Like most players, Carmelo Anthony's primary goal at this point in his career is to win an NBA title. Despite emerging as one of the league's best individual players, a championship victory has evaded the Knicks' forward over the last decade.
With that in mind, it's understandable why Anthony may be willing to listen to the Miami Heat, should he opt out of his contract and hit the open market as a free agent this summer. Venturing out to South Beach proved to be a winning strategy for stars like LeBron James and Chris Bosh, so perhaps making a similar move would benefit Anthony as well.
Playing with proven champions never hurts.
That is, of course, unless a championship win is no longer fresh in the minds of everyone in the Heat organization.
After getting blown out by the Spurs for the second straight game on Thursday night, the Heat now trail San Antonio 3-1 in the NBA Finals. The defending champs are in need of a wakeup call, should they want to avoid a premature exit, and not to mention, series defeat.
The Heat have now reached The Finals in four straight seasons, so even if they eventually fall to the Spurs, the dynasty they've created most recently won't exactly come crumbling down so soon. Still, failing to achieve a three-peat would create a bit of doubt, nevertheless. Should the Heat no longer prove to be unstoppable, a glimmer of hope will once again be given to some of the league's other potential powerhouses. There will be a new window of opportunity in the absence of yet another Miami victory.
In turn, South Beach may no longer stand tall as a more desirable destination. There are a handful of teams Anthony will reportedly consider (should he opt out as expected), but perhaps a Heat loss would even the playing field for other teams (most notably the Knicks, of course) a bit.
From there, it'll be up to Phil Jackson, Derek Fisher, and co. to convince Anthony that they can take advantage of that aforementioned potential window of opportunity, just as good as anyone else. What can they do to surround the star forward with worthwhile talent in hopes of achieving greatness once again? That remains to be seen.
But perhaps the Heat losing in The Finals would take the pressure off a bit and make staying in the Big Apple instead an easier concept for the Knicks to sell.
I can see this NBA Finals as both a deterrent or a prime opportunity.
On one hand, 'Melo could view Miami as a roster in need to total reconstruction. Mario Chalmers is on his way out of town. Shane Battier will retire, and Ray Allen may follow. Then you have an aging Dwyane Wade, inconsistent Chris Bosh and LeBron James.
If 'Melo really wants to play with LeBron, then he could either go to South Beach or try to lure him to New York. The same "Big Three" theory applies w\ Melo and Bron, because defenses can't possibly account for both of these elite scorers.
The issue is whether Phil Jackson or Pat Riley can assemble the better supporting cast.
Perhaps 'Melo sees the role players in New York -- J.R. Smith, Tim Hardaway Jr., Tyson Chandler -- as a better cast to go with him and LeBron. It better suits a James-Melo tandem, because it provides them with a defensive presence in the middle and two wing players for Bron to dish to when he drives. And obviously Melo is that Robin-type figure Wade was supposed to be.