“Carmelo Anthony Didn’t Want to Leave the Knicks”: How $6 Billion Worth Franchise Messed Up With it’s Greatest Star After Patrick Ewing

Achyuth Jayagopal
|Published 06/01/2023

The New York Knicks is one of the most valuable franchises in the world of sports. With Madison Square Garden as their home turf and a $6.1 billion evaluation, the allure associated with the Knicks is apparent to all.

However, as things stand, there doesn’t appear to be a star as glamorous as the franchise when it comes to the Knicks. No offense to Julius Randle and R J Barrett, but they don’t quite cut the mould of MSG icons.

Also read: “Michael Jordan Would Have Given Up the Bulls for Knicks”: Jerry Reinsdorf Threatened to Sue MJ for ‘Multi-Million’ Deal

That tag, the heavy one of being the savior of the raucous MSG crowd, has only fallen on a select few. Since the days of Willis Reed and Walt Frazier, and Patrick Ewing the franchise hasn’t seen much success or stardom. However, certain stars did provide the franchise with glimmers of hope.

Ewing was the first Knicks superstar since Reed and Frazier to feel the pressure of being the face of New York basketball. And then, for a brief while, that fell on a native of New York – Carmelo Anthony.

And while drama and high expectations led to a rocky relationship at times, Melo never really had enough of his beloved New York. The 6’8 forward admitted to the fact himself on Pardon my Take.

Carmelo Anthony believed the reception he received at the MSG was unlike any, ever.

Melo, born in Red Hook, Brooklyn grew up following the stories of New York sports. Like every young boy in New York, it would appear the former Syracuse stalwart also dreamt of donning Knicks colors someday.

And in 2011, Anthony’s dream became a reality. To top it off, Melo’s reality started off with a welcome that surpassed even the dreamiest of dreams. To an extent that Anthony, an ardent follower of New York sports, believed that it was the greatest reception he had ever seen at the Garden.

The reception struck a chord with Melo and marked the beginning of an era in New York. While it wasn’t anywhere near as successful as either party wished for, the relationship between Carmelo Anthony and New York was definitely eventful. So much so that the star didn’t ever want to leave.

“I had to make a lasting impact on New York. Not just the Knicks, but the whole state of New York. This is mine. I’ve never seen anybody receive or get received like that. And, people came through. Michael Jordan came to New York. But he played for Chicago. I’ve never seen somebody from New York sports franchise coming to a city and be received that way. The doors are open. Embrace, hug, you’re ours now” said Melo of his affinity for the Knicks and the fanbase.

In Melo’s eyes, not even the greatest basketball superstar of all time had felt love like he had at the MSG. And that clearly meant the world to him, especially considering his general association with New York.

All good things though do come to an end. And so did Melo’s time as the face of the Knicks.

Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017

After Melo’s arrival, the Knicks made several attempts to push themselves into contention. One such move aimed to achieve that was the appointment of Phil Jackson, the Zenmaster.

However, this proved to be a bad decision in hindsight. A decision that also led to frustration within the franchise and an eventual divorce with their star player too.

Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony did not see eye-to-eye. Melo believed that Jackson’s triangle offense was outdated and tensions arose between the star and the coach in New York.

Eventually, the franchise decision-makers decided to move both parties away. Jackson was sacked and Melo was traded. The Knicks management had gotten tired of a long tirade of playoff failures and decided to move on and look to the future. And thus ended the Melo era at the MSG.

Also read: $60M worth Draymond Green confesses Carmelo Anthony being a better scorer than Kevin Durant

Share this article
About the author
Achyuth Jayagopal

Achyuth Jayagopal

Achyuth Jayagopal is a creative writer with The Sportsrush. After previous freelance dabbles in the industry, Achyuth has authored over 300 pieces for TSR. Having followed the game of basketball for a considerable period, he pledges his allegiance to Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks. Beyond speaking his mind on all things basketball, Achyuth is a Sports and Gaming Lawyer who is an ardent Chelsea fan and takes a shine to the culinary world and travelling too.

Read more from Achyuth Jayagopal