- Ian Begley, ESPN New York Writer
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But if you’re looking for some insight into Anthony’s mindset as he enters free agency, he addressed several free-agent topics in an interview earlier this month with Vice Sports.
Here are a few excerpts:
On how his family will factor into free agency:
“The average person just sees opportunity to say that, ‘Oh, Melo should go here, Melo should go there. I think he should do this, I think he should do that.’ But they don’t take into consideration the family aspect of it. Your livelihood. Where you’re going to be living at. Do you want your kids to grow up in that place? In that city? Do I want to spend the rest of my career in that situation in that city? So all of that stuff comes into play. My son goes to school (in New York). He loves it here. To take him out and take him somewhere else, he has to learn that system all over again, he has to get new friends. And I know how hard it was for me when I moved from New York to Baltimore at a young age. Having to work your way to try to make friends. And go extra to try to make friends and try to fit in and try to figure out the culture in that area. As far as this goes, basketball goes, it’s hard to just say, ‘OK I’m going to go here, I’m going to make this decision, I’m going to do that. Because everybody’s affected by that."
What it means: Clearly, Anthony’s family is comfortable in New York. And Anthony has been mostly forthcoming in interviews. So there is no reason to believe he’s being anything less than honest here. Does it mean that he’s definitely coming back to the Knicks? Of course not. But his family -- and his young son Kiyan in particular -- will factor in to his decision this summer.
On having a sense of urgency to win a title next season:
“The average person is looking at it as next year, like it’s just one year. ‘Next year you win the championship if you go here.’ We’re looking at the big picture here now. You’re looking at the next six to eight years of your career of the end of your career at that. So do you want to spend that much time in that place?”
What it means: This somewhat contradicts what Anthony has said in the past about wanting to put himself in position to win immediately. But if this is how Anthony feels (the interview was taped on June 3) then it bodes well for the Knicks. New York has little money to offer free agents this summer and is looking ahead toward 2015 to use cap space that offseason to re-tool the roster. If Carmelo is willing to wait through another season of potential mediocrity, that would seem to be a positive development for the Knicks.
On being involved in personnel decisions:
“As far as player personnel goes, I would love to be involved in that. Because at the end of the day, you’re creating a family. You can’t create a bond with somebody that’s not going to fit in with you or not going to be there when you need him the most and don’t understand the game and how to win and situations in the game and things like that. As much as it has to do with having the top guys on the team – superstars per say – you need the rest of your soldiers. You need the guys that’s going to go out there and put they life on the line for you. Because it’s a war, it’s a battle.”
What it means: The war analogy kind of makes us cringe, but the point here is that Anthony would like to have an active say in personnel moves. He surely would have had that in New York before Phil Jackson took over. We’re not sure how much say Anthony would have in personnel moves if he re-signed. That’s likely something that the Knicks have discussed or will discuss with Anthony. Pure conjecture here: this may be an issue that another suitor could pounce on in negotiations.
On the lure of playing in New York:
“I came from a smaller market in Denver. Not so much scrutiny. Scrutiny, is tabloids, it’s media everywhere. But not like the level of playing here in New York. So playing in a small market, you only could go so high as far as individual player’s goals, you reach that max. There’s only so much you can do at a point in your life that, you’ve got to look for something else – a bigger stand, a bigger stage, a bigger market. So when you go to places like New York, you’re there, you’re playing, you’re there for two nights, and you feel the excitement, you feel the difference. The energy is different, the fans are different, the game is different playing in New York and then you go back home and it’s like, I want that.”
“When you’re here in New York in the Garden, you could be playing so well and then you just have a breakdown throughout the course of the game and the boos will come. Now, that’s when you’re like, ‘What? What the hell is wrong with these people?”
What it means: No analysis needed here. It’s just an interesting insight into Carmelo’s mindset when it pertains to coming to New York in the 2011 trade and dealing with the boos on bad nights at MSG.
Question: Do you think Carmelo’s family -- and the possibility of having to uproot it -- will cause him to re-sign with the Knicks?
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Carmelo Anthony officially opted out of his contract with the Knicks on Monday. We’ll find out sometime after July 1 if he ends up back with the Knicks or another team.