Carmelo Anthony should pack his bags come July 1 and leave New York. Actually, today if he can.
That’s what NBA Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson suggested the Knicks’ superstar forward do, when opting out of his contract to become a free agent in three months, to hardcore Knicks fan Spike Lee during a Sirius XM NBA Radio interview that aired Thursday night.
"I would leave today,” said the Big O when Lee asked him what he would do if he was Melo. “Let me tell you why. Wherever that kid has gone…when he was at Denver, they had a team that fooled around with the ball, fooled around with the ball, then all of the sudden when they needed a basket, threw it to Carmelo. Then, when he shot the ball, they said he shot too much. Then when he didn't shoot they said he didn't shoot enough. No matter what he does in New York, they're going to criticize him — the people are going to criticize him, because you got guys on that team that cannot play. You got guys that are hurt all the time.”
When Spike suggested that the Knicks hired NBA legend Phil Jackson as team president to clean up the mess around Melo, Robertson was equally definitive with his thoughts.
“Let me ask you: When was the last time Phil Jackson played?” Robertson said. “I think Phil is great to have gotten $12 million out of [Knicks owner James Dolan]. Super job. Take the money and run. If I were Carmelo I would say, ‘Listen, I'm not gonna stay here and take all this gruff and all this criticism. You got other guys on this team making $12, $15, $16 million and doing nothing, and here I am averaging 28, 29 points per game.'”
The Big O, who famously averaged a triple-double in an NBA season, concluded saying that he thinks the Houston Rockets would actually be the best fit for Anthony.
The Knicks can offer Melo a maximum deal of $129.1 million over five years. The most other teams can offer is four years and $95.8 million.
BET Sports News - Get the latest news and information about African-Americans in sports including weekly recaps, celebrity news and photos of your favorite Black athletes. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter.
(Photos from left: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images, Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Animal Rescue Foundation)