Carmelo Anthony Calls Kristaps Porzingis A ‘Steal’ And Defends The Knicks On Instagram


Carmelo Anthony’s public support of Tim Hardaway, Jr. in wake of the New York Knicks’ trade that sent the 23-year-old wing to the Atlanta Hawks is a reminder to take sourced reports with a grain of salt. Remember when ESPN wrote that the two nearly came to blows after a game last December? The Instagram post above certainly doesn’t point to any such discord between Anthony and Hardaway, Jr. In fact, it’s even safe to say they grew close during two years as teammates in New York.

In the same social media offering, Anthony also dispelled rumors that his supposed displeasure with the Knicks’ draft night moves – including the controversial selection of 19-year-old Kristaps Porzingis – has made him increasingly disenchanted with the team’s direction. Here’s a fed up Melo responding to fans on Instagram via CBS Sports:

Obviously, the possibility exists that Anthony is simply toeing the company line after his real thoughts on New York’s draft were made public. Unless the 30-year-old is comfortable further compromising his legacy by requesting a trade for the second time in his career; after all, there’s simply little to gain from stirring the pot.

To be quite frank, however, it doesn’t really matter either way. Anthony knows the Knicks won’t be anything close to legitimate contenders in 2015-2016 barring an incredible and unlikely free agency haul. Irrespective of his current mood with regard to Phil Jackson and company, losing will no doubt take its toll once the season tips off in late October. And though retaining Hardaway and drafting a more NBA-ready player like Emmanuel Mudiay or Justise Winslow might have added a couple wins to the ledger next year, there’s no telling whether or not that approach would have been better for New York’s long-term hopes than the one on which Jackson decided.

Anthony understands that reality. Happy with the draft or otherwise, his comments on Instagram defending the franchise should help New York stem the narrative tide as it continues a crucial offseason.

[Via Carmelo Anthony, via CBS Sports]