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It is now official New York: Carmelo Anthony will stay with your New York Knicks. After the LeBron James essay, day by day, the puzzle that is the NBA will have the pieces put into place.
Anthony will accept the max offer, five-years and $129 million, according to CBSSports.com. CBS Sports claims that a league source very familiar with the situation told them that “Melo is staying.”
It can be safely assumed that because of the James announcement on Friday, Anthony waited until Saturday for his decision to make the news. Sure he can have his day in the sun once again. That’s okay. The man is a free-agent and is allowed to negotiate freely. Most people however will not view it as okay to accept the Knicks max-offer because of past statements Anthony has made.
In the past year, 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 this 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.
Knicks president Phil Jackson agreed with this sentiment and asked that Anthony take less than the max-offer, thus creating more cap-space to build around the star. So, if the reports are true that he will indeed take the max of $129 million, then a big contradiction lies somewhere in between Anthony’s words and actions.
Amid speculation that Anthony was interested in the Los Angeles Lakers and Chicago Bulls recently, he will stay put in the much weaker Eastern Conference. All eyes will now be on Jackson to fit the pieces around Anthony.