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First things first: Carmelo Anthony’s six-year stint with the Knicks wasn’t a total failure. While the back pages of the New York Post and New York Daily News may have told a different story, Carmelo did some good things after getting traded to the Knicks by the Nuggets in 2011. For example, he:
- Was voted to the NBA All-Star team during every season as a Knick
- Won the NBA scoring title in 2013
- Was named to the All-NBA Third Team in 2012 and the All-NBA Second Team in 2013
- Scored a career-high 62 points in a game in 2014
- Led the Knicks to the NBA Playoffs in 2011, 2012, and 2013
- Managed to keep his sanity despite dealing with the insanity Phil Jackson brought to the franchise from 2014 through 2017
So yeah. Not all bad.
But we can all probably agree that, when Carmelo was first traded to the Knicks, the belief was that he was going to help restore the team to prominence. At the very least, he was expected to make them a team that was relevant year in and year out. And unfortunately, it just didn’t work out that way. Whether you want to blame that on Carmelo and his inability to get the job done or management and their inability to surround him with enough talent is up to you. But regardless, Carmelo’s time in NYC left a bad taste in many Knicks’ fans mouths.
It also didn’t sit particularly well with Carmelo. During an interview with the New York Times this week, Carmelo—who was traded to the Thunder in late September—discussed how difficult it was to play for such a dysfunctional team in recent years. He’s also sent other jabs in the franchise’s direction in recent weeks. And it’s clear that he’s ready to move on and forget his time with the Knicks so that he can focus on his future with the Thunder.
But it’s not going to be easy for Carmelo to simply forget everything that went down during his Knicks days—especially when you consider that his very first game with his new team will be against his old team. The Knicks will travel to Oklahoma City on Thursday night to take on the Thunder in the season debuts for both squads. And when the two teams take the court, it’ll be hard for Carmelo to completely ignore some of the memories that he has of playing in the Big Apple. Here are some of the low moments he definitely wishes he could forget forever.
Hating on Jeremy Lin and Linsanity
The Knicks’ 2011-12 season was arguably the most entertaining season during Carmelo’s tenure with the team. Just one problem: It wasn’t because of Carmelo. Rather, it was because of Jeremy Lin and the excitement he injected into the team for a relatively brief period of time. Carmelo reportedly hated "Linsanity" and didn’t have many good things to say about Lin when he signed with the Rockets the following summer.
Nearly Fighting Kevin Garnett
KG may or may not have told Carmelo that his wife La La smells like Honey Nut Cheerios in the middle of a 2013 game—and Carmelo may or may not have tried to fight KG before he got back on the Celtics’ bus after the game. But whatever the case, something was said that did not sit well with Carmelo, and he ended up paying the price for it in the form a one-game suspension.
Calling a Knicks Fan a "Glazed Donut Face Ass"
@carmeloanthony how about you win a ring you fucking kill me man rooting for you all the fucking time annd you always disappoint me— Sham George (@__Kingsleyy5) December 31, 2013
@__Kingsleyy5 I didn't ask for your glazed donut face ass to root for me anyway!!!!— Carmelo Anthony (@carmeloanthony) December 31, 2013
Carmelo ignited one of the great athlete/fan beefs on social media when he responded to a fan who sent slander in his direction by calling him a "glazed donut face ass." It’s one of the many (many, many, many) times Carmelo took out his frustrations by going after a fan on Twitter or Instagram.
Getting Rejected by Roy Hibbert in the Playoffs
Even if Carmelo hadn’t been blocked by Hibbert in such devastating fashion during Game 6 of the Knicks/Pacers playoff series in 2013, there’s still a chance the Knicks lose the game and the series. But this block really changed the momentum of the game with the Pacers going from being down 2 to up 7 in a very short amount of time. It prevented Carmelo from making his first trip to the Eastern Conference Finals.
Cursing Out a Heckler
As he walked off the court following a home loss to the 76ers in 2014, a fan yelled, "Nice defense, Melo." Melo’s response? "Go fuck yourself."
Cursing Out Many Hecklers
It’s not that uncommon to see pro athletes responding to hecklers every now and then. But after cursing out a heckler after a loss to the 76ers, Carmelo got into the habit of doing it early and often. In the clip above, you can see him exchange words with hecklers sitting behind the Knicks’ bench. He also once told a Knicks fan to ask James Dolan for his money back after the fan heckled him on the court.
Ripping the Knicks’ Locker Room After an Embarrassing Loss
After a 2017 loss to the 76ers—geez, how many times did the Knicks lose to the Sixers during Carmelo’s time in New York?!—Carmelo reportedly went nuclear on his teammates. He ripped into them for blowing a 10-point lead late in the game and yelled at Brandon Jennings for not giving him the ball on the Knicks’ final possession.
Threatening to Beat Up Tim Hardaway Jr.
In the midst of a nine-game losing streak in late 2014, a report emerged indicating that Carmelo had threatened to beat up Hardaway Jr. in the Knicks’ locker room after Hardaway Jr. yelled at him on the court. No punches were thrown, but a source told NBA reporter Chris Broussard that there was "a lot of arguing and cursing each other out" among Carmelo and other Knicks players.
Calling out SLAM
At one point in time, Carmelo was one of the five best players in the NBA, without question. But by 2016, that time had passed, as evidenced by SLAM placing Carmelo at No. 15 on their annual NBA player rankings. And while Carmelo actually should have been happy with that ranking, considering where some other publications had him, he ripped them for listing him so low and ended up looking petty for doing it.
Beefing With Phil Jackson
Where do we even begin with this one? As Carmelo told the New York Times this week, he actually went into the Phil Jackson experiment in New York with an open mind. He believed Jackson was going to turn the team around, which was part of the reason he resigned with them in 2014. But Carmelo’s relationship with Jackson quickly disintegrated, and last season, they spoke just twice during the entire year, according to Carmelo. Jackson openly ripped Carmelo for being a ball hog—and Carmelo didn’t take too kindly to it. Carmelo did end up outlasting Jackson in New York, but it’s hard not to think about what might have been if the two had been able to peacefully coexist during their brief time together.