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Report: Carmelo Anthony to inform Knicks later today he is returning

Jul 12, 2014, 1:27 PM EDT

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After seeing what the rest of the NBA has to offer, it appears Carmelo Anthony is set to return to New York. As we basically all expected anyway. From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports.

Carmelo Anthony will sign a five-year, $120 million-plus contract to return to the New York Knicks, league sources told Yahoo Sports….

Anthony might still take less than the maximum $129 million the Knicks can give him, a source said.

Not much less if it is north of $120 million.

Anthony’s return had been predicted earlier in the week by Frank Isola but everyone — including the Knicks — got more nervous as word never came. Word came that the Bulls were back in the mix.

However with LeBron James choosing Cleveland the options for Carmelo started to dry up — he could not join forces with LeBron, he told the Lakers it was not happening (one has to assume the Lakers heard that before they traded for Jeremy Lin and overpaid Jordan Hill), and the Rockets were never really in play. That left the Bulls, the best chance to win now, but choosing Chicago means leaving in the neighborhood of $40-$55 million on the table — I don’t care how much money you’ve made, that’s a lot of scratch. The Bulls have spent the last 24 hours focused on landing Pau Gasol, convinced that Anthony wasn’t coming and they needed to move on with Plan B sooner rather than later. The Bulls were informed earlier on Saturday their hunch was right.

Anthony always had his heart in New York, here is what he told PBT back at the All-Star Game when asked about his future:

“At the end of the day that’s my first priority, to stay. That’s my first priority. My priority is to figure it out, let’s figure it out together… My priority is not to just because I say I want to be a free agent, is to go leave. I never was a guy that comes into a situation and basically when it’s not going well to leave like that. That’s not my personality….

“I came to New York, and I said it before, I wanted to retire a Knick. That’s not something I would bull—- with, I said it, I meant it. That’s how I feel….

“That’s why at the end of the season everything needs to be laid out on the table. From both parties. If that’s something we can grow with, we can build on, we can compete with at the highest level, then we’re rolling. If that’s not the plan that they have, then we got to talk about something else.”

He wanted to see a plan. He got Phil Jackson.

That worked.

New York always had a couple other things going for it.

First, max money. The Knicks could always offer more than anyone else, $129 million over five years. Yes, Carmelo has made a lot of money over the years but this is a business and you take as much as you can get when you can.

Second, it’s where his heart is. He grew up a Knicks fan and he loves being the main man on the star team at the heart of the biggest media market in the nation. There is a buzz around every game the Knicks play at home, it’s unlike any other market. It’s hard to walk away from that feeling.

In the end, he couldn’t.

  1. 4thquartermagic - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:31 PM

    And much like his career when it’s all said and done, this news generates a yawn.

  2. adoombray - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:37 PM

    When it’s Friday night and you don’t know who you are gonna go out with, you go with the girl who is down to meet you at 6 pm and doesn’t give you the “maybe”. He missed a shot at rings with Chicago. Have fun rotting away on a NYK team that isn’t going to start winning until after he’s on the wrong side of 30

    • jcthree3303 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Listen u can say that and that’s fair. The thing is this was all based on Lebron’s decision. I truly believe if he would have stayed in Miami Melo would have went to Chicago. The prospect of facing him 4-5 times a year and battling him for the division every year for the next 4 years was very unappealing. It would have made his road to the playoffs in the east that much more difficult. With the Knicks he could win the division every year and be a top 2-4 seed. In Chicago if Lebron does what Lebron does he’s gonna lose the division every year and have to fight for a wild card. Once Lebron went back he waited an extra day to make his intentions known because he knew no one would give a crap yesterday.

    • urodaddy07 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:45 PM

      I really don’t think Carmelo to Chicago = Rings. Sure they would be better, but i never thought it would put them over the top. We have to remember, he wouldn’t just slip into the rotation seamlessly, no matter how good a coach Thibodeau is. Will they become a higher scoring team? – most likely. Will they core efficiently? I don’t think so. Will they be as good on D? – unlikely. I just don’t see them winning NBA titles by just adding Melo. They would likely contend for EC title I suppose

      • zoomy123 - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:32 PM

        I disagree. Carmelo to Chicago doesn’t = rings, because nothing is ever a sure thing. But Carmelo had the 1 thing that the Bulls were missing: Scoring. With Melo when Rose comes back he doesn’t need to be an MVP-caliber player, just a legitimate #2 option. On the defensive side Carmelo is at least as good a defender as Boozer, and Thibs made Boozer work. So, they wouldn’t have been ensured a ring but in the weak Eastern Conference they would have certainly made it to the Finals and been a legitimate championship contending team.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:39 PM

        Completely agree. He’s making the best move sticking with Phil. Chicago is in a holding pattern, and I think that whole thing is about to blow up as it is.

      • fertilitydoctor700 - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:12 AM

        I totally agree. I think Chicago has been so overrated in regards to Melo’s free agency. And you can bash me for saying that but I didn’t really care what Melo did and I say this from a completely unbiased perspective. I think the league started all that and anyone whose unaware of the leagues favoring towards Chicago just hasn’t been paying good enough attention. They thought Rose would return last year and just happened to give Chi-Town the easiest schedule in the entire league, with 9 less back-to-back games than any other team (10 less then the Knicks). It was a strong reason why the Bulls even made the 4th seed. They had the worst offense in the league. Plus Plus, Bulls could’ve traded Boozer & Dunleavy and still not even been able to offer Melo 15 mil, so why would he go there?

    • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:22 PM

      Melo wasn’t going to win anything in Chicago. He wanted to join LeBron and that would’ve given him a real shot. Everything else outside of that in the East is a toss up, so he might as well stay in New York with Jackson.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:47 PM

        I don’t think he cared what James was doing. Reports are that they haven’t even spoken this off-season, so that doesn’t sound like someone who was interested in playing with the other guy. People probably brought up the possibility and that thing got away into a bigger story than what it was imo.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 5:40 PM

        Come on. Remember the reports about LeBron and Gilbert having not met? Everyone was like, “I don’t see how LeBron would choose the Cavs if he hasn’t even met with Gilbert.” No one knew that Gilbert was actually in Florida sitting in LeBron’s house.

        So take the reports with a grain of salt. And also because there were other reports saying that Bron and Melo had planned to talk before each made their decision.

        What we do know though is that James and Anthony are very close. The idea that they haven’t spoken at all this off-season, when both have to make such tough decisions, just doesn’t pass muster.

        I said this before, but I think that if James and Melo couldn’t find a way to play together, that Bron would’ve advised Anthony to stay with Phil Jackson and learn from him, like LeBron learned from Riley.

  3. dudermcrbohan - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    money over everything.

    • cantonbound13 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:53 PM

      I’d like to see you tell your family that you’re walking away from $50 million.

      • seansull83 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:09 PM

        Well if my options were 30 mil play with other really good players and contend vs 50 mil and play on a crap team that I will do all the work on and lose my prime, I’m taking the cut. Please put your silly hypotheticals in proper context. It isn’t like Melo would be choosing between an 5 figure salary and 50 mil.

      • jcthree3303 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

        Seansull I call bull spit. I love how someone who will never make that much money is his lifetime would say yeah I’d leave 50 million dollars. Bull. I wouldnt leave 30,000 dollars a year to work a better place. If I was at a crap hospital but they paid me 120,000 a year and a better one paid me 90,000 I’m staying with the crappy one for 120,000. Im sorry but in America money talks. If it were the diff between 129 million and say 118 million maybe but 129 million and 88 million. You wouldn’t leave that much money and u know it. Its easy to cast aspersions at ppl when u know deep down inside you will never know what it is to lose that much money.

      • seansull83 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:46 PM

        Dude again proper perspective. Your reference of 90k vs 120k can be the difference of rent a house vs paying a mortgage to own it. Melo is a multimillionaire with multiple endorsements. 30mil vs 50mil is the difference between 1 jet vs 2 jets. I am looking at it from a perspective of having it all, not struggling to make it. Melo will make more off court than he would on court in a year, if I had that ability to make more money away from my job than at my job, but I love my job, as he does because he loves the game, I can take less to win.

        You can’t ask a hypothetical and use you current life circumstances, because it isn’t a realistic viewpoint . He choose money over winning.

      • dudermcrbohan - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:53 PM

        I’d like to see you tell your family that you’re walking away from $50 million

        what part of “money over everything” was unclear?

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        I’m NOT saying this would change things, but it is a component of the money.

        Yes, $129 million is a lot more than $88 million.

        He’s already earned well OVER $100 million in his career though.

        Even the $88 million would take him well north of $200 million in earnings.

        then endorsements and he might end up playing another two yrs or so after this contract.

        So the $50 million we’re talking about is the difference between $250 million and $300 million.

        That is a different scenario that ONLY talking about the difference between $129 and $88.

        If one “had” to give up $50 mill, I’d prefer to give it away from $300 and drop down to $250 million than to “only” have $129 million and drop down to $88 mill.

        The $129 and $88 is not happening in a vacuum.

        Again, just food for thought.

      • jcthree3303 - Jul 12, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        Dude perspective. Athletes like it or not have financial obligations u and I can’t even fathom. Once he retires at the age of 38 or whatever he’s never gonna see this kind of money again. Sure he can have a job as an analyst but he’ll never be a multimillion dollar bread winner again. So this money has to last him and his family for the next 40 years of his life. How many athletes who made millions are now broke. Now Melo is smart and he’ll invest his money so trust me no one is saying he’s going to live like a pauper but he’s gotta use the leverage he has now to be financially viable cause just like that its gone.

    • chicagosports2014 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      NOT TRIPPING GET THE CASH, GUESS LEGACY DONT MATTER. JUST BE READY TO DO 5+ YRS OF LOSEING

  4. luz56 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:45 PM

    I guess that Laker brand isn’t as strong any some people think it is… My how the times are a changing

    • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      It’s still an attractive destination. But, you know, the Lakers kind of have an ebola outbreak going on right now in the form of Kobe Bryant.

      • sportsfan18 - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        He’s gonna be GRUMPY this season…

  5. antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:51 PM

    He should instagram a picture saying “I’m Staying Home.”

    This was the right thing for Melo. Besides, the pressure to win is on PJ now, not him, so he can stay a Knick, make silly money, and if it doesn’t work out Phil Jackson will take the fall and he can demand a trade to wherever.

    • unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:16 PM

      Wrong. The pressure is on Melo- you sign a super max deal- you don’t get to avoid the pressure that comes along with it. What would the trade market be for a 32 year old Melo still owed north of $80mm? He cast is lot with the Knicks- for better or for worse. It was the right business decision. Was it the right basketball decision?

      • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

        Melo is 30 and has never won anything, or been anywhere. He ostensibly gets paid to score buckets, not to win games. So no one is expecting him to turn into a winner on his own. People are expecting PJ to be able to turn Melo into a winner.

        The pressure is on the Zen Master to change the culture in New York and to turn a gunner into a winning basketball player.

      • unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:05 PM

        Yet- they just gave him $120mm over 5 years. He’s the alpha dog. If/when Jackson upgrades the roster- the pressure goes to the guy with the giant paycheck. Works that way in every industry. No matter what Anthony has been- he’s now under pressure to bring the Knicks back to life. You don’t get money without pressure.

        As an aside- I hope Knicks fans realize PJ will be spending most of his time in California with Jeannie- and it’s Derek Fisker- the guy with zero coaching experience- that will be trying to teach the Knicks players the triangle.

      • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:43 PM

        Both. The Knicks will be a problem shortly as long as he buys in, and I’m sure Phil gave him the same speech he gave Kobee about Jordan and what they have to do to reach that level and not just be volume scorers.

      • casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        The reality is both would be under pressure.

        Expectations are somewhat low for the next season. The Knicks are capped out and are installing a new system on offense and have a rookie head coach.

        However, if the Knicks are still bad in 2-3 years, it’s not a situation where “either” Phil “or” Carmelo will get blamed.

        Both will get blamed by fans and the NY media.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        They gave him 120 million because scorers get paid a lot. He’s an expensive weapon. But he is a known quantity. Everyone knows what they’re getting when they sign Melo and it’s not a guy people expect to be a general who can will a team to playoff glory… it’s a guy they expect to score better than almost anybody else in the league. Essentially he’s a high-end hired gun. So 120m to Melo is not the same as 120m to, say, LeBron or CP3. They are signed with completely different expectations.

        That makes Melo just the most expensive instrument in Jackson’s orchestra – just a piece. Jackson will be expected to unify the pieces, set the tempo, execute clear preparations and beats, and to listen critically and shape the sound of the ensemble… and if the orchestra still sounds terrible after that, the blame will fall on the conductor.

      • unfrozencavemanlawyer2 - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:21 PM

        Nice conductor analogy- but you are still off base- though I love that you cling to your point- no matter how groundless it is. Big money players are signed to win. No more- no less. Melo- unless he brings the Knicks a title- will forever be known as the guy who took money over better odds to win. There were no guarantees he’d win elsewhere- but certainly better odds in Houston or Chicago. He is taking up a lot of their cap- a percentage that will increase every year for the next five. He did not get along with D’Antoni. Brown was fired. Now Phil and Derek Fisher ride to the rescue to try and squeeze what they can from him before he starts going downhill. He’s out of excuses and running out of time on his career. Pressure is on to win now- or forever be the guy who only cared about money (not just because of this offseason- but they way he forced the deal to the Knicks before the CBA was negotiated). NY press will bring up his max contract every day for the next five years- unless he drives them to a deep playoff run.

        Casualcommenter is on point- PJ will share some of the pressure- but he can opt out if Dolan doesn’t give him leeway and his legacy is still secure. For Melo- it’s much trickier. He goes down- as you suggest- as a greedy, hired gun- if he can’t win now.

  6. rrhoe - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    I feel for Carmelo–he made it clear long ago that he would opt out to test the market,then makes it clear he “wanted the Dwight Howard treatment” and embarks on a FA tour. In the meantime LeBron James opts out and Melo becomes an afterthought–nobody is sitting outside his house,media outlets aren’t watching his every move,nobody cares who he’s meeting with–aside from blog chatter he’s been relatively quiet. The very teams that courted him have apparently moved on and nobody has even given him the stage for his “decision”…..damn,it’s good to be the King(as they say)………lmmfao!!!!!

  7. cantonbound13 - Jul 12, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Welcome back to the Mecca, Melo!

  8. sisisisisisisi - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    We all know it’s all theatrical and I wonder who’s wearing the pant in the Anthony household? He took off from Denver for the limelight of Broadway, there’ll no rings for him.

  9. sportsfan18 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    Melo had to “hurry” and announce he was staying with the Knicks…

    Because if he waited a bit more, he would have read a headline where the Bulls said they had come to terms with Pau Gasol and were no longer in the running for Melo.

    Melo would have been OUT of options had he waited a bit longer.

    • cruzan80 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:18 PM

      @sportsfan

      LOL!!!!

      You believe if Melo’s agent called the Bulls or the Rockets right now they’ll say “No thanks????” Well, your also the same genius that called me “naive” for thinking LeBron isn’t still pissed off about Dan’s letter & that’s why he won’t go back to Cleveland so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.

    • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:47 PM

      Yea, because Miami didn’t just lose a pretty big part of their team, and the Rockets still didn’t want him after Bosch left them hanging, and the Lakers didn’t want them despite that silly recruiting effort they gave on him. You’re right, his options were about to dry up because the Bulls might sign 34-year-old Pao Gasol (who btw, I doubt they’ll get).

  10. nymrkg - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:31 PM

    Melo can’t win with the media. If he left he would be disloyal and hated on for that. Now you guys call him greedy and a loser before his contract figures even come out. A ring was never guaranteed in Chicago anyway. Bottom line is with Phil he has a chance to win in the future, and winning in NY is bigger than winning anywhere.

    • Kurt Helin - Jul 13, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Please show me where we used the word greedy.

  11. Damidwesterner - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:36 PM

    Well, happy it’s over. This was turning into another Dwightmare; the Indecision III. That $35M will go a long way to offset not getting a ring anytime soon.

  12. mightbegoingtohellforthis - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:39 PM

    Carmelo Anthony was never going anywhere. He just wanted to bask in the limelight. Unfortunately for him, he found himself playing second fiddle to Lebron James…. again.

    • casualcommenter - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:50 PM

      It wouldn’t surprise me if he decided to return to the Knicks a few days ago, but his advisers knew a LeBron announcement was imminent, so they told him to delay the announcement for 2 days after LeBron’s.

      Even Pro Football Talk had an article about LeBron returning to Cleveland, and they’re a football news website! A Carmelo announcement would have been drowned out if it came in the past 2 days.

  13. cruzan80 - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

    The Knicks are now one Iman Shumpert & Amare Stoudamire to the Sixers trade away from landing Pau Gasol too. Houston’s offer of Jeremy Lin & a draft pick was much more desirable to the Sixers but since the Rockets decided to complete that trade with the Lakers instead, it definitely leaves the door slightly ajar for the Knicks.

    If Gasol didn’t prefer the Knicks to the Bulls he would’ve already signed….he’s giving his buddy Phil time to pull this off.

  14. 1historian - Jul 12, 2014 at 2:56 PM

    He will make millions of dollars, he will rule that section of New York which he so chooses to rule and which wishes to be ruled by him

    and

    he

    will

    never

    wear

    a

    ring.

    • cruzan80 - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:00 PM

      @1historian

      And what exactly should he have done for you to think that he will win a ring???

      Turn down almost $50 million dollars to join Derrick Rose & surgically repaired knees??? Of course, because the last time we saw Rose 100% healthy he was hoisting the Finals MVP trophy after leading the Bulls to their 1st championship since MJ…right????

      Or maybe he should’ve turned down about $30 million dollars & one less year to head west where all the garbage teams play & join the Houston Rockets. Much better choice of course because the last time we saw the Rickets were after a long hard fought 7 game series against the Spurs in the WCF….right????

      You geniuses crack me up. Didn’t we just watch the best player in the league along with two other prolific all-stars get demolished in the Finals??? There are no guarantees. Going to Chicago wasn’t a lock to do anything & neither was Houston. It made for great talk radio & sites like this….that’s it.

      He loves the city. He loves the franchise. There’s new management with a proven tracking record of winning & they offered to pay him the most money to continue to play there.

      There isn’t an honest person posting crap about Melo’s decision to stay in NY who would’ve done any differently if they were in the same position in their line of work.

      Get over yourself.

  15. pooskay - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:07 PM

    I’m sorry, but Rose, Butler, Melo, Taj, and Noah would’ve won the East easily if no major injuries went down.

    Money controls the NBA. If this was a charity league, CHI would’ve been a dynasty.

  16. realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    Good move. Now, if the Knicks dopey owner can get out of the way, the East is about to get interesting over the next couple of years. Phil is the G.O.A.T. for a reason, and he walked into a seemingly more impossible situation in LA the 2nd time, but had them back in the Finals a year later collecting his last ring that could fit on his hand before he got the spare the next year. Watch what happens.

  17. mackcarrington - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:36 PM

    What we’ve just seen is two weeks of this guy getting his ego stroked. OK, now he knows what it feels like to be a free agent. I guess he’s satisfied now.

    • realfootballfan - Jul 12, 2014 at 3:52 PM

      How dare he see what else is out there.

      • mackcarrington - Jul 12, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        I guess maybe I don’t have a problem with him seeing what else is out there, as much as from the outside looking in, it just seemed like such a dog and pony show. Or like when peacocks show off their feathers when trying to mate. It seemed like he caused more drama than what was actually necessary.

  18. gohometrolls - Jul 12, 2014 at 5:01 PM

    I’m a Knicks fan and I’m not enthused about his return especially after we are clearly his last resort he will be traded at some point during the season book it .

  19. mazblast - Jul 12, 2014 at 6:48 PM

    “There is a buzz around every game the Knicks play at home, it’s unlike any other market. It’s hard to walk away from that feeling.”

    I call BS. Lots of guys have walked away from the Knicks, some because they’re lousy players, some because they’re a lousy organization that has all the talent evaluation and developmental ability of the Detroit Lions (the first perennial loser that came to mind).

    I’m a native of NYC, and sometimes the “New York is the greatest place in the universe” talk is incredibly annoying.

    • jimeejohnson - Jul 12, 2014 at 9:44 PM

      New Yawk is the sphincter of the Universe.

  20. jackvcr - Jul 12, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    He’s not interested in winning. Just “gimme the money”.

  21. Mr. Wright 212 - Jul 13, 2014 at 7:18 PM

    Just ignore that which had been said by me (on good authority from the inside, no less) for MONTHS.

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