New York Knicks

Carmelo Anthony Misses the Old New York Knicks

LOS ANGELES, CA - MARCH 17:  Kurt Thomas #40 of the New York Knicks goes to the basket during the game between the Los Angeles Clippers and the New York Knicks at Staples Center on March 17, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2013 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
Andrew D. Bernstein/Getty Images
Joe FlynnContributor IDecember 1, 2013

Jason Kidd's Brooklyn Nets are struggling. Carmelo Anthony's New York Knicks are struggling. But these former teammates and would-be rivals still share a healthy respect. 

Anthony showed support for Kidd, the Brooklyn Nets coach who was fined $50,000 by the league for intentionally spilling a drink on the court to get a stoppage in play, during an interview with reporters before the Knicks game Friday night in Denver.

According to Marc Berman of the New York Post, Anthony said, "That goes to show you what kind of person he is...He’ll do whatever he has to do to win. He protects his team."

What's more, Anthony, who missed a last-second shot in the Knicks' 97-95 loss to the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center, feels that the loss of veterans like Kidd from the 2012-13 team has played a key part in the lackluster play of this season's team:

That makeup of the team was different [last year]...With J-Kidd, he was a leader in his own right. He wasn’t a vocal leader like a Rasheed [Wallace] or Kurt Thomas. He was leader by example on the court. His hard work, his play, everyone fed off that. And everyone led in their own way. Now we do miss that — J-Kidd, Kurt, Kurt and Rasheed. Last year as a team we were more synchronized than right now due to chemistry, due to having fun, due to just having one another’s back.

 

Melo's remarks beg an obvious question: Why exactly is this current Knicks team so devoid of veteran leadership? Yes, they lost three grizzled old codgers in Kidd, Wallace and Thomas, but it's not like the 2013-14 roster has turned into a day care center.

This year's Knicks team has six players over the age of 30. They have as many rotation players over the age of 35 (Pablo Prigioni and Kenyon Martin) as they do under the age of 25 (Iman Shumpert, Tim Hardaway Jr.)...and they're looking to trade Shumpert by any means necessary.

How could such a veteran roster—a roster with former All-Stars, Olympic gold medalists and NBA champions—be suffering from such a void of leadership?

Perhaps the Knicks should track down Kurt Thomas and offer him an assistant coaching job. If anything, an old MSG fan favorite like Thomas would be a welcome sight at Knick games, where the New York faithful have witnessed nothing but pathetic basketball this season.

 

 

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