Carmelo Anthony delivered his first statement since resigning with the New York Knicks, stating that his heart always remained in New York throughout the free agency process.
In an official statement posted on http://www.ThisIsMelo.com titled “My City, My Heart” , Anthony said his decision to opt out of his contract was simply a routine business move to “explore all of the options available to me.”
Anthony concluded by affirming his desire to work closely with Knicks president Phil Jackson, who Anthony praised as a “champion who builds championship teams.”
At press time, the details of Anthony’s new five-year contract have not been disclosed. You can read the entire statement below.
A few years ago I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth, and on February 23, 2011 that became a reality. This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. At this pivotal juncture in my career, I owed it to myself and my family to explore all of the options available to me. Through it all, my heart never wavered.
During this journey I met with some quality organizations who have amazing talent and leadership. I thank them for their consideration, belief in my talent, and opportunity to imagine the possibilities.
I will always remember this chapter in my life. In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. I am looking forward to continue my career in Orange & Blue and to work with Phil Jackson, a champion who builds championship teams. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.
Right after the big press conference yesterday, new titled Knicks president Phil Jackson sat down with friend and old teammate Walt “Clyde” Frazier to discuss his new position and the future of the franchise. Jackson spoke about the need to revamp the roster (“the players have to have a certain sense about themselves…”) and the importance of going back to the fundamentals of basketball (read: DEFENSE). Jackson specifically pointed out the problem with our perimeter players being blown by and relying solely on Tyson Chandler for rim protection.
What I already like about Jackson’s approach is the sense of calm and logic he’s bringing to his role. Lord knows the Knicks have been a chaotic, roller-coaster bunch. It’s readily apparent that Jackson already knows what he wants to do with this squad.
The Zen Master has come home. Over 40 years after winning two titles as a player with the Knicks, and then subsequently keeping his old squad from a title during the Jordan years, Phil Jackson has agreed to a deal that will bring him in as New York’s President of Basketball Operations.
The deal had been in its final stages since last weekend, with the two allegedly ironing out final details such as salary and even a minority stake in the team. According to the New York Post, Jackson is set to make at least $15 million per year in his new role. Despite living in Marina Del Ray, California, the 68-year old former coach is expected to relocate to New York during the season.
The role will be Jackson’s first front office role after previously winning 11 titles as coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers.
At press time, an official press conference introducing Jackson to the team has not been announced.
If you have a bad word to say about this move, you either hate the Knicks, Jackson or just don’t like basketball. The Knicks are in dire need of direction and focus, and Jackson can assist greatly in that capacity. Throughout his career, he’s specialized in getting the maximum effort out of all the talent that’s surrounded him, and you know he’s sees this as his biggest challenge.
The big question mark most fans have as if president James Dolan will let Jackson do his job without micromanaging and meddling. Jackson is a strong personality who has no patience for office politics, as we saw during his time with the Lakers. How he works around some of these horrible contracts and recruits will make the Knicks a very interesting club to watch over the next two seasons.
This news also takes away a lot of the drama surrounding Melo’s off-season decision. Sure, Melo said the news “won’t affect” his free agency, but let’s be real — no way will Melo pass up working with a legend like Jackson to put a championship team around him.
I love nights like this. Four guys with 20-plus points. Sharing the ball. Making plays. Having fun out there. Taking the load off me. I love nights like that. – CARMELO ANTHONY
As bad as the Knicks have been this season, it could be worse. Dont’ believe me? Just take one look at the Sixers, who are not only out of playoff contention, but currently on a 17-game losing streak. The Knicks added to Philly’s misery last night, overcoming a 12-point deficit (29-17) in the first quarter to score a much-needed home win to remain in play (3.5 games back) to catch the Atlanta Hawks for the 8th and final playoff spot.
SLEEPWALKING: The Knicks came out very lazy and allowed the Sixer guards like Michael Carter-Williams and Tony Wroten to get in the paint at will. With Tyson Chandler out due to personal reasons, the Knicks missed his defensive presence and rebounding. In addition, Melo wasn’t his usual self, looking lethargic coming off a cold last game. He didn’t have good lift on his inside game nor on his jumper. Thankfully, the Knicks only had to settle for a 31-26 hole after hitting a few timely threes to close out the first stanza.
DEFENSE PICKS UP: By the second quarter, the Knicks realized their were playing the Sixers and started playing defense. They took a small five-point lead following two Raymond Felton threes, but hurt themselves by going in the penalty six minutes in, allowing Philly to stay close at the line and keep it tied at halftime, 61 all.
THE BEST PLAYER ON THE FLOOR: Amar’e Stoudemire has been beasting and his output was sorely needed yesterday to keep the pressure off Melo. Playing at the 5, Stat was too fast and quick for guys like Thaddeus Young, dropping 23 points (9/10 shooting). Stat’s defense was adequate as well, including a nice block at the rim that lead to a JR Smith three on the other end. A 9-0 run late in the third, after a few minutes of back and forth buckets early on, allowed the Knicks to take the lead for good.
FOUR OVER 20: The Knicks had four different plays score over 20 points: Melo (22), Stat (23), JR (22) and Hardaway Jr. (28). Tim’s output was the most scorching, including 13 points in the fourth that allowed Melo to rest the entire period.
The Knicks head to Boston Wednesday night to take on the Celtics. I wonder if Melo and Rondo will have any “side” conversations.
The New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets will have to put their rivalry on hold for a few days when the teams will join together to co-host the 2015 NBA All-Star Weekend in New York City.
The Knicks’ home, Madison Square Garden, will host the actual game, set to take place on Sunday February 15, 2015. The Nets home area, the Barclays Center, will handle all the preceding Saturday events, including the 3-point and Slam Dunk Contest.
Knicks owner James Dolan and members of the Nets hierarchy held a joint press conference yesterday to express their solidarity.
“The All-Star Game [is an opportunity] to take a timeout from the rhetoric to promote basketball,” stated Dolan. “[Rivalries] are nothing but good, they’re nothing but fun for the fans and they are great for business.”
The last All-Star game played in NYC took place in 1998.
No complaints, here — now if we didn’t get the game at MSG, I’d have a few comments. Sorry little brothers, we have seniority. All jokes aside, this will be great for NYC and I’m sure both sides will go all out with perks and extras to win over new fans and have bragging rights. I’m already planning my weekend trip.