I dodged it other than a slight reference in my Raptors recap from last night, but I’m sure you’re aware by now if you’re a basketball fan: Carmelo Anthony is a New York Knick. Yep, the Melodrama is over, and that’s just one of a handful of overused puns you can use to describe the swap, assuming the New York media didn’t beat you to the punch.
The Knicks gave up a package for Anthony and Chauncey Billups that looks pretty large on paper, but considering they’re still just a slightly-above .500 team at 26-24 even with their little renaissance this year, the group heading to Denver shouldn’t set New York back for long. Yeah, it stings a little considering there was a shot Carmelo would be out there as a free agent this summer, but with New Jersey and a potential lockout lurking, the risk of missing him altogether was enough to not pull the trigger. As a result, Raymond Felton, Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler and Timofey Mozgov all are heading to the Western Conference, with Mozgov and Gallinari earning the chance to be Blake Griffin’s poster boys four times a year instead of just two.
In Anthony, the Knicks are getting one of the NBA’s prime superstars, though that doesn’t mean he’s all set to gel with Amar’e Stoudemire, at least not off the bat. The real difference maker in the deal might be Billups, who had had an immediate impact in Denver upon being traded from Detroit for Allen Iverson two years ago, a deal that helped make the Nuggets arugably the Western Conference’s second-best team before Anthony started getting all emotional and wanting out. Also coming to New York is Shelden Williams and his larger-than-life head, which is presumably a result of drinking the same tonic Ken Griffey Jr. was hooked on in the greatest Simpsons episode of all-time.
Assuming all the physicals turn out as plannego well, Anthony and Billups will make their Knicks debut tonight at Madison Square Garden, where New York hosts the Milwaukee Bucks. If you’re in Manhattan and wanna check it out, you still may be able to get upper bowl tickets for $200 on StubHub.