Since Carmelo Anthony led Jim Boeheim’s Syracuse Orangemen to a national championship his freshman year, it’s no surprise that his former coach still has his best interests at heart.
Boeheim wants Anthony to win. Not just win games and get an early exit out of the playoffs, but win it all.
The Syracuse head coach, whose top-ranked team is on a 22-0 start, was on ESPN radio this week and feels that even though Anthony likes New York, he should consider his legacy before rejoining the Knicks after he becomes a free agent at the end of this season.
"The problem in the NBA, you’re judged on winning championships," Boeheim said. "He’s got to try to go and play where they can win a championship or else he’s going to be a failure. That’s the bottom line."
There’s some bluntness for you.
The Knicks went from the top of the Atlantic Division and a No. 2 seed in the playoffs last season to a sorry squad that most likely will not play a game past their 82nd. They’re sitting at 19-30 after losing only 28 games all of last season.
And it’s not like Anthony is underperforming. If anything he’s having one of his better seasons, averaging 27.3 points, 3.0 assists and 8.7 boards. He was named Eastern Conference Player of the Month for January.
If the Knicks are to keep Melo, Boeheim just feels whatever they have going on right now isn’t good enough and there need to be more power players added for a superstar like Anthony to flourish.
The Knicks can offer him $34 million more than any team once he tests the free agent market, but should it be about the money? The common opinion is you’re judged by the rings on your fingers and not the paychecks. Anthony already is making $2 million-plus more than LeBron James, but two rings are better than none, wouldn’t you agree?
Boehiem isn’t counting out New York; the Knicks just need to make some moves that make sense.
"Everybody I’ve seen win an NBA championship had a great player playing with them," Boeheim said. "I think Carmelo wants to play in New York. He wanted to come there. I think he likes playing in New York. I think he would stay in New York if he’s got a chance to win."
The Knicks will have their first opportunity to extend Anthony’s contract Feb. 22, so that will be his first chance to either reject them or hop back on the Dolan express.