Back in the summer of 2014, Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks considered joining Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.
The question is simple—would Anthony be in a better place right now?
Anthony’s Knicks have Phil Jackson steering the ship and a young potential star in Kristaps Porzingis, but sit 13th in the Eastern Conference at 28-43. Chicago, on the other hand, sits in eighth place and in the playoff hunt at 36-33.
One man who has a strong opinion on the matter? Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. He spoke with “The Michael Kay Show” on ESPN 98.7 FM, as captured by ESPN.com’s Ian Begley:
Boeheim also reiterated that he thinks Anthony should have signed with the Chicago Bulls in the summer of 2014. Anthony seriously considered Chicago, but ultimately signed a five-year, $124 million contract with the Knicks.
“I would have gone to Chicago,” Boeheim said. “… I think that was the best chance to win, but he told me that he loves New York, he is loyal to New York and he wants to see a winning team in New York. They have Phil Jackson, who knows what he is doing. I think it’s a very loyal move.”
Boeheim remains adamant Anthony will remain with the Knicks, though he would like to see the franchise get him some more help for his remaining two or three years left in his prime.
One can’t help but wonder, though, where the Bulls would stand right now with Anthony on the roster. A Rose-Anthony-Jimmy Butler core would have given plenty of teams fits, especially in the weaker Eastern Conference. The Bulls as they stand now at least have a shot at making some noise in the playoffs, where even the top seed in the conference seems mired in turmoil.
Instead, Anthony hangs around with the Knicks attempting to help a rebuild. He’s got 34-year-old Jose Calderon directing the offense and the lesser-known Lopez brother playing cetner, not to mention the dynamic duo of Arron Afflalo and Sasha Vujacic playing shooting guard.
Odds are Anthony does remain loyal. He controls whether he gets a trade, though one has to wonder what might happen if Jackson and the front office do fail to help the roster take important steps forward.
Loyalty, Jackson and location aside, Anthony isn’t a guy who should want to spend the final years of his prime helping a franchise improve as opposed to contending for titles and that hindsight voice in the back of his head only has to look at the Bulls to start getting restless.
So goes the decision of a superstar who can change the landscape of the league with one sweeping signature. New York understands the pressures of keeping a guy like Anthony on board, so expect them to become quite active this summer.
As for Anthony, he might have to sit at home and watch the Bulls in the playoffs.