I still remember the day Carmelo Anthony was dealt to the Knicks back on February 22nd, 2011. My expectations were sky-high as I imagined us lifting up the Larry O’Brien Trophy one day. That dream turned to a nightmare over the course of the last six years, but Carmelo wasn’t the one at fault, even though he took the brunt of the blame from the harsh NYC media.
Over the last few months, I wrote here about how Anthony deserved better from New York, as well as attacked ESPN’s laughable #64 player ranking for this season last week. As a Knicks fan, it’s a sad day and really the end of an era that I have to consider a failure with only one playoff series victory in six years. It was just time for this divorce to happen, the Knicks needed to move on and embrace their youth movement while Melo earned the right at 33-years-old to play for a championship contender and not a rebuilding unit. This is Kristaps Porzingis’ team and hopefully we learned our lesson to actually put talent around our superstars, which hasn’t been the case in the past with Melo, Ewing, King etc.
Friday night, news broke out that Carmelo Anthony extended his list of trade destinations to three, adding the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder to the mix with the Houston Rockets. Even though both Knicks GM Scott Perry and President Steve Mills reiterated at a press briefing they expected Melo to be a Knick come next week’s start of training camp we all saw it as media posturing. After promising Anthony he would be dealt in July, they owed it to him to make a last ditch effort to deal him before the 2017 season got rolling.
New York has agreed to a deal to send Carmelo Anthony to OKC for Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a draft pick, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) September 23, 2017
Shortly after 1 P.M. ESPN Insider Adrian Wojnarowski dropped one of his signature “Woj Bombs,” saying a deal for Carmelo was “close with the Thunder,” right in the midst of a politics war against the NBA. The Knicks will receive Enes Kanter, Doug McDermott and a Bulls 2nd Round pick in exchange for Anthony. This isn’t great return value by any stretch for the Knicks, but I believe they had to make a deal like this before the season to rid the team of any distractions, officially launching us into a new era of basketball. So as a fan of the team, I’m just going to embrace the rebuild and hope these kids can gel and develop, while giving us a fun season. Even though it probably won’t result in a playoff appearance.
Have a scoop – OKC and Carmelo are officially circling each other. OKC’s Troy Weaver recruited Melo to Cuse + has known him since DMV days.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) July 24, 2017
As a life-long fan of Carmelo Anthony, I’m ecstatic to see him wind up in a winning situation. At the age of 33, he finally gets to play with two superstar teammates in front of a raucous home-court advantage that will embrace him. I think I finally found my second favorite team to pull for come playoff time. The 10-time All-Star has much to prove to the haters, and he will have an opportunity to do that deep in the heart of a playoff run. The Thunder boast a talented lineup that may vault them to the Western Conference Finals, which includes Russ-Roberson-PG-Melo-Adams. Of course the NBA does it again, as the Knicks will travel to OKC on their opening night October 19th, bravo guys.
— Paul George (@Yg_Trece) September 23, 2017
So here we are on September 23rd, 2017 as Knicks fans like myself say farewell to the best player to suit up in the blue and orange in the 21st century. Thank you for everything Carmelo, you embraced gotham for what it was and didn’t turn your back on any challenge thrown at you. That right there is to be respected. I wish this chapter could’ve had a different ending, but good luck in OKC, we’ll all be cheering for you. Your story is not finished just yet. See you on December 16th (My B-day) at MSG for a reunion.
Thank You Melo!