Carmelo Anthony won’t be screaming “Show me the money” at James Dolan but rather “Show me the plan.”
The free agent-to-be said on Friday that he’s willing to give the Knicks a hometown discount if that helps them upgrade the roster. But Anthony was also channeling his inner LeBron James by saying emphatically that his goal this summer is not just increasing his bank account but increasing his chances of winning a championship.
“As far as the money, it don’t really matter to me,” Anthony said. “If I go somewhere else, I get paid. If I stay in New York, I get paid. 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 implication is clear — Anthony, as he has always been, is open to re-signing with the Knicks, who can offer him $30 million more than the competition. But there is one major caveat: Anthony wants assurances from Dolan, the MSG chairman, that the club is committed to building a winner. In fact, Anthony hinted that he would like some input over which players the Knicks should pursue.
“I haven’t had any in-depth conversation with management about who I want to play with, what kind of team we should have,” Anthony said. “I’ve never had those conversations. I always look at what’s going on and always feel naively I could change it and turn it around, put it on my shoulders.
“That time is going to come,” Anthony added. “When that time comes, everything will be laid out on the table. If they can counter that, we have a long future ahead of us.” New York Daily News
Anthony has basically said that he needs to be consulted with future personnel decisions if he were to stay with the Knicks. He would scratch their proverbial backs by taking a pay cut, and they would scratch his by giving him input before signing players to the team.
It doesn’t sound like a good idea but it’s not like the Knicks have Jerry West running the front office. The fans are afraid to let Anthony walk because there is no plan, but keeping Anthony doesn’t guarantee anything else improves for a team that’s currently 12 games under .500 in the weakest conference we’ve witnessed in over a decade.
The best move is to trade Anthony for assets, but that won’t happen. This sad display will continue until no.15 retires, an appropriate show considering it’s eight blocks from Broadway. – AL