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June 29, 2015

​​By Anthony J. Fredella

NEW YORK, New York - There has been a lot of blowback with the Knicks’ selection of Latvian PF Kristaps Porzingis in the 1st Round of last week’s NBA Draft. None more so than the purported dissatisfaction of Knicks’ star Carmelo Anthony. Various reports have surfaced since draft night reporting that Anthony, who last summer signed a 5 year, $124M+ deal with the Knickerbockers, feels “betrayed” by the selection of Porzingis with the 4th overall pick. This so-called portrayal being based upon a promise made to Anthony when he re-signed last year that the Knicks were devoted to winning immediately. Supposedly, Melo and his camp feel that the Knicks’ selection of Porzingis does not further the goal of winning in the immediate future, since the young 7-footer is viewed as more of a 2-3 year project. If this is true, and we don’t know that it is, Carmelo Anthony just needs to shut up and get ready for the upcoming season.

Upon entering last summer’s free agency frenzy, Carmelo Anthony had many suitors for his services and we addressed all the pros and cons of each team at that time. In fact, we broke it down quite simply: if Melo really wanted the best opportunity to win a title as soon as possible, then the team for him was the Chicago Bulls; but if he wanted to capitalize on his talents and earn the most possible money for the longest term, then the Knicks were the option. Melo chose the latter, with the 5-year deal, and we had absolutely no problem with that. We are all for maximizing your worth and earning as much as anyone is willing to pay you. This is America after all.

What we do have a problem with is Carmelo Anthony trying to portray that he’s only about winning, and leaking that he feels “betrayed” by the Knicks. Do you know who should feel betrayed in this whole situation? The Knicks! Carmelo Anthony was paid $22,458,401 last season while the Knicks went a franchise worst 17-65, with Melo missing 42 of the team’s 82 games. Of the 40 games that Anthony did play in, the Knicks only won 9 of them! If you are keeping track at home, that is just under $2.5M per win. Bargain deal, right?

Carmelo Anthony had every right in the world to take the biggest contract he could garner. He has absolutely no right to now complain about the state of the Knicks. He saw what was there before he signed. He saw what the Knicks’ brass had to work with both monetarily and personnel wise. Nobody, not even the Zen master, Phil Jackson, could have turned the Knicks around with so little to work with in this short amount of time. Not P Jax. Not Pat Riley. Not Red Auerbach. Not even Adolph Rupp or John Wooden, for that matter. And one draft pick, no matter who it was, would not have changed the tide by himself. ​

The Knicks' rebuild is going to be a much slower process than Melo is apparently anticipating. It does, however, start with draft picks and is built upon thereafter in free agency. Kristaps Porzingis may not have been the household name that every Knick fan lusted for, like Justise Winslow or Willie Cauley-Stein, but that does not mean the 19 year old 7-footer won’t be capable of contributing next year. Regardless, once Carmelo Anthony accepted that Knicks contract offer last summer, he lost all ability to complain about winning. He had his chance to join teams that were more win-ready, but he instead took the cash. So now, he just needs to shut up and play. ​