Last night, the New York Knicks were officially eliminated from 2016 NBA playoffs contention. With just 30 wins to their name this season, there was no way the franchise were ever going to make it, but this hurts nonetheless.
It will especially hurt Carmelo Anthony, who is desperate for the Knicks to become actual playoff contenders as he slides towards the end of his prime.
Rumours have been swirling for some time about Melo's future in the Big Apple, with the man himself being unwilling to speak about his no-trade close and his plans for the offseason. That hasn't stopped Carmelo's teammate Kristaps Porzingis from speaking out with his thoughts.
According to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News, Porzingis seems desperate for his All-Star mentor to stay with the Knicks, almost pleading for Anthony not to jump ship.
"Obviously, I want him to stay here. We need him. I need him," the Latvian rookie said on Saturday. "And we don't want to lose him."
"I need him, No. 1, to learn from him. And to win. We need him to win," Porzingis added. "Without him it would be much more difficult. Him leaving would be tough but I'm not worried about that, I don't think it's going that way. He's been loyal. I think he loves New York. And that's the most important thing."
The interesting to note from this is just how much better the Knicks are when Anthony and Porzingis are sharing the floor. Anthony must have noticed that. Whether or not a player like Porzingis can convince him to stay is another thing entirely.
There has never been any real talk from Carmelo about leaving New York, but when you consider just how much the likes of Porzingis and Phil Jackson talk about - one has to believe it could be a possibility.