Carmelo Anthony finally has some reason to be optimistic in New York after the Knicks pulled off a five-player trade to secure former MVP Derrick Rose yesterday.
Melo had been crying out for a point guard to join him in the Big Apple and had previously called for Rajon Rondo to be recruited in free agency to solve their backcourt issues.
However, Knicks president and coaching legend Phil Jackson has taken a gamble on the youngest ever MVP in a bid to revive the franchise and make them playoff contenders once again.
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The trio or Kristaps Porzingis, Anthony and Rose is a tantalising one for sure. If they can mesh well quickly and, more importantly, stay healthy, there is no reason why the Knicks can't fly up the east.
However, that wasn't what was on Melo's mind yesterday. Even after the Rose news broke, the former Denver Nuggets man didn't acknowledge the acquisition on Twitter or welcome his new teammate. Instead, he paid tribute to the recently retired Kobe Bryant.
As you can see by the tweet, Anthony is paying respect to his friend and former rival first and foremost. During their careers, Kobe and Melo were never shy about sharing their feelings on one another.
"I think everybody at this level, at our level, needs somebody that we can talk to, needs somebody that we can relate to, needs somebody who tells you straight up, tells you how it is, whether your right or wrong, we all need that," Anthony said back in March ahead of facing Kobe for the final time. "We all need those people."
“You guys won’t know it. You guys won’t see it,” Anthony continued. “But inside it will be an emotional day knowing this is the last time I’ll be able to compete against a guy like that.”
At Kobe's 18th and final All-Star weekend, a few of his closest friends from around the league took him and his wife Vanessa out for a private dinner. They all gave Kobe special gifts on the night and handed the five-time NBA champion a bit of a good-natured roasting to send him into retirement. Melo, along with Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, was a part of proceedings.
“It was great, man,” Bryant told ESPN. “It was really a great night. I saw them come into the league and they were a couple generations after me, so to see these players come up and grow and now being able to stand up there and joke about playing me for the first time and how I’ve inspired them throughout their careers and all this other stuff.
“It was really, really awesome. It was one of those things that I’ll remember forever.”
Ahead of his final meeting with Anthony in March, Kobe summarised: “He is like a brother to me. I love him.”
Now that Kobe has ridden off into the proverbial sunset, Anthony will hope to take strength from the Black Mamba's legacy and make some history of his own in New York.