In an interview with Vice Sports earlier this month, Carmelo Anthony discussed his plans to leave the Knicks this summer. Since then, he has officially opted out of his contract.
Although there are many reasons to go here or there, the basketball star insisted that family will be a big factor in his final decision. “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.”
Where to live weighs especially heavy on parents. Carmelo recalled in the interview his own experience moving to Baltimore at a young age and the challenges that come with a big move for kids. With his own son accustomed to New York, and attending school there, Carmelo recognizes how much of an effect the change would have.”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.”
Evidently, it’s not just about the team, it’s about the city and what kind of life he can see himself having in a given city. While the public may have opinions on which team would best gain from Carmelo’s talent, he argues that there is a bigger picture at stake. It’s not about next year’s championship, it’s about the next 6-8 years of his life and career. His agent, Leon Rose, issued a statement saying: “Carmelo loves being a Knick, he loves the city and the fans. At this stage of his career he just wants to explore his options.”
Reportedly, the star player could sign for a maximum deal of $129 million over 5 years by staying with the Knicks. Currently, the Chicago Bulls are considered to be the number one threat to the Knicks since it is believed Carmelo will have a better shot at the championship with them. However, this move is rumored to result in a minimum of $50 million pay cut. Other teams who have expressed an interest in the record-setting player are The Heat, Rockets, Mavs, and Lakers. There is even some speculation that the Cleveland Cavaliers would be willing to trade their No. 1 pick for him. Meanwhile, sources claim the Rockets are presently undertaking trade exits for center Omer Asik and point guard Jeremy Lin to reserve the necessary funds to make a representative offer to Carmelo.
Today, Carmelo remains undecided (officially) about where he will play out the final years of his career. Ultimately the questions that Carmelo needs to answer for himself, he explained, are the big-picture questions. “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”.
Teams can begin formally contacting him as of July 1st, at which point the real negotiations can kick-off.