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Trying to Stay Mellow on Melo and his "Brand"

(Courtesy: NYTimes/Richard Perry)

Alright, fire up the rant machine after this one folks. 

Carmelo Anthony really hasn't been winning any points with me lately. None. I've been indifferent on him even as the years have gone on and the Knicks fanbase continues to split on supporting him. Lately, I've been creeping over to the negative side. For me, a big deciding factor was when he decided to play in the Knicks game in London and in the meaningless All-Star Game to continue "building his brand", and thus delaying his needed knee surgery to the point of affecting his return for this upcoming 15-16 season.

And now we get his recent "anger" over the Kris Porzingis selection and the trade of his good friend Tim Hardaway for Jerian Grant.

I'm sorry Melo fans, but Carmelo Anthony really looks bad here, and many in this city have begun to turn on him. 

He's angry, folks. He's furious! I'm not quite sure why. Who did Carmelo Anthony expect in the draft to be an immediate franchise changer that was on he board when the Knicks selected? Does he really believe Tim Hardaway, his mentee, provided any hope or any type of difference to the win/loss aspect of the Knicks? 

Come on!

Melo has been given enough slack here in New York because we are desperate, and because he is really good. But let's call a spade a spade, the honeymoon is over, and there is no equity in the bank the way others named Ewing, Oakley, Starks, Monore, Reed, and Frazier have around here. 

Melo has had the Knicks cater to him starting with the very trade to get him in orange and blue. The trade which drained the Knicks of assets. Melo has also shown displeasure with former coaches Mike D'Antoni, who was later fired, Mike Woodson, who was later let go, and was annoyed by players who challenged his "superstardom" in various ways, such as Jeremy Lin, Tyson Chandler, and Iman Shumpert, all who were also shown the door at Madison Square Garden. 

So for one brief moment in Knicks land, the focus and plan didn't involve Melo (or so he thinks) and he is furious. Well, that's what we're hearing from news reports, and seeing from him on social media.

If Melo wanted to win so badly, and it was his number one priority, he would have left for Chicago. And to be quite honest, he should have. But no, Melo wanted the most money. That's the truth. He wanted the attention of New York. He wanted to "build his brand". He wants his cake, he wants to eat it, and he wants to eat it with everyone loving him. He wants it all.

He has stated he came back to New York because it is now his home, and for personal reasons. I can respect that. But again, you HAVE to understand the situation you were coming back to. 

If he feels cheated or "hoodwinked" as Stephen A. Smith is trying to drum up, then that's on him. He had his decision to leave this city last summer during free agency. He should have known the process, especially after this year, from 17 wins to title contender in one year is very unrealistic and improbable. 

I just don't feel bad for Carmelo at all. I completely agree his final prime years are before him. I'm sure he does too, and he did nothing to maximize it by returning here other than getting maximum dollar. 

But all in all, this has been exactly my biggest issue with Melo. Not his play. Not the supposed entitlement he thinks he deserves, but the lack of leadership. What other "superstar" or leading player of a franchise shuns a high draft pick right away? Especially one with potential? Why not text or call the kid and let him know, "hey, we get to work immediately. See you in the gym"?

No, Melo posts subliminal messages on twitter and instagram about the drafting of Porzingis and the trade of his buddy, Tim Hardaway Jr. and completely undercuts the rebuilding process and the image it has taken on so far.  

And sure, he might be singing a different tune recently, maybe even attempting to do some damage control on "the brand" as you can see here in this recent Bleacher Report article, but the damage has been done. 

I'll say it again, like I always have - Melo is a great, great talent. I just really believe someone else needs to be the star here in New York with him playing the "robin" role. I'm just afraid that the latter is going to be harder to get done than the former. 

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