up with something thats at least plausible.

      • redbaronx - Apr 25, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        @marcusfitzhugh – Lets start from the end. I’m not proposing Melo to Miami. That was YOUR comment, not mine. So I’m not proposing any kind of “haircut” or for Melo to accept less money. What I did say is that Chicago will have the cap room next year if they wanted to sign Anthony.

        Secondly it is Pat RILEY not Reily. You keep misspelling the man’s name over multiple posts.

        Thirdly, I didn’t say no one wants to come to New York. What I said was that they will have about 11 out of 14 roster spots to fill in another year, so unless Melo stays, they really won’t be able to pull FA’s to NY. What I mean by that is for the purposes of putting a contender together. Free Agents will always want to come to NY. That’s not the problem.

  16. bronx77 - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:23 PM

    @redbaronx I can see them being better then the heat to but what I meant was instantly. I might be the last man standing but I for one believe in d. Rose and think he will come back strong. Anthony has proven in the Olympics that he can be the second option. Plus the Bulls team defense will easily pick up his slack. If that team where to jell they could be better then the heat. I’m not biased here either because I’m a nuggets fan…. The last person to jump on melo’s jock. Who knows probably won’t happen but I see that as his best fit.

  17. redbaronx - Apr 24, 2014 at 6:33 PM

    @bronx77 – I believe in D Rose too. He’s a strong character guy, and if anyone can come back after two years of injuries, it’s Rose. So that’s why I’m saying that if Rose comes back strong, and Anthony joins them, potentially I think the Bulls CAN be better than the Heat.

    It’s a big “If” though. Rose was superhuman three years ago. Even if he comes back healthy, who knows if he can reach that level of sharpness in his play.

  18. 1harrypairatesties - Apr 24, 2014 at 7:02 PM

    The new Big 3: Noah, Rose, & Melo.

  19. bronx77 - Apr 24, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    JR had a down year so that’s why melo didn’t have a reliable scoring partner to take the load off of him. So with JR not having a great year and Tyson having a bad year the team was asking melo to do to much if the goal was to compete in the playoffs as they did last year.

  20. 1509lucky - Apr 25, 2014 at 1:50 AM

    Big O makes a lot of SENSE!

  21. bronx77 - Apr 25, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    Boozer will come off the books when he is amnestied for the 2014/2015 season. Then if they make a couple smaller moves like trading dunleavy they will have more than “13 million”. Boozer’s whole 16.8 million dollars will come off the books

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