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Posted at 2:10 AM ET, 02/22/2011

Carmelo Anthony traded to New York Knicks, finally

By Michael Lee

You know everybody is going to say you're coming to my team, 'Melo. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)


The East is a beast, and will be for a while, now that Carmelo Anthony finally got his wish to join the New York Knicks. After months of mind-numbing speculation, rumors of imminent deals with the New Jersey Nets, back-room meetings with big money owners, and a silly tip of his hat to himself, Anthony will return to the place where he was born and be close -- but not too close -- to where he grew up in Baltimore.

Anthony's arrival in New York, and union with all-star forward Amar'e Stoudemire, doesn't make the Knicks a threat to compete with Boston, Miami or even Chicago, but it has made them decidedly better -- at least at the box office. With Anthony switching conferences to form another potential power team in the conference, the rebuilding process for the Wizards gets more challenging. They could keep taking lumps for a few years.

The core talents with the Heat, Bulls and Knicks are still relatively young and getting better. And that doesn't include Orlando's Dwight Howard, who is 25. The Wizards will really have to get it right in upcoming NBA drafts, because if John Wall showed anything during the Rookie Challenge, it's that he can be that much better surrounded by equally great talent.

As for the Knicks, their fans have reason to be excited, especially after whiffing on LeBron James last summer. While the Knicks had to sacrifice three-fifths of their starting lineup -- Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler -- and a sometimes starter in Timofey Mozgov to get Anthony, stars don't come cheap.

And, none of the players shipped to Denver has the potential to influence a game or command attention the way Anthony does.

Anthony is arguably the most versatile scorer in the game, since he has already mastered the mid-range game, is extremely effective in the low post and can occasionally step back and hit three-pointers. In his time with Team USA, Anthony has consistently shown that even when he shares the floor with Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or James, no one can put the ball in the basket better.

But he has limitations, since he's never been interested in playing defense and Denver didn't become serious threat in the Western Conference until it acquired Chauncey Billups -- and the leadership he provides -- three years ago.


Sorry, but you've got to go. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

I've always been leery of how Anthony and Stoudemire would work, since both are high volume shooters who need a lot of touches to score. In many ways, this pairing could wind up being similar to the Anthony-Allen Iverson duo in Denver a few seasons ago.

The Nuggets had two outstanding scorers, capable of taking over games at any moment, sharing the load and collecting stats. While Iverson and Anthony had a mutual respect for each other -- much like Anthony and Stoudemire -- the experiment failed because both players got theirs while teammates served as spectators.

The difference in this situation is that Stoudemire is a big man, still in his prime and the Knicks had no choice but to make this deal. Even if it doesn't work, it is well worth the risk to see if Stoudemire and Anthony can bring back the energy -- that comes from actually playoff series wins, and not just hype -- to the Garden that's been missing largely since Patrick Ewing was traded.

The challenge for Coach Mike D'Antoni will be tempering expectations because the Knicks still have the potential to be a horrific defensive team and will undergo an adjustment period. D'Antoni has an offense that thrives on ball-movement and team play; Anthony is used to having his number called over and over again.

Getting Billups is an underrated part of the deal, since he is the only player on the roster with championship experience. But the Knicks will also have to determine the pecking order, since Stoudemire was first to choose the Knicks last summer, with the purpose of having a team to call his own and worry about being dismissed as a Steve Nash creation. Anthony had grown accustomed to being the man in Denver, but what role will he assume now that he has followed Stoudermire to New York?

Those concerns will be worked out, or not, in time. Anthony just has to be thrilled that he flexed his power -- with some help from his agent, Leon Rose, and behind-the-scenes power player William Wesley -- to not only get the team he wanted, but also the $65 million extension that he wanted as well. It was a win-win. Actually, it was a win-win-win, since his wife, LaLa Vasquez, also gets to move to a city where she can jump start the entertainment career that she put on the side while in Denver. Anthony can really tip his hat to himself now.

Anthony forced his way out, but made sure that he didn't leave the franchise he represented for more than seven years high and dry. Still, Anthony left a playoff team and now Denver is a rebuilding team, only because he didn't want to be there.

This will surely be a point of contention in the next collective bargaining agreement, with owners likely to push hard for a franchise tag to avoid the stress and strain that has come the past eight months with James, Bosh and Anthony now leaving irrelevant their respective teams in Cleveland, Toronto and Denver.

With New Orleans Hornets point guard Chris Paul, Utah's Deron Williams and Howard all eligible for free agency in the summer of 2012 and rumors already circulating that they have started to get wandering eyes, the league and its owners are definitely taking notes. After all, this whole Anthony situation allegedly got started when Paul jokingly made a toast about the formation of a new big three in New York featuring him, Anthony and Stoudemire. Eight months later, the Knicks are two-thirds of the way there.

By Michael Lee  | February 22, 2011; 2:10 AM ET
 
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Comments

LUVIN IT!!!!

THE CARMELO ANTHONY TO THE NEW YORK KNICKS SONG http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9S2sLe8VuMo 'Hello Mello'

Posted by: pwbrooklyn | February 22, 2011 2:38 AM | Report abuse

I can't say that i was surprised. All the reporters were like Melo when you getting traded. When you going to new york. will you sign that extension with new york. comment about Mikael prokhorov calling off trade talks with melo.

Posted by: jefferu | February 22, 2011 6:59 AM | Report abuse

New York shipped out everything but the Statue of Liberty to get this guy. Probably too late in the season for the Knicks to develop sufficient chemistry to do anything in the post-season. The super star theory in the NBA continues to hold. You win w/ superstars and a team needs at least 1 and a complementary all star caliber player. The remainder of the team are domestiques supporting the big guns.

Posted by: randysbailin | February 22, 2011 7:48 AM | Report abuse

Overall, not a bad outcome for all sides. The NBA gets another superstar in MSG, and the ratings that go with it. Denver gets some young players and draft choices instead of, well, nothing. The big Russian in NJ will have to throw bags of cash in some other direction (he will).

Or the league could just simplify things with special 'big town' cap exceptions for New York, Chicago, Boston, and LA and assign 50% of the All-Star roster to those cities. Everybody else can fight over lottery picks.

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2011 7:51 AM | Report abuse

Not sold on this move...they may be a 4-5 seed now, WITH Melo. But basically now, if you pass the ball into the frontline, forget about seeing it again in that possession - those guys are chuckin'.

Bulls probably would've been a better fit (provided Noah wasn't part of the package), but as we've seen - Kobe, Bron, Melo - they can't, or won't, pull the trigger when it's time to.

Posted by: BMoreChil | February 22, 2011 7:57 AM | Report abuse

"Or the league could just simplify things with special 'big town' cap exceptions for New York, Chicago, Boston, and LA and assign 50% of the All-Star roster to those cities. Everybody else can fight over lottery picks."

That's my big concern...you do that, and eventually the NBA is going to become MLB + a cap.

Posted by: BMoreChil | February 22, 2011 7:59 AM | Report abuse

I am sick of people painting players in a bad light for trying to position themselves to win. Sure, LeTravel did it the bad way but Melo actually did it the right. Why should he stay in Denver if he doesn't wanna be there? You think teams think twice about dumping players when they want to "move in a different direction"? So why can't players move in a different direction, especially when they think that direction gives them a better chance to win?

Posted by: tundey | February 22, 2011 8:00 AM | Report abuse

Does this article even mention Chauncey Billups? Melo needs a great point guard to feed him.

Posted by: wewintheylose1 | February 22, 2011 8:24 AM | Report abuse

More proof the inmates are running the asylum. Pout, pout, pout until you get to where you want to go. Competitive balance? That's for suckahs.

Why have a draft? Why not just let the players pick their teams from Day One and end the illusion that 30 teams are all competing for a title.

Even better, let's have a 6 team league...Miami, LA, Chicago, NY, Boston and Phoenix. Three cold weather cities, three warm weather cities. Perfect!!

L-O-C-K-O-U-T.

Posted by: howjensen | February 22, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Pro basketball has degenerated into a game of thugs and posturing. When your players start looking and acting like ghetto goons, the game is finished in my mind. Return to the no-touch rim and maybe the game will become a decent sport once again.

Posted by: pjohn3 | February 22, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Pro basketball has degenerated into a game of thugs and posturing. When your players start looking and acting like ghetto goons, the game is finished in my mind. Return to the no-touch rim and maybe the game will become a decent sport once again.

Posted by: pjohn3 | February 22, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"the No-Touch Rim" ? LOL - Who would watch?

Posted by: AllDCSports | February 22, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

What is a ghetto goon? Some people ! Anyway, I am an engineer and I have worked at firms large and small. Sometimes one firm may have better work stations, better kitchens, better bathrooms. I had a nice working envirnoment in the large or small firm, but I think I may have a better fit elsewhere. If we are lucky, we have all changed our situations if we thought it would benefit us. Like someone else posted, if our employers thought someone else was a better fit for their firm the employer would not hesitate to let us go. It is no different for pro sports players or for that matter college players. They are there to do a job. They fulfill their contracts and then they decide for themselves what is best for them.

Some of you fans get bent out of shape because you feel players should do what you think they should do. If the shoe was on the other foot...

I moved from NJ to the Wash area a couple of decades ago because of job oppurtunities and the quantity of of good looking women here. Each of us has our own vision of what we want and desire and in a job. His and their job is playing basketball. Don't hate on them. Get to the top of your profession and you can take your talents to whomever will pay top dollar for it, no matter where!!!!

Posted by: smokestack | February 22, 2011 9:24 AM | Report abuse

Pro basketball has degenerated into a game of thugs and posturing. When your players start looking and acting like ghetto goons, the game is finished in my mind. Return to the no-touch rim and maybe the game will become a decent sport once again.

Posted by: pjohn3 | February 22, 2011 8:49 AM | Report abuse
-----
Also, those kids need to stay off my lawn, dagnabbit!

Posted by: crs-one | February 22, 2011 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Knicks gave up way too much for Melo. They should have keep Chandler?Danilo. One of those players should have been untradeable.

Posted by: lemekdivine | February 22, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Howjensen, you hit it on the head. The success of the NBA is dependent upon healthy franchises. When all the talent is concentrated among 6 to 8 teams, then you have the makings of a failed business model because the remaining teams won't be able to pay the bills.

What player, given a choice, would want to stay in Cleveland, Sacramento, or Milaukee? Unlike the NFL, team success can be dependent upon a single great player (see Cleveland). Therefore, if players can determine where they want to play, then players, and not owners and not the league, will hold the fate of the NBA in their hands. Perhaps something like a franchise tag is necessary in the new NBA CBA, which would penalize (financially) a player who forces a trade and imposes steep compensation costs on the opposing team.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 22, 2011 10:04 AM | Report abuse

I like how aggressive the Knicks were. The team as constructed was not going anywhere so they blew it up now to get 'Melo rather than waiting a few seasons for middling pieces to "develop." Of course, they may regret moving at least one of those guys.

But they hired D'Antoni and are never going to play defense no matter who is on the roster, getting one of the top3 scorers in the league as he enters his prime to team with Amare puts butts in the seats and plays to their coach's philosophy.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2011 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Carmelo Anthony is extremely overrated — he has to shoot huge numbers of shots and can't (or at least won't) defend anyone.

But the power play he pulled here on the Nuggets is disgusting. He has assumed the title of "NBA's most selfish player," and epitomizes the "I'm bigger than any team" attitude that has long since ruined a once-watchable sport.

Posted by: DC2Dallas | February 22, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

More proof the inmates are running the asylum. Pout, pout, pout until you get to where you want to go. Competitive balance? That's for suckahs.

Why have a draft? Why not just let the players pick their teams from Day One and end the illusion that 30 teams are all competing for a title.

Even better, let's have a 6 team league...Miami, LA, Chicago, NY, Boston and Phoenix. Three cold weather cities, three warm weather cities. Perfect!!

L-O-C-K-O-U-T.

Posted by: howjensen | February 22, 2011 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Great comment! I feel the same way. With deals like this, the smaller market teams will never be able to build a championship. The Wizards will be a team that will have someone like John Wall plucked away to a larger market team, when his rookie contract is up. Baseball, is kinda the same way, with Boston, Yankees, Mets, Dodgers, Phillies getting quality players at every position, especially pitching. It doesn't help that sports shows like Espn always focus there attention on the bigger market teams either. They have there own segment, just to focus on the big cities sport teams. Carmelo did hold Denver hostage to only deal with NY, because he wouldn't sign with any other team. Of course it's his right to sign with whomever he wants, but if I'm Denver, I can't trade him to a team that has much more assets than NY could offer. He's telling Denver whom to deal with, or else you won't get nothing out of the deal, (I'll bolt at the end of the season and you won't get nothing). That part isn't quite fair. Now, Denver has to rebuild and if they happen to get another star player in the draft, he might bolt to a bigger market team. Then they have to start all over again. Teams like Washington will eventually get caught up with that same scenerio as well as other smaller markets. Sounds like fun.

Posted by: htnba20031 | February 22, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The Nuggets didnt have to trade 'Melo. They could have kept him and he would have left after this season as a FA. How haters construe that as players being selfish and ruining the league is beyond me. The guy wanted to work somewhere else. He didnt hold out or refuse to play, he let his boss know and they got what they could for him.

The idea these players have to stay where grumpy OLD fans demand so the league can be what it was back in the '80s is just masking a deep resentment of who the modern players are and how much they get paid.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2011 10:35 AM | Report abuse

To use the same analogy, the Nuggets were more of a contender when they had Anthony AND Miller. When they traded Miller for Iverson, it was a mistake that cost them a chance at long term success. I don't see any reason why the Wizards cannot compete from an offensive standpoint. Young has played with the big boys and can put up 30. They need a solid 3 or 4 starter, a lock-down defender off the bench, and then they're at least a consistent 5-6 seed, maybe pushing upward. The Knicks just gave away their team. Did they give up draft picks too?

Posted by: NovaMike | February 22, 2011 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Divi, they didn't have to trade him? Really? What would you have done if you were the nuggets? Hold onto him knowing that in 1 year he'd bolt, or trade him for what you can get?

They deserve to get paid a lot of money, but owners deserve the opportunity to building winning teams regardless of their zip code and fans in those same zip codes should have the opportunity to cheer for their home team in a championship series.

If this keeps going, the players, not just the owners, ultimately be the ones who will suffer. Value of franchises with empty arenas will plummet, revenues will plummet, teams will fold, and player salaries will decline.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 22, 2011 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Curse de les Boules! How can it get much worse? Stop the stinking thinking. We will get multiple #1 draft picks over the next couple of years and build the "old fashioned way". Go TED!

Posted by: KDSmallJr | February 22, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I would not say I like the "inmates running the asylum" system for other sports, but it will be interesting to see how it works out for the NBA. To an extent we already have it in baseball, note Cliff Lee moving to the Phillies.

I like it more than players forced to be where they don't want to be, as would-be slave owner and Cavaliers massa Dan GIlbert (a.k.a. Simon LeGilbert) would have had for LeBron. Given that relatively few NBA players have long careers, why should they be forced to be in Sacramento or Utah unless they want to be?

Posted by: Nemo24601 | February 22, 2011 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Divi, they didn't have to trade him? Really? What would you have done if you were the nuggets? Hold onto him knowing that in 1 year he'd bolt, or trade him for what you can get?

They signed him to a contract and he would have played it out and left. What is the issue? Should you be forced to stay at your job because your boss will make less money if you leave? Like I said, he didnt hold out. He fulfilled his end of his contract as it was written.

And, they got a slew of players and picks to start immediately rebuilding. They had their shot with 'melo and it didnt work out, both sides moving on.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

How haters construe that as players being selfish and ruining the league is beyond me. The guy wanted to work somewhere else. He didnt hold out or refuse to play, he let his boss know and they got what they could for him.

The idea these players have to stay where grumpy OLD fans demand so the league can be what it was back in the '80s is just masking a deep resentment of who the modern players are and how much they get paid.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2011 10:35 AM

Could not find any such comments above, and only found one instance of a "hater" calling Anthony selfish, but nonetheless you have missed the point, as usual.

Isiah Thomas is the one who orchestrated this deal-- his and Dolan's undermining of Donnie Walsh is no secret-- and the circumstances surrounding his silent partner status is what is particularly irksome about the game today. Officially, Thomas' ties to the Knicks front office were severed 3 years ago when he ran the team into the ground for the first time. Last summer, he reapplied for his old job, albeit under the guise of a new title, but he was rejected by the league.

Whether or not the trade proves successful for the Knicks has yet to be determined, but Thomas' track record of calling the shots in NY speaks for itself (Eddy Curry, Marbury, Zebo, Jared Jeffries, etc etc.) For some reason, Dolan and all the other Isiah sycophants are ready for a sequel.

Those are some of the factors that have fans irritated-- not the simple fact that Anthony asked to be traded.

We're looking at another scandal in the Knicks organization in which Isiah Thomas is back at the forefront as "secret GM" and you're accusing other fans of trying to bring back the '80s?!! How much more '80s could this get??

Posted by: prescrunk | February 22, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Those are some of the factors that have fans irritated-- not the simple fact that Anthony asked to be traded.

Why would Wizards fans care about whatever cabal is actually running the Knicks? I hope Zeke is neck deep in everything they do, lessens the chance they'll ever be successful.

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Probably a good idea to maintain an attitude of healthy detachment when it comes to pro sports. Teams are businesses and players view themselves as independent contractors. We're probably fortunate there hasn't been more of this phenomenon of stars gravitating to big franchises -- after all, pro basketball is the sport where the superstar has the biggest impact on-court, and these guys have long known it.

Wait til the NBA expands overseas and we see teams in London and Moscow...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

"The idea these players have to stay where grumpy OLD fans demand so the league can be what it was back in the '80s is just masking a deep resentment of who the modern players are and how much they get paid.Posted by: divi3"

LOL and he calls other people 'haters'...

Posted by: Samson151 | February 22, 2011 12:01 PM | Report abuse

What's the Knicks starting lineup going to look like for the rest of the year, Anthony-SF, Stoudemire-PF, Billups-point, Turief-C and Mason at the 2?

Posted by: midlevex_ | February 22, 2011 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Why would Wizards fans care about whatever cabal is actually running the Knicks?

Posted by: divi3 | February 22, 2011 11:59 AM

Because Donnie made 4 more Wizards games a year watchable again.

Posted by: prescrunk | February 22, 2011 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Considering Melo was leaving anyway, Denver came out pretty darn good.

Raymond Felton is probably the most under rated point guard in the NBA. And Chandler and Gallo are pretty good as well.

I'm shocked that NY gave up soo much for Mel..Thought they would've just signed him as a FA in the off sesason. Maybe NY thinks they can contend this year??

But they probably are banking on CP3 joining at which point Felton and Billups(who is a beast as well) will be a mute point..

I hope we are able to pull off something before the deadline :(

Posted by: kevenjones | February 22, 2011 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Why is it the Redskins are a big market team with probably a 100,000 waiting list and the Wizards are a small market team. The answer, is; an owner who can spend money. An owner who can market the team, and in the process take advantage of fans to get their money. The Wizards should invest in a team that can fill the seats, buy jerseys,and guarantee a player does not have to go elsewhere to win a championship or get more money. That being said, get players with character that will give a return on investment.

Posted by: 1bmffwb | February 22, 2011 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"They deserve to get paid a lot of money, but owners deserve the opportunity to building winning teams regardless of their zip code and fans in those same zip codes should have the opportunity to cheer for their home team in a championship series."

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 22, 2011 10:51 AM

The Nuggets owners had that opportunity. They had it for 7 years. They failed to get it done. It's a business not slavery. When a player's contract is up he has every right to look for an opportunity elsewhere.

Posted by: kalo_rama | February 22, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Why is it the Redskins are a big market team with probably a 100,000 waiting list and the Wizards are a small market team. The answer, is; an owner who can spend money. An owner who can market the team, and in the process take advantage of fans to get their money. The Wizards should invest in a team that can fill the seats, buy jerseys,and guarantee a player does not have to go elsewhere to win a championship or get more money. That being said, get players with character that will give a return on investment.

Posted by: 1bmffwb
---------------------------
Your answer to your question is way to simplistic. The Washington area is first and for most a Football town. Everything in terms of sports comes second to the Redskins. Take away the Wizards from DC and you will have loud protests for sure but take away the Redskins and you will have full scale pendamonium. It's not because the Skins have been tearing up the NFL. Out of all the professional sports in the DC area The Skins are the only ones that can get away with putting a subpar to medicore team out year after year and still sale out their home games.

Posted by: 6thsense79 | February 22, 2011 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Howjensen, you hit it on the head. The success of the NBA is dependent upon healthy franchises. When all the talent is concentrated among 6 to 8 teams, then you have the makings of a failed business model because the remaining teams won't be able to pay the bills.
Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 22, 2011 10:04 AM |
I think the league did pretty well in the '80s, when the Celtics and Lakers dominated the game with rosters replete with multiple HOFers. Didn't do too poorly when the Bulls were winning championships, either.

Dynasties and concentrated talent being bad for the league is a myth. Just ask MLB and the Yankees.

And I am aware of the parity of the NFL, but 16 regular season games a year and all games broadcast under a national TV deal is a completely different business model from all other pro leagues.

Posted by: CommieX | February 22, 2011 4:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm not really sure when earning 63 MILLION DOLLARS over 3 years became the equivalent to slavery. If it is, then sign me up.

The players make huge money because the league, not 5 or 6 teams, generates billions of dollars in revenue. It's that revenue that dictates salaries. NBA franchises aren't analagous to corporations competing for greater market share in the free market. They're not in any way. They are franchises, like McDonalds. So, if a limited number of players want to manipulate the system at the expense of bankrupting the vast majority of teams, then by all means, keep it up. Anybody want to meet me at Hardees?

What's going to happen when CP3 or Darren Williams want to abandon their small market teams for sexier outposts. Is that good for the league? No, it isn't. This isn't about Melo. I would be thrilled if he were looking for a condo in DC. This is about how the NBA is going to put forward a better product.

Posted by: ZardsFan1 | February 22, 2011 5:06 PM | Report abuse

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