“So the job is how do we not try to find a way to put [Carmelo Anthony] next to LeBron James or Dwyane Wade or other players equal to his talent,” Fisher continued. “But how do you make the most of what you have? That’s the message that I’ll send to these players, every single day. We have to bloom where we’re planted a lot of times in life. We can’t look for ways out, and excuses why you aren’t excelling and doing things at a higher level.” (Youngmisuk, June 17).
Keith Schlosser, Lead Writer
Examining Derek Fisher’s above quote from ESPN, it’s easy to understand the way the Knicks look at Carmelo Anthony. In comparing his role on this team to that of Magic Johnson’s with the Lakers, Fisher and co. view Anthony as the starring attraction. They want him to be “the man.”
Such status and notoriety is something Anthony appears to want. The Brooklyn native takes pride in achieving success in New York, and if he were able to bring a championship back to the Big Apple, he’d be celebrated for the rest of his days. The star would be credited with leading the way towards something that may have otherwise been considered impossible to accomplish.
In playing second-fiddle to a Dirk Nowitzki, James Harden, Derrick Rose, and/or LeBron James, the forward wouldn’t receive as much credit and/or be able to bask in all of the individual glory. The championship may come his way once and for all, but how much would he sacrifice in order to obtain it?
Of course, basketball is a team sport, and as the Spurs proved this season, a unified group is able to achieve much more by playing together than an individual or two may be able to. Still, there’s something to be said about building one’s legacy.
In a city like Miami, Anthony may go home happy with a ring, but his fingertips won’t be left on such an achievement. By winning in New York, Anthony would carry a legacy with him not known to most other athletes from the Big Apple, let alone basketball itself.
It’s clear that Fisher has faith that Anthony can rise up as that individual. The Knicks want to build a team around him and watch the star lead the way. Why bring another executive cook into the kitchen, if all one needs are a couple of extra sous chefs to lend a helping hand along the way?