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Carmelo Anthony says family, living conditions to play a big role in his decision on next team

Jun 23, 2014, 1:39 PM EDT

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony has opted out.

So now what?

Most of us (myself included) have a habit of looking at free agency as a basketball first decision. For Carmelo, does he want the money and spotlight of New York or can he surrender some of that to contend in Chicago? However, that is a two-dimensional view of a three dimensional person. Think about it this way: If you had a big job decision to make that could involve money and moving, you think you’re making that decision without it being mutual one made with your wife? (If you just answered yes, I hope you enjoy being single.) Family and lifestyle matter, they are components in all the decisions we make.

Anthony is no different. He sat down with Vice Sports (you can see more of the interview below) and talked about the role family plays in the decision.

“(The average fans) don’t take into consideration the family aspect of it. Your livelihood, where you gonna be living at. Do you want your kids to grow up in that place, in that city? Do I want to spend the rest of my career in that situation, in that city. So all of that stuff comes into play. My son goes to school, he loves it here (in New York), To take him out and take him somewhere else, he has to learn that system all over again, he has to get new friends, and I know how hard it was for me when I moved from New York to Baltimore at a young age….

“As far as basketball goes, it’s hard to just say ‘I’m gonna go here’ or ‘I’m gonna make this decision or do that,’ because everybody’s affected by that. And the average person is looking at it as next year. Like it’s just one year. ‘Next year you win a championship if you go here.’ We’re looking at the big picture here now. We’re looking at the next six-to-eight years of your career, the end of your career at that. So do you want to spend that much time in that place?”

In the interview Anthony talks about spending part of his youth in Red Hook as a Knicks fan and how much he felt New York was a place he could grow as a player — and how hard it is to leave.

“I came from a smaller market in Denver, not so much scrutiny. The scrutiny is tabloids, it’s media, it’s everywhere — it’s not like the level it is here in New York. Playing in a smaller market you could only go so high, as far as individual players go, you reach that max. You can only do so much and you reach that point in your life when you gotta look for something else — a bigger stand, a bigger stage, a bigger market.”

And yes, he’d like to be consulted on player personnel moves.

“As far as player personnel, I would love to be involved in that because at the end of the day you’re creating a family. I mean you can’t create a bond with somebody that’s not going to fit in with you, not going to be there when you need him the most, and don’t understand the game and how to win and situations in the game…

“As much as it’s about having superstars on your team, you got to have your soldiers, guys who will go out there and put your life on the line for you.”

I never like war analogy for sports, it’s not actually life and death. But you get Anthony’s point. And if he wants the team to be like a family, that matters as he looks at Chicago, Houston and his other options.

  1. redskins21lakers24 - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:01 PM

    Carmelo should just be honest and say he wants to play for a championship team lol what a loser!

  2. unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:56 PM

    He stays in New York. Great player, but long shot to ever win the big one unless the Knicks land major free agents next summer.

  3. thetooloftools - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    This guy is just not a leader. He’s never going to lead a team to a O. He didn’t opt out of New York, Phil basically told him where the bear *hits in the buckwheat and he didn’t like what he heard. The Knicks will be better off without him.

  4. mlp420 - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Honestly he sounds like he’s staying in NY. He basically dismissed people saying he has a better chance to win in Chicago next year.

  5. youngyankee - Jun 24, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    bulls – watching the playoffs this past season, chicago desperately needed someone who can create on their own and melo is that guy. However, cant think why melo would bet everything on rose’s health (I wouldnt) and tom t. is notorious for running players into the ground. you saw the grind of heavy minutes (see miami this past year) and the flipside to managing players’ minutes (see duncan and spurs).

    cavs – sorry, the king is gone and melo aint coming.heck, even kyrie doesnt wanna play for the cavs.

    miami – dwade doesnt have another pay day, neither does haslem.

    houston – if melo wants championships, houston makes the 2nd most sense (see below). houstons big 3 would definitely need to take a page out of miamis big 3 and set egos aside and make sharing 1 ball work. im not sure dwight could do it. ray charles could see his body language, crying, etc when things dont go his way, im sure melo does as well.

    if melo believes dwight can be a team player, and thats a big if, then I think melo literally gets “the dwight howard treatment” and goes there.

    LA lakers – even tho im a knick fan, think the lakers is melos ideal situation. from what melo says about big picture, the lakers have cap room now and later once kobe retires and $30million comes off the books. nash, kobe, melo + some other pieces would make them contenders now and in 2016 (or 2017 when kobes gone),they can bring in another piece(s). the winning culture is there, the big market, and LaLa loves LA.

    the lakers can give melo all that hes looking for now and later.

    knicks – 2015 and beyond look promising in terms of finances but the knicks had money in 2010 and all they got was amare. does melo really have confidence that marquee names will come in 2015? if the above sounds familiar, it is. its from the field of dreams and the “if u build it they will come” thinking is exactly that…a field of dreams.

    only way I can see melo resigning (and im not sure this is even possible) is sign melo to 5 yrs and almost max money but have melo make like 17mil the first yr.

    the knicks currently have untradeables – jr smith, amare, and timmy jr.
    everyone else is fair game to rid. (felton perhaps should be on the untradeable list but 4m/yr ending in 2015-2016 isnt an impossible contract to get rid of)

    -the knicks then need to trade shump for a pick. (tough)
    -find someone to take on tyson chandlers expiring contract with decent return. (doable)
    – find a cheaper defensive bigman (udoh? who else even is available)
    -find a point guard (tough)

    thats ALOT of math and moves that needa swing the knicks way.

    prob better to press the reset button and wish melo well in LA

  6. fnc111 - Jun 24, 2014 at 2:19 AM

    That eliminates Chicago then. I think he’s heading to Houston. He seems like all he cares about is if his wife is happy in the city they’re in. If that’s all this is he’ll stay in NYC.

  7. bballhistorian - Jun 24, 2014 at 4:33 AM

    The real question is —- is Carmelo Anthony an elite NBA player?

    • mazblast - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      ESPN thinks so–and does anyone else matter?

  8. iowahbr - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    All this hot air when all he does is shoot very well. The idea is to win very well. How long the Chicago coach would put up with his wave the flag d is a no brainer. 5 minutes at a stretch is my guess. Let he and Lebron head to another free agent miracle spot and let me know when the announcement show is set to be broadcast.

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