Carmelo Anthony should be extremely careful what he wishes for when asking for the “Dwight Howard treatment.” The New York Knicks forward has recently stated that he will opt out of the final year of his contract and weigh out his options around league, searching for a possible new destination for next season.
Opting out of his contract to become an unrestricted free-agent is one thing, but asking for the “Dwight Howard treatment” is another. This special “treatment” that Howard got last year is referring to when he had his hand selected teams come to him to give him a formal presentation on why they were the team that he should sign with. Basically, who could wine and dine him the best and where he would have the combination of most fun and best chance of winning a title.
But with that treatment came a lot of animosity towards Howard. And where has it gotten him? It’s looking like another early first round playoff exit for “Superman.” Does Anthony really want to bring that onto himself? He already went through abandoning the Denver Nuggets and has seemingly moved past that in his career. He wanted so desperately to play in his hometown New York that the basketball world, outside of Denver, let it slide and forgave him for the most part.
But now with the Knicks roster in shambles, a recently fired coaching staff that is being blamed on Melo, and the only positive for the Knicks being Phil Jackson, who wants Anthony to re-sign for less money, the future isn’t looking so bright for the almost 30 year old superstar. And after missing the playoffs completely, his welcome home party is looking like a complete failure. While it’s not completely his fault, (Raymond Felton) he is definitely held accountable because of his stardom.
So what exactly does Carmelo Anthony want out of the latter days of his career? After seeing his close friend and rival LeBron James win a few rings in Miami, one would think that he would want one for himself. But this whole “Dwight Howard treatment” really makes one question his intentions. If he were so inclined on going to the team that gives him the best chance of winning a ring, then why would those teams have to come to him and essentially win him over before making the switch from New York?
Maybe he’s just using those teams as leverage to get a better deal with the Knicks? Maybe he really doesn’t know what team is best for him? Or maybe, just maybe, Carmelo Anthony doesn’t care about winning a championship at all. Perhaps he is more worried about himself, his wife, and being the man who leads the league in scoring, but will never lead it in heart.
Yes, the Knicks brought in Phil Jackson. Yes, the Knicks are way better off with him running to the show. But no, Phil Jackson will not cave into Anthony’s demands and he cannot help their salary handicapped situation. James Dolan already dug the Knicks so deep into a hole that not even the Zen Master himself can quickly recover and turn their disastrous franchise around. Phil knows that Anthony cannot win a title on his own. He knows better than anyone the difference between all-stars, superstars and all-time greats. He also knows that tough, physical defense ultimately win championships.
Michael Jordan was a Defensive Player of the Year award winner and a nine time All-Defensive First Team member. Kobe Bryant is also a nine time All-Defensive first team member on top of claiming three All-Defensive second team recognitions. Carmelo Anthony? Zero defensive awards. So be careful what you wish for, Melo.
Commentary by Rich Peters
Guardian Liberty Voice NBA Writer