If reports are to be believed, Carmelo Anthony is set to test free agency this offseason with a move away from the New York Knicks looking likely.
And, in his first comments to be made public since the news broke, Anthony was keen to highlight just what a major decision he faces in the coming weeks.
Speaking to Vice Sports, Anthony talked openly about the factors away from the court that are pivotal as he plans for what is likely to be his final major move before retirement:
"The average person just sees the opportunity to say that 'Oh, Melo should go here, Melo should go there. I think he should do this, I think he should do that," explained the seven-time All-Star.
"But they don't take into consideration the family aspect of it. Your livelihood you know, where you going to be living at?
"Do you want you kids to grow up in that place? In that city? Do I want spend the rest of my career in that situation, in that city?"
Clearly family life remains the most important factor for Melo despite his obvious desire to achieve in his chosen profession and the fact that he has been reportedly been seeking insight into life as a celebrity in Chicago shows that he is the kind of player to do his due diligence.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK
Melo has been in New York since 2011 when he arrived from the Denver Nuggets and described how the chance to play in such a big market allows players to progress beyond a level previously unattainable.
He spoke passionately about the Knicks fans, and the intense fandom that engulfs Madison Square Garden on game night:
"You there, you playing... you feel the excitement, you feel the difference. The energy is different and the fans are different.
"It's when you're here in New York, in the Garden, and you could be playing so well and then you have a breakdown in the course of the game and the boos will come.
"That's when you're like 'What the hell is wrong with these people?"
Melo is the type of player who thrives in the environment of a big market team, and the way he described New York may well give hope to Knicks fans that he could yet re-sign for the franchise after assessing his options in free agency.
Anthony could earn $126 million over five years if he sticks with New York, but the likes of Houston, Miami and particularly Chicago are preparing to make a move for the star and tempt him into a new challenge.
While his own future may be up in the air at present, Anthony also revealed that he would relish the opportunity to play a role in bringing in fellow pros wherever he ends up:
"As far as player personnel goes, I would love to be involved in that.
"At the end of the day you're creating a family...As much as it has to do with having the top guys on the team, superstars per se, you need the guys that are going to go out there and put their lives on the line," continued Anthony.
The Knicks endured an awful season last time out with Melo one of the few highlights, and the veteran will certainly be looking to be playing alongside an upgraded roster next season whether that is in the Big Apple or elsewhere.
One thing missing from the interview though was Anthony himself confirming his decision to become an unrestricted free agent. But as reports continue to surface and discuss his future it is only a matter of time before the official word comes out you would suspect.
That of course will only further intensify the rumors and speculation regarding his future But for Carmelo Anthony at least it seems that there is far more to his next big move than simply playing for a team that can win basketball games.
You can see the interview in full below
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