Oklahoma City Thunder Rumors
Carmelo Anthony, a mentor to Porzingis, understands why the decision on a contract extension will be difficult. He broke down the options to the following choices: either stay in New York to bask in the challenge of leading a team, or leave for a better chance to win. “He’s young. He’s young enough where if he wanted to take that deal, take it. You still got years. New York is his now,” Anthony told the Daily News. “But on the flip side, with the way the game is going, people want to win. And there’s going to have to come that point where he makes that decision. As players, we all go through that. It’s a tough decision because you want to be there, you want to commit to him. The ball is in your hands. The onus is on you now. But on the flip side, I know him personally, so I know how bad he wants to win by any means.”
But a player of Porzingis’ caliber has options, which include waiting to see whether the organization gets its act together before committing more years of his career. “One thing about these young guys, they’re becoming smarter and smarter,” Anthony said. “They’re seeing how we do it, and they’re like, ‘We might wait and see how things are going.’ “And at this time, guys want to compete. At the end of the day, guys want to compete. And if they want to go to a place where they want to compete. And if it’s that team, they’ll stay. And if not, then it’s elsewhere.”
Always a lightning rod, the Garden reaction to Anthony’s return will be fascinating, especially after his tweet that being in New York was “hell.’’ Anthony isn’t worried. He thinks it will be all good on that Saturday night on Broadway amid Christmas season.
“It’s too far away to think about yet, but it will be a home game for me,’’ Anthony told The Post late Thursday as he left the Chesapeake Energy Arena. “(I have) a good feeling. I have a good feel about that one. Coming back and playing in front of those fans. I feel good about that.’’ So only cheers? “I hope so,’’ Anthony said. “I don’t see why not. We’ll see when that time comes. I’m not worried about how they take (the tweet). I said what I said and that’s it.’’
Carmelo Anthony tried to groom Kristaps Porzingis the past two years, knowing that he someday would replace him as the Knicks’ franchise player. Now that he has, Anthony called it “a big, big year” for Porzingis and had some advice. “You’re there. You’re the unicorn. You’ve got to embrace it,” Anthony said. “You’ve got to understand what it’s about, what’s going to happen, whether good or bad, and be ready for it.”