After years of attempting to fix the New York Knicks roster with pieces of scotch tape, Phil Jackson finally brought in the heavy artillery and has completely blown it to shreds. The decision to trade away J.R. Smith and Iman Shumpert to the Cleveland Cavaliers is one that many deemed necessary for the lowly Knicks, and it’s a decision that their last remaining shiny piece of shrapnel Carmelo Anthony says he fully believes in.
On Wednesday, Anthony shared his faith in management, “I’ve got trust in what’s happening. I’ve got to trust in the plan that they’re trying to put in place.”
As Melo looks around at his team roster however, trust is essentially all he’s got left.
On Monday night, with the Knicks boasting the absolute worst record in the NBA at 5-32, freshly acquired team President Jackson decided to wave the white flag on what has been a horrendous season thus far. Instead of looking for a quick fix that would most likely result in mediocrity, he has decided to start from the ground up. He traded away Shumpert and Smith for a second round pick in 2019 and three players (who will probably be gone before they get their first view of Central Park), and waived his starting center Samuel Dalembert.
Although the roster is slim pickings at the moment, Melo believes in the big picture, “When I first committed back to New York, that was something I always said: I had to trust that them guys know what they’re doing and believe in them guys. And that was one of the reasons I wanted to come back,” referring to his five-year, $124 million contract he signed last year. “Here’s an opportunity with the trust. Everything starts now.”
It’s been a rough season for Melo, a season that’s undoubtedly about to get even rougher. But as with every huge breakup, there is a silver lining. The toxic relationship with mediocrity is finally over, and the road to redemption has officially begun.