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Carmelo Anthony signs with bad team for the money, says he didn’t sign with bad team for the money

Jul 25, 2014, 1:44 PM EDT

Carmelo Anthony Carmelo Anthony

The Knicks were bad last year. They were also old.

Bad and old teams tend not to improve the following season.

Carmelo Anthony is no dummy. He knew this when he re-signed with New York.

So why stay?

The money, of course.

Melo received $124,064,681 guaranteed – not quite as much as he could have gotten, but still significantly more than his max elsewhere ($95,897,375)

As obvious as that is, he can’t say it.

Melo, via Jeff Goodman of ESPN:

“I want to win. I don’t care about the money,” Anthony told ESPN.com. “I believe Phil will do what he has to do to take care of that.”

“I don’t think we’re that far away,” he added. “People use ‘rebuilding’ too loosely.”

Maybe Derek Fisher is already a great coach capable of turning around the Knicks. Maybe Phil Jackson will waive championship dust over the franchise. Maybe Andrea Bargnani will play like an All-Star in a contract year.

And if Melo believes in those things, more power to him.

But if he’s wrong, at least he has his money to fall back on. As he should. There’s nothing wrong with his decision.

He just can’t defend it truthfully in public.

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