COMMENTARY | With just a few weeks into the 2013-2014 NBA season, New York Knicks’ forward, Carmelo Anthony is already finding himself in hot waters. Some less-than-perfect plays, controversial statements and selfish ball movement have put fear into the eyes and hearts of New Yorkers.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why Carmelo Anthony is worrying Knicks’ fans.
His Controversial Statements
Anthony recently told the New York Observer that he wanted to test free agency this summer and opt out of his current contract stating, “I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.” It wasn’t long before the media frenzy began, quickly warranting a retraction from the NBA star himself.
During an interview with TNT just a few weeks after the initial free-agency-gate happened, Anthony insisted that he quite frankly, wanted to “retire a Knick,” hoping to ease the fears and hesitations of Knicks’ fans that Anthony wanted to try out his hand as an LA Laker as initially rumored. The Knicks fought hard to get Anthony to come to New York and opting out of his contract and throwing all of that away early would really anger fans and administration. “I think a lot of people jumped the gun when I said I wanted to be a free agent,” Anthony said. “And yeah, I want people to come play in New York. I want them to want to play in New York. I want New York to be that place where guys want to come play.”
His Erratic Ball Plays
After the backlash of Anthony’s statements regarding free agency, Anthony tried to soften the blow by saying that he had a “big rolodex and big black book” of players names who he would try to come play with him in New York. Some are left to wonder if other star players would be interested in teaming up with Anthony, as he has been called a ball-hog and known to play a selfish game. If he doesn’t learn to strike a balance, he could greatly impact the immediate future of the team.
On the contrary to that, the Knicks have lost a few games in a row recently, leaving the NBA All-Star to claim that he is second-guessing himself. “Maybe I’m a little bit passive out there, trying to do things that’s out of the norm and trying to make people better at the wrong times,” reports ESPN. It could be the fact that he is trying to adjust to the new additions on the court and in the line-up, but it seems as though Anthony is really struggling to find his comfortable spot and to strike a balance between ball domination and lackadaisicalness.
Knicks’ management is standing behind him saying that they will be surprised if he decides to opt out of his contract. He can start negotiating in February on an extension in which he could get two years and about $50 million total tacked on to the $23.3 million he’s owed next season. But he can make the most money by opting out. If he decides to opt out, Anthony can get a maximum five-year deal worth roughly $129 million from the Knicks. The most another team can pay him is four years and about $96 million.
Knicks’ fans are waiting on the edges of their seats to see what the King-of-New-York-Basketball is going to do, but if Anthony wants to still be considered a star baller worthy of a large payday, he needs to focus on this present season, because the Knicks have a long way to go.