NBA

Carmelo Anthony.

Phil Jackson says potential Carmelo Anthony exit is 'entirely up to Carmelo'

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Despite Carmelo Anthony best efforts - spanning nearly the entirety of his tenure with the New York Knicks - to allay fears he will leave the Big Apple, reports continue to surface suggesting opinions to the contrary.

The 31-year-old has a no-trade clause in his contract that runs until the end of the 2018-19 season. Anthony re-signed to a five-year, $124,064,681 deal in the summer of 2014 when he was a free agent.

If he really had a desire to leave the city that never sleeps, that would have been the ideal time to escape, especially at 29-years-old.

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However, now the nine-time All-Star is a franchise player in his early-thirties coming off major knee surgery with an organisation that has endured two of the worst seasons in recent memory.

The Knicks are 45-106 over the past two campaigns and it appears as though Melo's patience is running thin.

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As seen with players like Karl Malone and Gary Payton down the years; the biggest superstars in the game still covet an NBA ring and can feel incomplete without one - regardless of their achievements.

It would appear that Anthony is entering that space and his frustration with the Knicks' 36-point loss to the reigning NBA Champions on Wednesday night was there for all to see.

The gap between the Knicks and the Golden State Warriors is like night and day, and considering that's the stratosphere Anthony wants to reside in, a timely reminder of the gulf in class appears to have hit home.

New York Knicks v Phoenix Suns

Anthony told Ian Begley of ESPN he tried to "light a fire," in his teammates, but it was no use.

"They tried to pick it up," Anthony believed, "but by that time we were down 30."

Chris Herring of the Wall Street Journal reported on Twitter that Phil Jackson said in regards to a potential Anthony trade: "That's entirely up to Carmelo - that's in his lap".

It would appear that the ball is in Melo's court should he decide to leave and seek pastures anew, and with the lucrative TV deal coming into effect this summer there would be a few franchises that could accommodate his monstrous, max-contract - if they wanted to.

The former Denver Nugget man said he felt "At times, we didn't even compete out there," during the humbling away at the Warriors - which was their 50th home win on the bounce.

He's certainly showing signs of being disillusioned, but it shouldn't be forgotten that Anthony has insisted he is not interested in leaving the franchise time and time again and alas, here he is, still a New York Knick.

Another thing Anthony has been vocal about is his desire for the Knicks front office to make some serious moves in free agency this summer to improve the roster. If Phil Jackson fails to do that, will it be the straw that broke the camel's back?

Topics:
Eastern Conference
NBA
Atlantic Division
New York Knicks
Carmelo Anthony

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