There is nothing new here. Carmelo does what Carmelo does. Reactive in a moment when his mouth should be kept shut (players always lose in a battle with fans), it reinforces the perception of his immaturity. The media, aware of the exchange between Carmelo and a fan, play it up as if this somehow is a surprise, Carmelo outing his boss. Things were supposed to get better, not worse. But unlike despotic Jim Dolan, Carmelo Anthony is a decent person who wants people to like him, who wants to not make waves. He walks everything back a little bit. He apologizes when his boss says so. He calms everyone the hell down with the soothe melodious slips that make up his voice. His contrition makes it all okay because Carmelo is the local kid trying to do right by the city.
Three more years of this.
There is something to be said for being careful for what you ask for. This is who the Knicks wanted. This is who the Knicks have.
In his apology, Carmelo was very careful to express how frustrated he has been and Dolan is a part of that frustration which is why the Knicks owner got thrown under the bus. Carmelo was frustrated last year too. And the year before. So it’s the same script with different adjectives tossed in to make it palpable.
“I should not have responded the way I did.” (Carmelo Anthony)
That was the first lie. How many have there been? How about selling this team to a fanbase? That was the second lie perpetrated by Dolan, that this team can make the playoffs when they are lingering in purgatory. It is an example (one more in a series of yearly gaffes) of Dolan’s cluelessness. Dolan’s thought process was suspect from the get go. Here was the imaginary thinking. Robin Lopez, on team number four, and Arron Afflalo on team number six, and Derrick Williams, lottery pick bust, on team number three, and Jose Calderon, a 35 year old point guard, on team number four, were going to somehow unearth the secret to mediocrity when surrounded by Carmelo Anthony, who is having the worst shooting year of his career, and when surrounded by the young talent rookie Kristaps Porzingis, who is inexperienced. And they all were going to learn the triangle and prosper when only two players have ever prospered in the triangle, Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
This latest melodrama that exposed the wound that has yet to scab started when in a meaningless fourth quarter (another one) a heckling fan shouted to Carmelo that the Knicks suck. Carmelo, always the thin-skinned one, then said to the fan that he should tell Dolan and ask for his money back. Translation: it’s not my fault. I just play here. I am the team leader. I make the most money. I won’t waive my no-trade clause. But don’t blame me.
Of late, it has been a Knicks horror show, another year out of the playoffs. Kevin Durant said last night after an embarrassing loss to the Clippers, “We’re fooling ourselves.” Carmelo Anthony said after an embarrassing loss to the Blazers, tell the owner, ask for your money back.
A few days ago, when Carmelo got stuffed by the rim and fell backwards on his ass, that was funny. Throwing Jim Dolan under the bus was predictable and in a way it was one more check mark on the Carmelo ledger of why fans don’t trust him. Rarely is he accountable. The fans, the paying customers, the ones who live and die with the team, don’t trust Dolan one bit even if he is a Carmelo pal. The fans pay to see Carmelo. They want Carmelo to lead the Knicks out of this basement hell hole. The fans believed this may be the year, but the Knicks, with their porn loving coach and fraternity of retreads, have done what everyone outside of New York expected them to do. Nothing.
This year was so important because the Knicks don’t have a first round draft pick, and they can’t get better and younger at the same time. Even out the playoff hunt, if they executed and defended and played hard but finished in the 9th spot, that might convince someone not named Kevin Durant that the Knicks were on to something.
But they are not on to something. Only vacation in April and reciting apologies that are fake. Next year, rewind this tape. A Carmelo crises is going to happen. Carmelo’s face will be splashed all over the Post. He’ll react the way he always does. He’ll walk it back. He will apologize, only because he is forced to. The charade continues.
photo via llananba