A high-ranking official tried to convince Carmelo Anthony to stay in New York before trade to Thunder
Carmelo Anthony’s reign with the New York Knicks ended in caustic fashion after the franchise was finally able to trade him to a willing Oklahoma City Thunder team after the star forward dropped his cumbersome trade clause to facilitate the move. Yet a high-ranking Knicks official visited Anthony in person prior to the deal, asking him to reconsider his stance and stay with the Knicks, according to SNY’s Ian Begley.
That official was obviously rebuffed, as the feeling around Anthony was that it was time to move on after sucking up a bevy of harsh back-and-forths with then-president Phil Jackson.
Jackson’s treatment of Anthony was one that inspired rage in teammates like Kristaps Porzingis and others who raved about him as a professional. Yet it’s odd to think about how things would have played out had Anthony had a change of heart and decided not to drop his trade clause for the Thunder.
Anthony’s original five-year, $124 million deal had him make a whopping $27.9 million in the 2017-18 season, which he spent with the Thunder before calling it quits after one year — a decision both sides called a mutual one.
Prior to leaving the Knicks, Anthony was one of four players to average 20 or more points in each of his NBA seasons, joining a Mount Rushmore of names — Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant.
His scoring average dipped drastically with the Thunder, going from 22.4 points per game as a first option with the Knicks to a mere 16.2 points as a third-option next to Russell Westbrook and Paul George in OKC.
Anthony was still considered a potent 20-point scorer before being dealt to the Thunder, though no longer a franchise player. His 10-game stint with the Houston Rockets drastically changed that narrative, as he spent most of 2018-19 watching the NBA from his couch until he got the call from the Portland Trail Blazers, who guaranteed his contract before he hit the 10-game mark this season.