How close was Carmelo Anthony to signing with the Chicago Bulls? Well, according to Anthony, at one point last summer he decided he would sign with the team. Then he changed his mind.
The problem? He made a bad decision. He made a money decision. And the fame, fortune and chance to stay in the biggest media market was too alluring to pass up.
If he had signed with the Bulls, he could have won. Now, he's just a good player on a bad team.
"It was one part of time where I was just like, 'Yo, I'm going,'" Anthony was quoted by ESPN.com as saying in a documentary that aired on MSG Network.
"It came down to Chicago and New York. Chicago was the one that, from day one, was something that I was very impressed with. They was looking for a person like me to come in and just take them to the next level," Anthony said in the documentary.
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"So it was perfect. It was a perfect setup, perfect fit for me in Chicago. But then also I had to think about just living in Chicago. Do I want to live in Chicago? Do I want to take everything that I created in New York and move all of that? It came down to that."
Comfort zone overrated
Chicago is a great place to be, just ask so many of the professional athletes that live there. It isn't warm, but neither is New York. It's traffic sucks, but so does New York's.
Besides that, Chicago has pretty much anything you would need or want. Besides Spike Lee, of course.
The town and its fans get behind its teams – especially the winners – and it's simply hard to imagine a professional athlete having an issue with the life or lifestyle in the town.
Makes Carmelo look silly
The thing is, it's hard to imagine Chicago is real concerned with the net result. Carmelo hasn't won much of anything since college. He shoots a lot, he scores a lot and he has plenty of self-important things to say, it just isn't clear he would have made the Bulls much better.
He would have benefited from being in Chicago more than Chicago would have benefited from having him.
With Derrick Rose's status off and on, there would have been an opportunity for Anthony to fill in and player a larger role as the Bulls' star.
Instead, Jimmy Butler has filled that role by scoring 22.0 points with 5.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game to Anthony's 23.5 points, 6.1 rebounds and 3.3 assists per outing for the 4-15 Knicks.
"He goes to bed one night saying he wants to go to Chicago. He wakes up the next day saying New York. And then he's stuck again," said Bay Frazier, his longtime manager.
"That's how he feels. He's so loyal to New York, he wants to stay and become a champion there, which would blow everyone away."