Melo Time

In his third season with the Knicks, Carmelo Anthony has stepped up his game—on and off the court—turning a sometimes hit-or-miss career into the stuff championships are made of.


EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, a surreal moment occurs in the life of Carmelo Anthony. He will be out somewhere, maybe at a dinner or a business gathering, and he will be introduced to a person, perhaps a very capable person, who knows many things about many things, but does not know who Carmelo Anthony is. This seems improbable, given that the 28-year-old Anthony is one of the most public and scrutinized athletes in the media fun-house mirror of New York City, but it does happen. Sometimes the person has a vague idea. Sometimes they recognize just Anthony’s first name—Carmelo, yes, it rings a bell—and nothing else. They don’t know much about NBA basketball. They don’t know much about the New York Knicks.

Picture 8This doesn’t insult Anthony. Not at all. This is a relief. Anonymity makes him happy.

“I love having those conversations,” Anthony says on a January afternoon. He says this earnestly, as if he’s describing a guilty pleasure he wishes he could enjoy more. “Because if there is a connection, it’s a natural connection. It’s not anything to do with basketball.”

These moments do not happen often. Chances are they will be happening less and less. Anthony is deep into his third season in New York, and the Knicks are playing some of their best basketball in more than a decade—the primary reason being Anthony. This is not insignificant news. For most of his 10-season career, Anthony has been regarded as an offensive dynamo—Charles Barkley, the ex-player, TNT analyst and basketball’s Simon Cowell, describes Anthony to me as “the best scorer in the NBA”—but there was the maddening suspicion that Anthony left potential on the table, that he lacked the crazy-eyed single-mindedness that separated the very good from the great. Melo was about Melo, too unengaged, perhaps ambivalent, the rap went.

Carmelo Anthony - WSJ Magazine - April 2013 (Cover) All Photos by: Terry Richardson

That suspicion is fading. When we meet just after the New Year, the Knicks are in first place in their division, and Anthony has just been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week. The long hype of Carmelo Anthony in New York City has coalesced into something real, and there’s a lightness to his mood.
“This is what I envisioned, coming to New York,” he says. “This was on my vision board. I’d sit back and be like, damn, I am going to run out there and be hitting game winners in the Garden in front of fans, getting them riled up. When they’re stomping on the floors, yelling ‘New York Knicks’—that’s a great feeling.”

We are sitting on plastic chairs in the empty Knicks practice facility in Tarrytown, New York. Practice is done. We look like a pair of ninth graders waiting out detention after gym class. Anthony is wearing an orange T-shirt and a pair of lightweight sweatpants cut at the calf—a version of basketball capris. He stretches his long legs across the floor.

“I always told friends around me, my family, my teammates, guys in the organization, this process was going to take two and a half to three years,” he says. “Just to get everything in order. Get your feet wet. Get used to it. A lot of things have become clearer to me about being in New York.”

View Melo’s Off the Court style here.

Read the Full article at:


  • LaShayne Sullivan

    Dear Carmelo,

    I am a relatively new basketball fan, following the game since 2007. The NBA League has changed in so many positive ways. In regards to you and your game, its full throttle and the Knicks are playing so well.Carmelo, keep up the great resolve to make your game unshakeable and relentless. My days are quite full keeping up with the Knicks and all things Lala Anthony. Lala is an inspiration because of her own work ethic, and the way she supports her family and friends. As a fan, I wish all of you the best as individuals, as a couple and as a family. I love seeing Spike Lee courtside, I bet his blood runs blue and orange.

    Hope your knee is soon on the mend,


  • Jmerc

    Hi Carmelo, Been a diehard Knick fan since the 70’s. Just want to give you a take on what I’ve been reading in order for the Knicks to do win in the post season.

    During the initial 18-5 run, Anthony was devoted to Mike Woodson’s coaching system. The offense was centered around ball movement, and Anthony’s unselfishness was front and center. New York’s five players would whip passes around the half court from open shooter to more open shooter, and each possession usually ended in a wide-open look. Anthony got his share of post-up opportunities, and when a double-team came, ‘Melo wasted no time in flinging the ball to an open man. He was active on the defensive end as well. Anthony was diving for steals and making a conscious effort to hang with his man defensively. And as ‘Melo went, so went the Knicks. Over the 43 games since that 18-5 start, Anthony has gradually reverted to his traditional style of basketball, and the fluid offense has disappeared, along with the gritty defense.

    When Anthony was buying into a team-first mentality, the team followed suit—it’s when the team was most successful.

    If he can get back to thinking the way he was in November and December, it’s not outrageous to predict the team will buy in as well, which would be bad news for the rest of the Eastern Conference.
    Okay Melo, that’s from Bleacher report, Take the Knicks to the finals and bring that trophy home. Let’s do this, Go Knicks!

  • Billie Anthony™

    I Love Youuuu <3

  • Steven Davis

    You got it big bro! This is your year so go and take it! I’ve got your back no matter what