The New York Knicks share a rare statistic with the 7-24 Milwaukee Bucks; they are the only other team that has yet to reach double digit wins this season. At 9-21, the Knicks are having an abysmal year after reaching 54-wins and capturing the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference just one season ago. There have been reports that Carmelo Anthony is heavily leaning toward leaving Gotham.
“I think he’s leaving,” an unnamed former teammate of Anthony’s told the New York Daily News. “I’ve played with ‘Melo for a long time and he knows he can’t win here,” he added. “At this stage, all he wants to do is win. That’s why he’ll leave.”
Meanwhile, Anthony has also become sensitive to the way in which he is perceived. While on the sidelines with an ankle injury during the Oklahoma City Thunder blow out of the Knicks on Christmas Day at Madison Square Garden, the 29-year-old noticed fans pestering former controversial Knicks star Stephon Marbury, a fellow Brooklyn native.
“He saw Marbury get heckled by some fans on Christmas,’’ one source told The New York Post. “He doesn’t want to be the next Marbury. He’s very sensitive.”
Though Anthony would rather remain in New York if there is a solid plan in place, he is interested in joining the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers or Los Angeles Lakers. According to The Post’s report, Anthony wishes to stay in a large market due to his business deals.
Anthony is good friends with Clippers star point guard Chris Paul, however the Lakers have more cap space than their LA competitor. Despite the money, Anthony would likely be hesitant to once again play under coach Mike D’Antoni after butting heads while he was at the helm in New York.
The six-time All-Star also has a lot of respect for Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau. Teaming up ‘Melo with a healthy Derrick Rose, along with Chicago’s other pieces such as Joakim Noah and Luol Deng can propel the Bulls into the conversation of the league’s elite teams.
In 27 games this season, Anthony is averaging 26.8 points per game – third best in the league. He is recording 8.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1 steal in over 39 minutes per game. After missing the last three contests with an ankle injury, Anthony will return to the court on Thursday night as the Knicks take on the San Antonio Spurs.
“This is not how we envisioned it coming into this season, but it is what it is at this point,” Anthony said Monday. “We can’t be crying about it. We gotta find a solution to it.”