AL HAMNIK: 'Mello' learning glory trumps dollars in today's NBA

2014-06-23T17:15:00Z 2014-06-28T15:22:08Z AL HAMNIK: 'Mello' learning glory trumps dollars in today's NBAAl Hamnik Times Columnist nwitimes.com
June 23, 2014 5:15 pm  • 

We all want to leave some sort of legacy.

Good husband. Good wife. Great parent. Dependable employee. Helpful neighbor.

These are all qualities that people remember.

Which brings us to New York Knicks' unrestricted free agent and prolific scorer Carmelo Anthony, who can drop 25 on you while sipping a latte.

You've heard the rumors.

'Mello' may be going to the Bulls to be with Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, making them an immediate Eastern Conference favorite.

Or to the Rockets to team up with James Harden and Dwight Howard as the most feared trio in the West.

Or to Dallas and Miami, aging franchises with little depth.

Or maybe he'll stay in New York, show biz capitol of the world, where wife La La can do her Broadway thing while he's left with a roster of table scraps.

This much we do know. The Knicks can offer Anthony the most money ($129 million) and years (5), while other teams can offer no more than $96 million over four years due to salary cap restrictions.

So, it comes down to legacy.

Rich man, or champion?

Anthony has made a reported $139 million during his playing career and millions more in endorsements but has whiffed big time in the postseason, reaching the conference finals once, in 2009.

Since being traded from Denver in 2011, his Knicks have a winning percentage of .547, not exactly something you'd want on billboards coast to coast.

Money has given him everything but a ring.

So, let's talk legacy.

The NBA has had many "scorers" whom fans have forgotten. It's those with championships who've earned a spot in history with lasting fame.

Carmelo Anthony just turned 30 and is now telling everyone he feels a void without a title on his resume; that winning means more than a paycheck.

The Knicks' roster won't be overhauled until July of 2015, at the earliest, so forget any championship parade in the near future.

There are no character issues with 'Mello' and that also makes him an attractive piece to a championship puzzle.

Yes, he'd rather shoot than defend, a long-time rap against him, but a talented supporting cast could change his mindset. That, and a defensive stickler like Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau.

Joakim Noah has given several shout-outs in attempting to recruit Anthony, while Rose hasn't gone out of his way. Truth is, we don't know which Rose will be returning next season from two knee surgeries.

Where will Anthony end up? I have two hunches.

If the Bulls can lure 28-year-old shooting guard Arron Afflalo away from the young, rebuilding Orlando Magic, that could seal the deal for Anthony. And why not?

Afflalo averaged 18.2 points and shot 46 percent from the field last season -- including 43 percent from deep.

Chicago had the NBA's worst offense, capped by its 28 second-half points in the deciding Game 5 of last year's playoffs with Washington.

A huge welcome mat is in place at the Berto Center for 'Mello' and 'Double-A,' but getting both is unlikely unless the roster is stripped down.

The other attractive destination spot for Anthony is Houston, though Harden doesn't play "D" either.

But the object of this game is to outscore your opponents, and that they would. Oh, mercy.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at al.hamnik@nwi.com

Copyright 2014 nwitimes.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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