A little dishing on sports

An Open Letter to Carmelo Anthony

Dear Mr. Anthony:

First, let me wish you heartfelt congratulations on your recent nuptials.  I have to admit that given that I was both in New York City that weekend and without other plans, I am a little disappointed not to have been invited.  I don’t want to dwell on that, though.  I’m sure you had some difficult decisions to make regarding the guest list.

Anyway, that’s not why I’m writing.  I write because you have been in the news a lot in recent weeks as someone the Knicks are likely targeting as a free agent next year.  You are no doubt aware that when Eddy Curry’s anvil of a contract comes off the team books at the end of the 2010-11 season, the Knicks will have the cap space to sign another maximum salary free agent.  Rumors are swirling that the reason you have not yet signed the huge money extension Denver has offered you is because you intend to take your talents to Manhattan next year. 

The complicating factor in all of this, of course, is the looming unrest between NBA owners and the players, which is likely to lead to some type of work stoppage next year and undoubtedly drastic changes in the labor agreement.  Those changes may make it impossible for any team to sign you to a contract with remotely close to the value of the $65 million extension you currently have on the table.  I firmly believe that you are well aware of the risks in not signing with Denver, but that you: a) want to play in New York and; b) know that even in the worst case scenario – let’s say player salaries contract 40% and you can only make $39 million in your next contract – you will be able to make up most of the lost salary income in increased endorsements and notoriety.  Sure, this was the argument many made about LeBron James, but it held less validity for him because he was already the most famous player in the league.  For you, this makes more sense because while you are obviously well known and respected in the sports community, you are much less well known to casual fans.  A pairing of you and A’mare Stoudamire in NYC would create a winning team, and with Mike D’Antoni’s style it would also be an exciting team.  You would be everywhere!

Of course, you know all of this.  So let me get to the point.  I need to ask for a favor.  We’ll call it payback for the wedding snub. 

I’m sure you’ve been following the idiocy and incompetence in upper management levels of the Knick organization.  Unbelievably, the worst professional sports owner of his time, James Dolan, has rehired Isiah Thomas, the worst team executive, probably of all time, to be a consultant to the Knicks.  Now I would not hold it against you for an instant if you had second thoughts about coming to NYC to be a member of the supporting cast of Dumb and Dumber.  The thing is, Dolan finally got it right.  He hired a competent executive, Donnie Walsh, to run the Knicks and Donnie turned things around.  His strategy was: not to do egregiously stupid things.  It’s worked, for the most part – we’ll ignore the Jordan Hill draft pick for the purposes of this letter.  The Knicks are on their way up.  We can be a contender if you come to town, and once we’re contending, we’ll be inoculated from the stupidity of Dolan.  He seems to believe that somehow Isiah Thomas has some mystical ability to communicate with the stars of this generation.  Isiah’s been gassing the guy’s head up for years and now those two are like Andy and Red.  We need you to demonstrate in the clearest way possible that: a) you are interested in playing in New York and; b) not only won’t you come here because of Isiah, but you won’t come at all if Isiah is part of the decision-making team of the franchise.  Look, there are ways to do this tactfully.  Call me up, we’ll talk it through.  This is our only hope.  Mr. Anthony, you can save the Knick franchise.  You’ll be more popular here than Walt Frazier if you pull this off.  I need your help.

Are you in?

Sincerely yours,



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