Carmelo and Amar’e
It was only a few years ago that the New York Knicks were clearing out cap space, seemingly to try to bring LeBron James to town in free agency. We all know that didn’t happen, but they have acquired quite a bit of talent over the past few seasons, and have at least made themselves relevant and dangerous.
Of course, Amar’e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony are the foundation of the team. The combo will be making close to $40 million this season, and are expected to carry the team to the elite level that is expected of a roster so full of talent.
Everyone around the NBA has their opinion about the prospects of this working. This includes Charles Oakley, who doesn’t seem terribly optimistic.
Charles Oakley was known as an outstanding rebounder, including his time on the Knicks. When asked about the current Knicks team, he had some skeptical comments, particularly regarding the teams two stars, Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire.
“You look at Miami, the first year together, they made the Finals, but the second year they won it. They had a better understanding of their roles together. I think that’s what the Knicks need to do and players need to understand if they’re the first option, second option or third option. When a team is paying you $100 million you shouldn’t be arguing over who is first…..I think the problem with the Knicks is that their best two guys don’t make the people around them better. You see it with the Miami’s, the Oklahoma City’s, the Bulls, their top guys make others better. If that’s the case, I’m going to make sure that my top two guys have the ball at all times.”
Given, this isn’t really a totally unheard of opinion. Many believe that Melo and Amar’e is a pairing that just won’t work. They both have their defensive shortcomings, don’t move off the ball terribly well, and both prefer isolation basketball.
But to hear a former Knick take a jab at the team’s two stars is news-worthy.
It’s safe to say that they need to at least get out of the first round of the playoffs this season to avoid the criticism from getting worse. Charles Oakley is not on his own with his thoughts, and Knicks management may feel the way if the team doesn’t make them believe otherwise this season.
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