If Carmelo Anthony ends up taking his talents to Manhattan it could revitalize a Knicks fan base which has not seen their team reach the playoffs since the 2003-04 season. What is more, the acquisition could compel a player like Tony Parker or possibly Chris Paul to join the Knicks in December when trades are permitted for free-agent signees and draft picks.
Allegedly, during Melo’s wedding back in July, Chris Paul gave a toast in which he said, “We’ll form our own Big 3”. For now it looks like Paul is content on staying put in New Orleans, but if Carmelo joins Amare Stoudemire in the Big Apple, Paul just might try to maneuver his way out of the Big Easy (he is under contract with the Hornets until 2012).
This scenario would be tremendous not only for hapless, disgruntled Knicks supporters who have watched the franchise with the highest payroll run themselves into the ground, but also for the NBA.
The NBA banks on star power, rivalries and big market teams. New York is a storied franchise situated in the largest media market – the league simply does better when they are relevant. Paul/Parker, Melo & Amare would shine under Coach D’Antoni, arguably the best offensive coach in the league. What excites me most is when I think back to the 90’s when the Heat and Knicks were slugging it out, quite literally at times, and how this could renew this great rivalry. It’s hard to believe more than a decade has passed since Allan Houston hit the Game 5 series winning floater for the eighth seeded Knicks in 1999.
Melo would also be returning to NY where he led the Syracuse Orange to the National Championship in 2003 as a freshman.
If the Knicks do manage to pull off these moves and still keep a supporting cast of players intact that could compete with the Heat, my money is still on the Big 3 in South Beach. While Melo and Amare are a far cry away from being considered good defensive players – LeBron James, Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh are all heralded for their defensive prowess.