25 Jun 2014 02:40 PM EST
-by Daniel Mogollon, Staff Writer; Image: Carmelo Anthony slams home two points with the New York Knicks. (Image Source: Brad Rempel/USA TODAY Sports)
Earlier this week, All-Star Carmelo Anthony made the decision to opt out of the final year of his contract with the New York Knicks and become a free agent on July 1.
Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim, Melo’s college coach for one season, believes the forward would love to stay in New York, but that Anthony’s primary goal is to find a place where he can win.
"In my opinion he wants to win," Boeheim said to ESPNChicago.com. "I think that's the bottom line. He realizes that this is his peak; three or four years ahead, where's the best place to go and win? I think he'll take a little less money. I don't think that's that big of an issue. Obviously money is important to all of us.
“But I think Carmelo wants to win. I think he wants to get into a place where he feels they have a legitimate chance to win. And I think that will be the driving [force], the thing that drives his decision. But obviously he's enjoyed New York, he likes his time there. But I think he wants to win."
Could that place be New York?
“With the Knicks, how long does it take?’’ Boeheim said to the New York Post. “Melo has three, four prime years left. If something didn’t happen this year, next year for some reason they don’t get a couple of quality guys, now what do you do? It’s tough figuring out what to do. It’s not easy for him.’’
The Syracuse man talked about New York’s struggles as a team last season, despite Anthony’s individual success and how that impacts his legacy. In Boeheim’s view, in order for Anthony to get the respect he deserves as a basketball player, Melo will have to go somewhere where he can win a championship.
A potential championship location is Chicago. Boeheim told the paper that he has spoken to Bulls headman Tom Thibodeau about Melo.
“I’ve talked to Tom about Melo, his name has come up,’’ Boeheim told The Post. “I think Tom is very excited about the possibility of getting Carmelo. He likes him. He likes how he plays. He feels he’s coachable. I think Tom Thibodeau is one of the better coaches in the NBA. Carmelo would be happy playing for him. It would be a good fit — the coach-player relationship.’’
Of course no plan is foolproof, to which Boeheim cites the health of Derrick Rose, Chicago’s star point guard who has played in just 39 games in the last three seasons combined.
As for Anthony’s most recent head coach with the Knicks, Mike Woodson supports Anthony as he approaches free agency.
"I think 'Melo is in a hell of a good position, and I'm sure a lot of teams will be trying to go after him. I'm for whatever decision 'Melo makes," said Woodson at a charity golf event [per the New York Daily News].
Woodson, who was fired after failing to lead New York to the playoffs this past season, says he’s moved on and harbors no ill will towards the organization.
"I've closed that chapter and moved on. I wish I could have stayed, but I have nothing but respect for that organization," Woodson said to the paper.
Daniel Mogollon is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America. He is also a voter for the Thorpe and the Rotary Lombardi Award, as well as the Latino Sports MVP Awards. You can reach him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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