Carmelo Anthony’s days in New York are likely numbered—and that’s a good thing for the Syracuse fans who still follow him and want him to succeed.
If you bleed Orange, don’t you want to see ‘Melo join the elite list of players to have won both an NCAA and NBA title? Only 45 players have achieved the feat.
Far fewer have earned a trifecta: winning NCAA and NBA championships and Olympic gold. Just seven have accomplished that act:
- Clyde Lovellette (Kansas 1952, Olympics 1952, Minneapolis 1954 and two with Celtics)
- Bill Russell (San Francisco 1955 and 1956, Olympics 1956, 11 with Celtics, first in 1957)
- K.C. Jones (San Francisco 1955 and 1956, Olympics 1956, eight with Celtics, first in 1957)
- Jerry Lucas (Ohio State 1960, Olympics 1960, New York 1973)
- Quinn Buckner (Indiana 1974-76, Olympics 1976, Boston 1984)
- Michael Jordan (North Carolina 1982, Olympics 1984 and 1992, six with Chicago, first in 1991)
- Magic Johnson (Michigan State 1979, Olympics 1992, five with Los Angeles, first in 1980)
Carmelo, having won the NCAA championship in 2003 and Olympic gold in 2008, 2012 and 2016, has yet to even make the NBA Finals. In 14 seasons in the NBA, he’s reached the playoffs 10 times. The farthest his teams have progressed was the Western Conference Finals with Denver in 2009, losing to the Lakers, the eventual champion, in six.
He hasn’t had much help on the Nuggets or the Knicks—Chauncey Billups, Allen Iverson, Jason Kidd, Tyson Chandler, Amare Stoudemire, Derek Rose, and Kristaps Porzingis. In today’s NBA, “super teams” are winning championships (see Golden State, Cleveland, and LeBron James’ Miami years, and even the Celtics in 2008).
With the Knicks in continual upheaval and self-sabotage, Carmelo’s future in New York is in doubt. Trade rumors first engulfed Anthony after a disconnect developed with Phil Jackson during the past season, when the Knicks struggled in a 31-51 campaign. Jackson even said after the season that Anthony would be better elsewhere. The rumors have continued to swirl after Jackson was booted as the Knicks’ president of basketball operations.
Anthony has a no-trade clause, but don’t you think he’d be willing to waive it to join Cleveland or Houston? Even Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have been lobbying Melo to join them in Portland.
As much as it would be fun to see ‘Melo succeed in New York, that’s not happening any time soon. It’s time to get him a legitimate shot at an NBA title and to join the elite few to earn the trifecta of NCAA, NBA and Olympic glory.