Last night, around 11 p.m., Carmelo Anthony was finally traded to the New York Knicks. It took several months of dizzying rumors, involved almost half the teams in the league and allowed Isiah Thomas to worm his way back into James Dolan’s ear, but it’s finally done. Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, Timofey Mozgov, three picks (the Knicks first-rounder in 2014 and two second-rounders from Golden State in 2012 and 2013) and $3 million are on their way to the Nuggets, with Melo, Chauncey Billups, Shelden Williams, Renaldo Balkman and Anthony Carter coming back to New York. In an unrelated deal, the Knicks have also agreed to ship mercurial wunderkind Anthony Randolph and the waste of space and talent that is Eddy Curry to the Timberwolves for Corey Brewer.
At last, we get to see this new-look team actually play some basketball. They look to have improved on paper with a projected starting of Billups, Landry Fields, Melo, Amar’e Stoudamire and Ronny Turiaf. However, several questions will have to be answered on the court. Can Amar’e and Carmelo co-exist, considering they’re both high-volume scorers who’ve had total control of the ball in the past? Does Chauncey Billups have anything left to offer the team? Can they succeed with the breakneck pace that the team employs? Who the hell is going to come off the bench? Mike D’Antoni has plenty to deal with in the upcoming weeks.
For full disclosure, I AM A Knicks fan. I grew up in and around New York City and I’ve been a fan since the Ewing/Starks days. But, I’m only cautiously optimistic about the move. Carmelo is an incredibly talented player and his presence will take some pressure off Amar’e, who needed a second star in the same way that Ewing did throughout his career. Theoretically, this move also allows the Knicks to go after Chris Paul or Deron Williams in 2012 as well, which would be the crowning achievement of the team’s recent revitalization. They may not be in position to win a title this year, but they’re certainly closer.
However, the loss of Gallinari definitely stings. He was a Knick from draft day, relished living in and representing New York City, and made a whole bunch of terrible games, well, bearable. His duel with Carmelo a few years back was one of my favorite Knick memories of all-time. But, I understand why he needed to go. Ray Felton also made a great impression in his half-season, and I’m sorry to see him bounce as well. Plus, as stated above, there are plenty of issues left to be sorted out with this team.
But for now, I’m going to give in to the optimism. The Knicks just acquired the man who put up 33 points in a single quarter, as you can see below. He’s one of the best scorers in the NBA today and, at the very least, this new team is going to be fun to watch going up against their Eastern Confernce rivals.
The city of New York and Knicks fans worldwide haven’t felt this type of enjoyment since Larry Johnson’s now iconic four-point play—12 postseasons ago. To commemorate the occasion, Brooklyn’s favorite bully, Maino, decided to serenade the city’s newest eye candy over some beat you may have heard once or twice in passing.[audio:http://www.archive.org/download/Maino-yeahCarmelo/Maino-YeahCarmelo.mp3%5D
Maino – “Yeah Carmelo”