More ‘Melo’-drama: Knicks reportedly traveling to L.A. to meet with Carmelo Anthony
Perhaps to ensure that the sweet free agency nothings blown into Carmelo Anthony’s ear by Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers, the New York Knicks reportedly will travel cross-country to meet with its former player in a bid to convince him that the West is not necessarily the best.
Having already met with the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets (both of whom went all-out in their pursuit of the scoring machine) and the Dallas Mavericks, Anthony moved on to La La Land on Thursday for a meet-and-greet with Kobe and company. The Knicks apparently do not want Anthony to “Escape from L.A.” before meeting with him.
Although not mentioned in the report, there is a possibility that Knicks president Phil Jackson already was in Los Angeles, as he has said in the past he may still spend some time on the West Coast despite his obligations to running the Knicks in New York.
In any event, it certainly makes the point that the Knicks are serious to keeping Carmelo in the fold and to demonstrate it, the team is willing to travel to meet Anthony instead of waiting for him to return to the Big Apple.
Another card the Knicks hold in its wooing of Anthony is that the team can offer the superstar a max contract of five-years and $129 million. Any other suitor can only offer Carmelo a four-year deal for $96 million.
It is unclear whether or not Phil Jackson and company intend to tempt Anthony with the max deal, but the Zen Master stated last week he expected the free agent to be “good for what his word is” as it pertains to Anthony saying he wants to remain in New York and that money was not the most important issue.
Despite Jackson challenging Carmelo to stay true to his word about the Knicks, money and everything else, being able to pay him more than any other team certainly put the Knicks in an advantageous position. And odds are Jackson is well aware of that fact.