On Monday, Carmelo Anthony is widely expected to opt out of his contract with the Knicks, thus making him a free agent.
It’s safe to say the forward will have his fair share of suitors, most of which figure to be major playoff and/or championship contenders. This would seemingly make New York a bit of an underdog in the process.
Anthony is a Brooklyn native who had dreams of bringing a championship home to the Big Apple, upon his first arrival. Such a quest has been a rather difficult one, as the Knicks have since struggled to surround the superstar with a worthwhile supporting cast.
The other teams Anthony is reportedly poised to consider (the Rockets, Bulls, and Heat among them) have fellow superstars and other impressive role players already in place to complement him. With Phil Jackson now ready to put his own respective stamp on the Knicks, getting the team to that same level might be a work in progress.
As Anthony gets older and continues to watch the more notable players from his draft class bask in the glory of multiple NBA titles, perhaps he won’t want to wait for that to happen.
It all comes down to how much faith Anthony has in Jackson. Without much flexibility to speak of this summer, Anthony would have to buy in early on and bet that Jackson could attract another superstar or two to the Knicks (or perhaps simply build a title-contending squad around Anthony himself) in 2015.
While there may be hope, that would still be quite a gamble. Though Jackson’s reputation and Hall of Fame coaching pedigree speaks for itself, he’s unproven as an executive. Will his thirteen championship rings be enough to simply attract anyone he desires during the recruiting process? That remains to be seen.
Since becoming the President of the Knicks, Jackson has signed former Laker Lamar Odom, and hired another, Derek Fisher to be the team’s next head coach. This, of course, was after he was left at the alter by former Bulls’ guard Steve Kerr.
It’s safe to say the moves Jackson has made thus far have all been far more underwhelming than the organization’s decision to actually hire him in the first place.
To be fair, perhaps all Jackson needs is some faith and a little bit more time. Unfortunately, that’s not necessarily something Anthony can afford to give.