Carmelo Anthony is in the midst of his 15th NBA season, and at this point, it’s safe to say he is who he is. He’s an elite scorer who has never won an NBA title – or played for one.
“It’s a lot of evidence now to who Carmelo Anthony is and how much will to win there is within him,” Bleacher Report NBA writer Kevin Ding said on CBS Sports Radio’s The Doug Gottlieb Show. “A lot of progress (was) made last season as far as sharing the ball, trying to take more of a team mentality, and he’s regressed back to the same old same old this season – and along with it, the lack of teamwork has followed with the Knicks. I just think it’s fair to cast a light on that. I know Phil has sort of become the whipping boy for the whole New York media, but Carmelo has to shoulder some blame in that also.”
Then again, so does Jackson for thinking he could change Anthony. Ding said as much in a recent column, prompting Jackson to tweet “Bleacher’s Ding almost rings the bell, but I learned you don’t change the spot on a leopard with Michael Graham in my CBA daze.”
In other words…
“Phil sort of disagrees with one of the aspects of the column in that I say he overestimated his ability to convert Carmelo from whoever he is to being more like Kobe or Michael, where they were scorers first but learned how to play the team way,” Ding said. “I think Phil did have that in mind, but Phil’s pointing out – I think, anyway – that he sort of knew who Carmelo was all along. He knew when he signed with the Knicks, he knew when he resigned Carmelo with the Knicks, and he knows even now that amid all this trade talk that there are certain limitations to Carmelo – and Phil is willing to work with them, however best he can.”
The Knicks (22-31), who are 6-18 over their last 24 games, are still looking to move Anthony – perhaps to the Clippers, Celtics or Cavs – but Ding has reservations.
“I really don’t think that’s going to happen,” Ding said. “First of all, Carmelo would have to okay it – and I’m still not convinced he’s ready to give up. Let’s be honest: He earned this contract. He earned the no-trade clause, and it is his right to stay in New York if this is what he wants. His life priorities are to build his brand in New York and to have his family stay in New York. That’s his prerogative, and he has to give that up for anybody to make a trade. If he does relent, then is Phil going to get enough back in any of these trades to make it worth his while, especially at the trade deadline, as opposed to waiting until he offseason when he has more time to manipulate things? I just think there are too many obstacles in every direction right now.”