By Clifford Davis
Carmelo Anthony will sign 5 year, $120 million-plus dollar contract to stay in New York
All the Knicks fans who were having anxiety as they waited to see if their lone superstar would bolt to another team can now breathe a sigh of relief. After flirting with other teams and “agonizing” over whether he should take a large pay cut, Carmelo Anthony finally decided his heart is in New York, and the money was too good to turn away.
The Chicago Bulls made a strong, late push for Carmelo, who strongly considered going to Chicago, but with the Knicks not willing to entertain a sign and trade deal with the Bulls, the most the Bulls were able to offer him was around $75 million dollars.
Carmelo from day one spoke about his desire to win a championship, it is his number one goal and he understood Chicago gave him probably the best option to do so, but he loves being the star in the big city of New York, and he wants to win a championship here more than any other place. It didn’t hurt that the Knicks were able to offer him $30 million dollars more than any other team.
The decision was a difficult one for Carmelo Anthony, it took him a week after meeting with all his suitors to finally decide what was right for him. A source close to him to the Daily News that Carmelo “believed in Phil Jackson,” and he “wants to get it done in New York,” and now he will have the opportunity to do so.
Phil Jackson wasn’t able to get his first big fish, when he lost out on head coach Steve Kerr, but he was able to get his biggest fish to commit to staying with the Knicks, and help build this franchise into a contender. Phil got his big guy and now he can continue to shape the roster the way he wants, and sees fit for his system. He wanted Pau Gasol but there are reports that Pau will be signing with the Chicago Bulls.
With Lebron James back in Cleveland, leaving a big void in Miami, the Eastern Conference is once again wide open. The Knicks won’t be contending this year but they can contend in the near future, however, Lebron is with a younger, talented team in Cleveland, not in Miami where the team was older and more vulnerable.
Unless Phil Jackson can pull a miracle and trade Amar’e Stoudemire, the Knicks current roster will be what it is. They can’t make any other moves because they have no money. They upgraded the point guard position, and they drafted a few talented players but that’s all, and for a team that couldn’t make the playoffs in a weak conference last year, it won’t be good enough to contend next year.
So Carmelo returns, he gets his money, and his chance to win a title for a city that has been starving for their basketball team to win a championship for 40 years. The process was long, and drawn out, agonizing, and sometimes annoying, but it is over, the Knicks get their superstar, Carmelo gets his money, and now Phil can continue to work the roster to get Carmelo some help along the way.
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