Carmelo Anthony may have said all the right things and insisted he wanted Jeremy Lin to return to the New York Knicks but that wasn’t how he really felt, according to ESPN’s Henry Abbott.Abbott spoke to sources close to the Knicks and Carmelo who tell him Carmelo’s comments that the Houston Rockets offer was “ridiculous” were deeply rooted in his belief that Lin’s sudden success ruined his long term plan for the Knicks.
Here are the biggest take aways from Abbott’s story:
- Similarly to fellow Creative Arts Agency (CAA) client LeBron in Miami, Carmelo came to New York to “build a basketball family” and “create a refuge from the backstabbing and intrigue that plagues many teams”
- This has worked beautifully with the Knicks, as Carmelo has developed a great relationship with team higher-ups who always take his side (see: Mike D’Antoni quitting). Other CAA clients on the team include his former Denver Nuggets’ teammate J.R. Smith and new coach Mike Woodson
- At the height of Linsanity things didn’t make much sense to Carmelo because he thought the whole thing was fluky at best
- Carmelo came to the Knicks to build his team of recruited superstars that would “leave a real imprint on the city” and “Linsanity didn’t fit the blueprint”
- Carmelo thought New York had fully embraced him, but the way they instantly fell head over heels for Lin made him think otherwise. He really didn’t like Lin taking all the spotlight away from him
It’s worth noting, and Abbott points this out throughout his piece, that Carmelo kept saying he would welcome Lin back. Also, earlier reports stating he met with Lin once free agency began are true.
But when put in context, New York’s jubilation over Lin never meshed well with Carmelo’s long term vision for the Knicks.
Some will probably blame CAA, often accused of playing a hidden and sinister role in all NBA dealings, for Carmelo’s way of thinking and the Knicks preferring to take his side over anyone else’s. Of course, there’s no real way of proving this, but Abbott ends his piece with a rather interesting note.
Melo’s ideal might never be realised, but it comes with the backing of CAA, the admiration of other NBA superstars and good will around the league. And, while Anthony is in New York, those might be the most valuable Knicks assets of all.
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