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As much as any human suddenly some $120 million dollars richer can be, Carmelo Anthony has to be worried about his future.
Anthony knows he and newly minted Knicks president of basketball operations Phil Jackson have to make his New York return work, lest he run the risk of becoming known as the baller all about his money, even as he remains incapable of leading his teammates or winning the big game.
Eleven seasons of one of the league’s bonafide top players not being able to lead his team to a conference final or even deep into the playoffs for that matter can do that to a reputation, particularly when the said star had a chance to join a team that could be on the verge of competing for a chip (think Chicago) but instead elects to sign in the place where he can simply pocket the most cash.
“A few years ago, I dreamed of coming back to New York City, the place of my birth,” Anthony said in a statement posted on his website early Sunday. “This organization has supported me and in return, I want to stay and build here with this city and my team. In the end, I am a New York Knick at heart. Madison Square Garden is the mecca of basketball and I am surrounded by the greatest fans in the world.”
Be all that as it may, Carmelo Anthony has to know the honeymoon won’t last for long if he and Jackson aren’t able to build a winner as rapidly as he was willing to put his Hancock on that five-year, monster deal he inked this week.
While he and Jackson are now joined at the hip, this union is much more about Anthony’s legacy than it is the 11-time NBA coaching champion Jackson. In spades, Jackson already owns the kind of cache Melo can only dream of one day holding.
All season long, Anthony boldly preached of being at a point in his career where winning meant more to him than anything else in the game, but you can now argue his most definitive actions tell a different story.
So now, Carmelo Anthony has his money and he and Phil Jackson have the major task of transforming the Knicks into a contender. The league’s second best scorer behind MVP Kevin Durant have best be on his game, The Garden can be a putrid place to be when the natives grow restless.
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