The future of Carmelo Anthony is very much up in the air, since he can opt-out of the final year of his deal this summer and become an unrestricted free agent. The Knicks can offer him more money and an extra year, but if the team doesn’t have a chance to compete for a title, many wonder if ‘Melo will bounce to greener pastures in LA or Chicago. But not Anthony’s Wife, La La, who recently said, “I definitely think he will stay.”
La La thinks her husband will stay in the Big Apple, telling Bravo TV’s “Watch What Happens Live,” via ESPN Chicago:
“I definitely think he will stay. I know that he wants to stay, and I support him wherever he wants to go.
“Listen, I used to live in Denver with him. If I can live in Denver, I can live anywhere. I just want him to be happy.”
As we’ve mentioned a few times already this year, Anthony can â€” and almost certainly, will â€” opt out of his contract to become a free agent this summer. Because the Knicks hold his Bird Rights, they can offer him an extra year and more than $30 million more than any competing teams. But there are competing teams, specifically those in larger markets.
Kobe Bryant has recently mentioned how much nicer it is in Los Angeles, but current Lakers coach, Mike D’Antoni, feuded with Anthony when he was coaching the Knicks. It makes LA’s possible courtship this summer, awkward, as Al Iannazzone mentions at Newsday.
Kobe on Melo to LA: "Everybody wants to play in L.A. N.Y. is a beautiful place, don't get me wrong, but it is colder than s+-* out here."
— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) January 26, 2014
Magic Johnson, despite being a large part of the Los Angeles franchise, thinks ‘Melo should stay in New York and build a title in his ostensible hometown (he was born in Brooklyn, but was raised in Baltimore).
My advice to Carmelo is to stay in New York and build a championship team at home.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) January 27, 2014
Clouding the issue, slightly, was the recent departure of Anthony’s long-time trainer, Idan Ravin, due to philosophical differences with the Knicks’ coaching staff, ESPN reported yesterday.
Not only that, but some feel another big city team could acquire Anthony since he’s been so vocal recently about his desire to finally win a title. That’s the impetus behind long-time Chicago Tribune columnist Rick Telander writing about how good Carmelo Anthony would look in a Bulls uniform.
‘Melo said Monday an NBA championship is the only thing he cares about, so maybe that extra 30 million plus and another year on his deal won’t matter if the Knicks can’t field a competitive team. Maybe the Bulls, or a Lakers team with a healthy Kobe and Steve Nash, could make it worth his while to sign elsewhere for a chance at that elusive first ring.
“That’s the only thing I care about. Anything else is irrelevant to me when it comes to basketball,” he said. “Championship is the only thing that’s on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish, I want to achieve, and I’m going to do what I got to do to get that. That’s my motivating factor. Nothing else even motivates me anymore, just that.”
This summer’s free agency decision will most likely be a referendum on what takes precedence in Anthony’s mind: money and fame, or wins. Many believe if he takes the extra year and the additional $30 million from the Knicks, it’ll prove winning a title isn’t at the top of his priority list, since the Knicks are long-shots to win the title even forgetting the hole they’ve dug themselves so far this year.
Where does ‘Melo end up this summer?
Follow Spencer on Twitter at @countcenci.
Follow Dime on Twitter at @DimeMag.
Become a fan of Dime Magazine on Facebook HERE.