The New York Knicks are currently 3-13 and on a 9 game losing streak.  Even though it is early in the season, it is not too early to panic. The Knicks have been losing to teams that you would expect them to beat in any circumstance.  The Knicks have losses to Charlotte, Atlanta, Detroit, and Washington on their resume. They are currently tied  with Milwaukee for the worst record in the Eastern Conference. 

It seems that this season is already lost for the Knicks. To make matter worse, they don’t have their first  round pick because they sent it to Denver as part of the Carmelo Anthony trade.  Depending on where that pick ends up will determine how bad the Carmelo Anthony trade may end up being. But the question is, did Carmelo sabotage this season before it began by saying that he wanted to be a free agent?

How can Carmelo Anthony want out of New York when he orchestrated his way there? The Nets wanted to get Carmelo and they were moving to Brooklyn, but Carmelo wouldn’t even consider them.  After the trade Amare Stoudemire spoke of how Carmelo wanted the big stage like him, so they would mesh together. 

It’s funny to look back and see how wrong he was.  The Knicks were a playoff team before they traded for Anthony, and look at them now.  Carmelo Anthony needs to take responsibility because I don’t think it is any coincidence that so many former Nuggets seem to find homes there. So he has some influence over roster decisions.  There is talk in Iman Schumpert being traded because of friction with Anthony stemming from Shumpert speaking up in a huddle.

I guess no one can dare question anything that Carmelo does because that wasn’t even an argument.  Carmelo Anthony is a classic example of be careful what you wish for.  He wanted to go home to New York. But now that he is there he realizes that he will never win there, and he wants out.  Carmelo is getting his numbers, but Shumpert isn’t the only one one who seems to have a problem with Melo as Amare Stoudemire came to Shumpert’s defense saying it’s hard to question his productivity when he doesn’t touch the ball. 

Of course, Stoudemire had to back off that statement and clarify that he wasn’t talking about Carmelo, but we know different.  It is understandable that Amare and Carmelo wouldn’t get along because Amare signed as a free agent, and the team was respectable with Amare as its franchise player.  But Melo couldn’t or wouldn’t adjust to Amare’s game. Now Amare is now an after thought.  Amare has been hurt, but this started in the playoffs when Amare punched the glass and missed a playoff game. 

There has to be more to that story, even though nothing has been reported. It seems that Melo and Amare haven’t been the same after that.  The fact that Carmelo and Amare couldn’t coexist is a reflection on Carmelo’s leadership ability because as the franchise player you have to make sure that your ‘sidekick’ is engaged.  Carmelo is going to have to look in the mirror because even though his numbers look good the losing is a reflection on him.

Fair or not as a superstar player in any sport it’s all about wins.  To get wins, you need teammates to perform, so being a superstar requires that you get the most out of your teammates.  That being said, it seems that the Knicks team lost their passion for the game as soon as Carmelo announced his intention of becoming a free agent. 

How could the team not feel betrayed? Carmelo is supposedly all about winning, so announcing his intentions of becoming a free agent was equal to admitting the Knicks weren’t a contender, and that he would be soon be jumping ship.  Carmelo gets the credit for the team’s success, which happens for players labeled as superstars, but for some reason players resent him for it. 

The NBA is a superstar driven league, but role players make the team.  Plus it’s questionable whether  Carmelo Anthony is really superstar. His max contract is likely to hamstring any franchise he plays for.  It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season plays out because I wonder if anyone will really want Carmelo like he seems to think by announcing he was going to test free agency.  The Knicks are losing and that losing is taking the luster off Carmelo’s star.  In sports players get labeled and sometimes never recover, so Melo needs to handle the situation delicately.

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