Ian Begley, SNY.tv | Twitter |
Carmelo Anthony will face off against the Knicks tonight for the third time since he was traded from the franchise in 2017.
A divorce seemed inevitable back in the 2017 offseason, but there was at least one last-ditch effort from the Knicks to keep Anthony at Madison Square Garden.
One high-ranking Knicks official visited Anthony in person prior to the trade to Oklahoma City to ask him to reconsider his stance and stay with the Knicks, per SNY sources.
Obviously that Knicks official - one of the few on solid terms with Anthony at the time - was rebuffed. The feeling from Anthony then was that it was time to part ways after everything that happened over the past year with he and team president Phil Jackson, per sources.
But it's interesting now to consider how that would have changed things for New York - and for Anthony - if he'd stayed.
If Anthony never leaves, New York doesn't acquire Enes Kanter (later bought out), Doug McDermott (traded, along with a second-round pick, for Emmanuel Mudiay) and a second-round pick that turned into Mitchell Robinson.
Anthony, who had a no-trade clause, would have remained in New York instead of being traded by Oklahoma City after one season (and waived by Atlanta), being traded by Houston after a 10-game stretch in the 2018-19 season (and waived by Chicago) and signing with Portland.
Anthony, 35, enters play Tuesday averaging 16 points on 41 percent shooting in 31 minutes. He's hitting 36 percent of his threes and averaging 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game in his 16th NBA season.
It's unclear how close Anthony came to signing with other teams prior to inking a deal with the Blazers.
We know he worked out with the Nets and some players were in favor of signing him. Clearly, management didn't feel as strongly as those players. We also know the Knicks would have seriously considered signing him if they landed their top free agent targets.
Anthony, per SNY sources, also met in person with the Los Angeles Clippers prior to the season; members of the Miami Heat organization were also in favor of signing Anthony prior to the season, sources say; clearly there wasn't enough support from decision-makers in either organization to get a deal done.
Anthony has played well enough in his role with the Blazers to have his contract fully guaranteed for the rest of the season. So, barring something unforeseen, the 10-time All-Star will visit MSG with the Blazers on New Year's Day.
Mitchell Robinson hosted over 150 kids at one of his free youth camps in Portland over the summer. On Tuesday, Robinson will host more than 300 people- kids, parents and coaches from his camp - at the Knicks-Blazers game in Portland.
The participants will meet Robinson before and after the game. The Blazers, who partnered with Robinson and his agent, Mayar Zokaei, for the event, are donating a portion of ticket sales from the group (sold at a discount) to Robinson's Foundation, the Mitchell Robinson III Youth Foundation.
Robinson also has been donating $100 for each of his blocks to the "Blocking Out Childhood Cancer" group. The Knicks are donating $50 for each team block to the group.
Robinson and the Knicks created the platform in partnership w/Hackensack University Medical Center.Those interested can find more info here: http://knicks.com/blockcancer.