The departure of Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks is highly-anticipated in the upcoming offseason. However, former Knicks teammates Iman Shumpert and J.R. Smith believe Anthony doesn’t really want to leave and plans to win his first NBA championship title in New York.
In 2011, Carmelo Anthony demanded a trade to the Knicks with the belief that he can help them return to title contention. Anthony helped the Knicks end their six-year playoff drought followed by a trip to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Unfortunately, he failed to carry them to the NBA Finals or even reach the Eastern Conference Finals.
Last summer, Knicks president Phil Jackson gave Anthony the best supporting cast. Derrick Rose, Courtney Lee, Joakim Noah, and Brandon Jennings joined Anthony and Kristaps Porzingis in New York to form a “Super Team.” However, they didn’t live up to expectations and even failed to enter the playoffs.
J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert think Carmelo Anthony wants to stay
In the past months, Jackson has been aggressive in getting rid of Anthony. The “Zen Master” believes Anthony will be better playing somewhere else, urging him to waive his no-trade clause this offseason. As most people think, Anthony’s departure is inevitable.
The Knicks star is expected to play for a title contender team next season. However, for his former Knicks teammates and close friends J.R Smith and Iman Shumpert, Anthony still wants to stay in New York.
“He does want to stay in New York. He made the effort to get to New York,” Smith said. “Granted, it hasn’t gone as well as he hoped it would. But I’m sure that’s where he wants to be.”
Shumpert believes Anthony will only consider leaving once he fulfills his promise to help the Knicks win an NBA championship title. Shumpert also slammed Jackson for how treated Anthony.
“I don’t think (Jackson) should’ve been so vocal about (wanting to trade Anthony),” Shumpert said. “That’s just me. I think a lot of stuff is better if everybody just assumes what’s going on and they don’t really know what’s going on. I didn’t like that it was publicized, but what am I going to do? He said some stuff about me too. I know it’s not going to bother Melo’s jumpshot next season. Melo is going to continue to work and get better and continue to try to win. That’s all he can do.”
Will Carmelo Anthony waive his no-trade clause?
Despite Jackson’s statements, Anthony will still be the one deciding on his future. He may choose to stay with the Knicks for another season or start chasing his first championship ring with a new team. As of now, the Los Angeles Clippers emerged as the top trade destination for Anthony once he waives his no-trade clause.
Photo courtesy: Christopher Johnson/Flickr