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Jim Boeheim says of Carmelo Anthony, “it would have been better to go to Chicago”

Aug 19, 2014, 12:06 AM EDT

Cleveland Cavaliers v New York Knicks Getty Images

On the court, right now, Jim Boeheim is right.

There are major other factors at play here — $47 million dollars, Phil Jackson, what his family wanted, stacks of dollar bills, Carmelo Anthony’s love of New York, and of course we’re talking about a whole lot of money — but in pure basketball terms, Boeheim is right.

Carmelo Anthony’s college coach and Team USA Assistant thinks Anthony the basketball player would have been better off in Chicago than re-signing in New York like he did because of the supporting cast,Boeheim told Ian Begley of

“Just from a basketball point of view it would have been better to go to Chicago because they’ve got better players,” Boeheim, who coached Anthony on Syracuse’s national championship team in 2003, said on Monday. “But he wanted to be in New York and he wants to see if they can turn it around there. I think that’s a great thing.”

Would Anthony had left if Jackson was not hired to right the Knicks ship?

“I would think so. He stayed because he believes Phil,” Boeheim said. “Derek Fisher, he knows the game. If you’re going to pick a coach who hasn’t coached, he would be the guy I would pick. I think he’s a great choice. I talked to Derek a little bit. I think he’s really smart. I think he’ll be a really good coach. I think they’ll show significant improvement this year. If they get a couple of guys down the road, I think they’ll be good.”

It’s just hard to argue with any of what Boeheim said.

The Bulls are the better team. They wouldn’t have had Derrick Rose (who has looked great for Team USA), Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson (if Anthony took enough of a pay cut), Jimmy Butler and others. The Bulls are committed to a defensive system that would have helped mitigate Anthony on defense. The Bulls with Anthony (and frankly without but with Pau Gasol) are contenders in to win the East along with Cleveland. The Knicks are a rebuilding project.

Anthony had said from the start — including to PBT at one point — that he wanted to stay with the Knicks but he needed to see a plan. He needed to see the vision of the future with the organization. Phil Jackson is that future. He comes in with a philosophy and a system that has won. He brings hope and a direction to the Knicks. That was enough to keep Anthony. If Jackson wasn’t there and it was Steve Mills and owner James Dolan still meddling, Anthony would be gone.

Finally, Boeheim this is a great thing. He’s right. New York needs a big star and Anthony is that. Him staying was good for the NBA in a lot of ways.

  1. cluelessdufus - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    Being a Bulls fan I was 50/50 on Carmelo. Looking the way Rose looks right now and how we have potentially the best front court, I’m kinda happy we didn’t. We may not have a great second option for offense, but we have certain pieces all around to balance scoring. I’m (like most Bulls fans should) feel great about the team.

    • antistratfordian - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:37 AM

      The Bulls don’t have anything close to the best front court. LeBron, Love, Varejao, all day err day.

      • bringin1234 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        man once again you’re out of your mind. Love hasn’t shown great defense, and the minute you said Varejao you lost it. Dude cant stay healthy and is nothing more than a backup center at best. Lebron yes, Love is about even with Gasol/Gibson and Noah is MILES ahead of Varejao

        Try again.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:10 PM

        Love blows away both Gasol and Noah. Neither of them can hold a candle to Kevin Love. Especially Pau Gasol.

        Varejao is a good defensive center. Call me when Pau Gasol makes an All-Defensive team like Varejao has. Call me when Noah posts a PER as high as Varejao’s career high PER.

        And Mike Dunleavy!? PLEASE! Stop it. Just stop.

        LeBron and Love alone would destroy Gasol, Noah and Dunleavy. Throw in Varejao’s defense and rebounding and hustle and it’s not even close.

      • bringin1234 - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:39 AM

        Dunleavy isn’t the starter big guy. Varejao cant stay healthy, hes played 80 games in 2 years. Butler will probably get starters minutes at the 3 like he did when Deng was hurt. So Butler Gasol/Gibson and Noah is right there with Lebron and Love because Varejao is below average. Watch out for Anderson and his 8 pts and 8 boards a game average…… oh no not that

      • antistratfordian - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:17 AM

        Well if they aren’t starting Dunleavy at the 4, who are they starting? Their other options are laughable. Butler will start at SG.

        Varejao certainly hasn’t been below average in the last 3 years. He’s been good-to-great.

        There isn’t a frontline in the league that competes with LeBron-Love-Varejao. That’s 2 of the 3 best PFs in the league. Might be the top 2 PFs on the same team. Except Cleveland’s PF is also the best SF and best SG and best PG in the league. Chicago can’t compete with those guys. Too much talent. Chicago doesn’t have enough.

      • bringin1234 - Aug 22, 2014 at 1:38 PM

        at the 4? Now youre crazy. Dunleavy is a 3. The 4 is Pau and Taj. Then Noah and Pau at C the 3 is Dunnleavy, McDermott and Mirotic who can also play the 4 and Butler can play the 3 the 2 is Snell and Butler and the 1 is Rose, Heinrich and Brooks

        Dunleavy as a 4…pssshhhh man you are crazy

      • antistratfordian - Aug 23, 2014 at 1:08 AM

        I meant 3, bro. Chill. 3, 4 and 5 is the frontline. Dunleavy, Gasol, Noah.

        Wack, Wack, Good.

      • bringin1234 - Aug 25, 2014 at 9:20 AM

        LOL youre clueless..

        Lebron beast, Love good on offense, but average defender at best, Varejao god awful.

        Nuff said move on

      • antistratfordian - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        I’m clueless, eh? Did you check ESPN’s froncourt rankings? The Bulls aren’t even in the top 5, dun! Cleveland clocks in at #2.

        The Bulls frontcourt is being insanely overrated by their fans. Gasol and Dunleavy are weak sauce.

      • bringin1234 - Aug 25, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        HAHAHA you keep putting Dunleavy as a starter. Keep puffin it. Besides….the minute you quote ESPN, you lose all credibility. Youre the only one who thinks Love plays defense… And you still kept saying Varejao is quality. Tells me a lot about you. You were minding the step children for LeBron in Miami and now youre doing it in Cleveland too…. Kinda sad actually

      • therealhtj - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Once again Chicago fans showing they’ve paid no attention to the Pau Gasol they’ll be getting. Here’s a quick tip: 2010 was a LONG time ago.

      • bringin1234 - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

        Once again an LA fan focusing on just the Lakers

        Even if hes half 2010, Taj Gibson is a super solid PF.

      • malek773 - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:16 AM

        I’ll take the Bulls TEAM over the Cavs TEAM in a 7 game series. The Bulls depth and defense will be more than the Cavs big three can take on.

      • antistratfordian - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:14 PM

        Just like 2011? “Our depth! Watch out for our depth and defense!”

        4-1 in 2010.
        4-1 in 2011.
        4-1 in 2013.

        You think swapping soft Boozer for soft Gasol is going to tip the scales? Please tell me you’re joking.

        Hell will freeze over before the Bulls beat LeBron James in a playoff series.

  2. campcouch - Aug 19, 2014 at 12:27 AM

    I wonder what he would’ve said if Anthony had transferred from Syracuse to Duke.

  3. jonka - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:01 AM

    Surprised the NBA didn’t scheme Melo to CHI.
    Melo Rose Noah v Lebron Kyrie Love would be sex on the beach for the league.

  4. pbtunpaidwriter - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    Chicago’s still going to be pretty damn good without Melo.

    Check out this post on rim protectors:

  5. yesser12 - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:08 AM

    Hindsight 20/20
    They would have had to get rid of some key players and Rose has to play more than one game and a few USA practices to show he is really ready.

    • Mr. Wright 212 - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:44 AM


    • chicitybulls - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:57 AM

      Well he’s only been able to play what’s been available to him. Not like there were games this summer he could have played but didn’t. He has looked good, hasn’t he???

  6. cluelessdufus - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:28 AM

    Ok Anti we know you love Lebron, but who is behind them? The reason the Heat lost is because they didn’t have depth. And when you have Marion and Miller behind them who are in there mid 30s and Thompson and Heywood behind Varejeo/Love isn’t great. They lack depth and playoff experience (Irving and Love) and knowing how Waiters plays, Lebron better pray they adapt well.

    • demasane - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:43 AM

      they do have all star game mvp Kyrie Irving, and despite all his baggage Dion Waiters is still a decent basketball player… That being said i believe the bulls are still going to be the best team in the East even without Melo.

      On another note Flip Saunders didn’t do so bad this time, he’s got Wiggins, a 1st rounder and Thad Young(?)

      • eventhorizon04 - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:01 AM

        I think that the unofficial trade has the Wolves getting either:
        Wiggins, Bennett, and Miami first rounder OR
        Wiggins and Thad Young, with Miami’s first rounder and Bennett going to the 76’ers.

        The 76’ers give up Young in exchange for Bennett and a 1st rounder which should be out of the lottery since the Heat decided to not tank after losing LeBron, and the East is still pretty weak outside of a half dozen teams.

  7. demasane - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:17 AM

    thanks for the clarification. either option would still be a win given the Love situation and Minny’s track record

  8. saint1997 - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:37 AM

    maybe we should just clarify something here. When you talk about draft classes Kurt, you say that it needs to be at least 3 years before saying if a draft decision is good or bad, no? Well why not apply the same standard to Melo’s decisions? It is distinctly possible the Knicks get a winner in 2015 Free Agency and compile a contender better than the Bulls. Also possible they could strike out. All I’m saying – don’t do lazy reporting and make snap judgements before he has played a game and the Knicks future has been formed

  9. Mr. Wright 212 - Aug 19, 2014 at 2:43 AM

    Says one of the most overrated coaches of all time who won his ONLY title in 40 years with the guy.

    Chicago ain’t going anywhere, when will people see this? Even IF Rose were to remain healthy, his effectiveness and Anthony’s effectiveness are mitigated without the ball. People need to get off 2K and fantasy projections and get with reality. The Bulls have to re-up Noah after next season. If Anthony had taken substantially less money to go there, they would then do what? People say that he should have gone there because they got Gasol and McDermott can be what Korver was a few seasons ago, along with Rose. But one set of moves was necessitated only after he decided that he was staying here all along.

    The Knicks have maneuverability under the cap starting next summer.

    The Bulls do not. They have capped out both salary-wise, and talent wise, until the young guys come into their own.

    Which is the same thing you can say for the Knicks.

    So please stop with this tired narrative. You’re beginning to believe what you constantly post.

    • Kevin S. - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:19 AM

      Oh hi, I see you’re still seeing things through James Dolan’s colon. Yes, it’s true the Knicks are set to have a nice spot of cap space next season. Assuming they pick up the options on Larkin and Hardaway this fall, sell their draft pick, decline to offer Shumpert a QO, renounce all their free agents and waive Prigioni’s partially-guaranteed deal, they have $40 million in salary commitments for next season. The cap is projected to be $66 million. Do we really want to argue that for $26 million (less, actually, given empty-slot cap holds) that they’ll be able to go to the FA market and find players good enough to compare with Rose, Butler and Noah? Flexibility is pretty overrated when you’re already locked into a damn good team. They might be able to snag a quality big man, but that’s still not enough to provide as complete a roster as Melo would have had in Chi-town.

    • bringin1234 - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      Obvious Knicks fan?

      NY is going to be awful yet again…. lucky for them the east is weak so probably get a 6th or 7th seed

    • chicitybulls - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:59 AM

      Hahaha. That’s entertaining Mr. Wright. Honest question, where do you see the Bulls in the East? 4th best? 5th? 6th? Lower?

  10. mcmystery76 - Aug 19, 2014 at 7:19 AM

    The second-to-last paragraph was absolute gibberish…

    • clevelandrox - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      i need to talk to a counselor after reading it, lol…

  11. zickhead - Aug 19, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    If Chicago offered him same as NY then he would have gone. By now we all know Melo is about Money, he doesn’t care about winning as much as he says it all the time.

    • therealhtj - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:27 AM

      Because marquee stars ever leave real money on the table?

      • zickhead - Aug 19, 2014 at 10:57 AM

        Lebron, Wade and Bosh left money on the table to play together. Dirk always takes a cut as well.

  12. cfos00 - Aug 19, 2014 at 11:19 AM

    He didn’t leave NYC because of $47M. Can’t blame him there, that’s a Scrooge McDuck pile of money. As a Bulls fan, I can’t even be mad at that and like our team. It fans like most Bulls fans are in the same place. Seems like everything may have worked out well for everyone involved.

  13. realfootballfan - Aug 19, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Carmelo stayed in the right place. Soon as Phil gets more money under the cap, the Knicks will be challenging for the conference title. I’d always stick with the guy with too many rings for his hand.

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