After the 2016-17 NBA season that was filled with drama and frustration, Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks chose to part ways in the summer of 2017 where the 10-time All-Star waived his no-trade clause to team up with Russell Westbrook and Paul George on the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, before the deal with the Thunder became official, one high-ranking official inside the Knicks’ organization made “one last-ditch effort” to convince Anthony to stay in New York, according to Ian Begley of SportsNet New York.
“A divorce seemed inevitable back in the 2017 offseason, but there was at least one last-ditch effort from the Knicks to keep Anthony at Madison Square Garden. One high-ranking Knicks official visited Anthony in person prior to the trade to Oklahoma City to ask him to reconsider his stance and stay with the Knicks, per SNY sources. Obviously that Knicks official – one of the few on solid terms with Anthony at the time – was rebuffed. The feeling from Anthony then was that it was time to part ways after everything that happened over the past year with he and team president Phil Jackson, per sources.”
It would definitely be intriguing to see what could have happened if the top Knicks official had succeeded to persuade Anthony to remain in New York. Since their controversial divorce in the summer of 2017, nothing seemed to go well for Anthony and the Knicks. While they managed to gather young and promising talents in recent years, New York is still considered one of the most disappointing teams in the league, with many describing their front office as dysfunctional.
To make things worse, Kristaps Porzingis, who was named as the new face of the franchise after Anthony was traded to the Thunder, also ended up finding his way out of New York the following season. Believing that the Knicks didn’t have a clear path to title contention, Porzingis expressed his desire to be traded and was sent to the Dallas Mavericks before last season’s trade deadline.
Meanwhile, Anthony left with the Knicks with the belief that teaming up with other superstars could give him a realistic chance of winning his first NBA championship. Unfortunately, things didn’t turn out as he expected. While playing with Westbrook and George in Oklahoma City, he failed to make it past the first round of the playoffs. When he started a new journey with the Houston Rockets, “Melo” once again failed to mesh well with Chris Paul and James Harden and lasted just 10 games with the team.
As of now, Anthony is trying to revive his NBA career with the Portland Trail Blazers. Compared to previous years, the former league scoring champion is now willing to come off the bench and accept a less prominent role on the offensive end of the floor. Though most people see him retiring after the 2019-20 NBA season, Anthony said that he still plans to continue playing in the next couple of years.