We live in a great time for NBA fandom.
We get to enjoy, arguably, the most powerful Western Conference in NBA history. We get to feast on elite players going at it night after night.
Also, even as terrible as the Eastern Conference is, the storylines surrounding it are nothing short of exhilarating.
- LeBron James‘ homecoming.
- Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh leading the Miami Heat (sans LeBron James).
- The Indiana Pacers‘ answer to Paul George‘s season-ending injury.
- Derrick Rose‘s
- And most importantly, the last
(hopefully)season of the New York Knicks‘ train wreck we’ve all learned to love.
(Note: There’s still no one watching any matchups featuring the Milwaukee Bucks, Orlando Magic, Philadelphia 76ers or Detroit Pistons, at least no one should exercise that kind of torture on themselves.)
Every one of the previous story lines should, and will, be addressed in time. For now, we’ll have to settle for the New York Knicks’ last season as the league’s laughingstock. Specially at Carmelo Anthony‘s title window once the train wreck is over.
Carmelo Anthony is a very special player. He’s often considered, alongside Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, one of the purest scorers the game has ever seen. He’s been called up to every All-Star Game since 2007 except for one, 2009.
He led the Denver Nuggets to the Western Conference Finals in 2008-09. He took the scoring title from Kevin Durant in 2012-13.
He joined the Knicks in 2010-11. Since joining the Knicks, he’s never been past the second round in the playoffs. He re-signed with the Knicks for $122 million for five years.
For perspective’s sake:
- New York Knicks 2004-14: Three playoff appearances. (3-for-10)
- Carmelo Anthony 2003-14: 25.3 points per game, .476/.345/.811 shooting. He’s been one of the top-10 scoring leaders every one of his eleven seasons in the league.
Obviously, as you can see, Carmelo’s not the problem here. Once the Knicks landed Anthony, James Dolan decided to focus on his music and consequently running them to the ground with one of the worst supporting casts in league history.
Unfortunately, Carmelo’s chances at a title shared the team’s fate and were put on hold until the 2015-16 season.
Even though Carmelo’s not the first player to face this “lack of talent in the role players” issue (i. e. LeBron James – Cleveland Cavaliers 2003-10, Kevin Love – Minnesota Timberwolves 2008-14, Dwight Howard – Orlando Magic 2004-12), by re-signing with the Knicks he automatically placed his fate and future on a team that has proven to fail over and over.
With new management, coaching staff, a favorable stay in the Eastern Conference and plus-minus $34 million in cap space (without options), the Knicks are bound to turn this around. Nevertheless, Carmelo’s title window is closing.
Entering his 11th season in the league, his new five-year deal with the Knicks postponed his chances at contention for his 12th season, at best.