Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim has reportedly been in touch with Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau about the possibility of coaching Carmelo Anthony. (Berman, June 24).
“I’ve talked to Tom about Melo, his name has come up,’’ Boeheim told The Post. “I think Tom is very excited about the possibility of getting Carmelo. He likes him. He likes how he plays. He feels he’s coachable. I think Tom Thibodeau is one of the better coaches in the NBA. Carmelo would be happy playing for him. It would be a good fit — the coach-player relationship.’’
Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer
According to The Post, such conversations have been taking place ever since the two coaches began working together on Team USA. Of course, Anthony is also a member of that squad as well. Perhaps the wheels have been in motion for the Bulls to attract Anthony for quite some time.
Now that it’s time to officially weigh his options and consider the different destinations, Boeheim’s advocacy could go a long way in the eyes of Carmelo. Though the Syracuse coach isn’t necessarily promoting the idea of leaving the Big Apple, he seems to understand that waiting for Phil Jackson to put the team in a spot to contend could take quite a while. Time isn’t exactly on the star forward’s side.
“With the Knicks, how long does it take?’’ Boeheim said. “Melo has three, four prime years left. If something didn’t happen this year, next year for some reason they don’t get a couple of quality guys, now what do you do? It’s tough figuring out what to do. It’s not easy for him.’’
There’s plenty of pressure on Anthony to win a championship, especially in New York. Who better to lean on for advice (with regard to gravitating towards a winning environment) than the coach who helped the forward achieve his greatest accomplishment; an NCAA title, than Boeheim?
The decision at hand could turn out to be Catch 22 for Anthony. If he leaves the Big Apple and heads to Chicago, he’ll be criticized, should he not win in The Windy City. That said, if he chooses to stay, he’ll be considered an individual failure if he fails to bring a championship to his hometown.
“I’d like to see him be where he can win, honestly,’’ [Boeheim] said. “He’s not going to get his due and credit the way the game is set up. You’re viewed almost as a failure if you don’t win championships. So I’d like to see him get where he can win. I’d like for it to be in New York, but I’d like to see where he can win. I believe he wants to be where he can win.
With that in mind, Boeheim isn’t exactly advocating for Anthony to leave the Knicks. Still, it goes without saying that the Bulls are closer to winning a title as currently constructed. As a friend, mentor, adviser, and trusted confidant of Anthony, Boeheim simply saying as much could be enough to guide Anthony in that direction.