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Shortly after the greatest basketball player in the world received his day in the sun, it is now Carmelo Anthony’s time. Not sure though that Melo’s feedback will be quite as positive as LeBron’s.
On Saturday, it was revealed that Anthony would stay with the New York Knicks and today it is becoming knowledge that the contract will be five-years and a little over $122 million, according to CBSSports.com. The absolute max-offer Anthony could have signed was $129 million over five-years. He decided to leave around $7 million on the table which comes out to $1.4 million each season.
Interesting, considering some of the things Anthony has claimed over this past year.
I'm told Melo will not take the full $129 million from the Knicks. Don't have exact figures but it's north of $122 million
— Chris Broussard (@Chris_Broussard) July 12, 2014
Carmelo has claimed that winning a championship means everything for him, and there is nothing else to accomplish in his career. Back in February of this year, Anthony said after being asked the question of whether he would be willing to sign for less, "Without a doubt. Any opportunity I have to build that up in New York, I'd do it. I told people all the time, always say, If it takes me taking a pay cut, I'll be the first one on [Knicks owner] Mr. [James] Dolan's steps saying take my money and let's build something strong over here,” according to ESPN.com.
Also, during all-star weekend this past season Anthony was on record as saying this: "As far as the money goes, it's not my concern. My concern is to be able to compete on a high level, a championship level, coming in this last stretch of my career. I want to compete at that level."
The point is not that Anthony is selfish because he took $122 million. The point is that Anthony has now become a walking contradiction because of past words and current actions.
Carmelo Anthony officially announces he's returning to the Knicks. pic.twitter.com/ivZqWFqtL3
— NBA Legion (@MySportsLegion) July 13, 2014
Today, on his own personal website, Anthony released a “Lebron-like” statement regarding his intentions on why he’s staying in New York (or his home). It is a complete farce as the more objective on-lookers will have trouble not bursting out in chuckles while reading. To summarize, it states that New York is his “home” and that it is where it heart is.
For once, I would love to see a super-star athlete come out and say I am here simply because of the outrageous money I’m being paid.
There is nothing wrong with taking as much money as humanly possible. This is what we as American’s are afforded to do in this world. We have careers and our true-worth is revealed in how much dough comes our direction. Melo is legally a free-agent in the world of the association and can and should take the most.
When you claim you’re willing to take “less money” in order to allow the franchise to build the team around you in a more flexible manor and you do not come through on those words is when you created yourself a major problem, especially in the city that is New York. Taking $7 million less over five-years is in no way “taking less money.”
It is a futile effort to back up season-long words and claims.
The current state of the New York Knicks organization is obvious. They are hamstrung for this upcoming season with the bloated contacts of Amare Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani on the books. After the 2014-15 season though, those contracts will be gone and the likes of Kevin Love, Rajon Rondo and Marc Gasol will be suddenly available to Phil Jackson and the Knicks.
Anthony’s contract will not stop Jackson from signing a major star in the summer of 2015. It will however give the “Zen Master” less flexibility when unforeseen events pop up during the next five-seasons.
Some might argue that if Anthony really did care about winning then he would have landed with Chicago. I do not buy this notion because of the health concerns of Derrick Rose. Coming back to New York with a hall of fame basketball legend running the organization is a smart move as it appeals to winning.
Where I have my problems with Anthony is purely the amount of money. Why not a five-year $100 million deal? Is $20 million per year not enough? Or even a $90 million total over that span would suffice.
The scary point in all of this pertains to the New York fans. New Yorkers have long memories. If Anthony comes out of the gates struggling this upcoming season, the boo’s will rain down on him like the worst thunderstorm and the darkest of clouds he’s ever seen. Yes, the overall sentiment of the city was that they wanted their star back, but at what cost?
If Jackson becomes hamstrung in the very least because of this contract in the upcoming years, Knicks' fans will remember and voice their displeasure loudly. With both Jackson and Anthony now having five-year deals under their belts, they are now tied at the hip. Let’s hope Jackson can fit the correct pieces around the super-star scorer.
Athletes in New York become legends if they do things the right way. At this point only a championship will have Carmelo Anthony viewed as a legend in New York.