Knicks Rumors: Anthony "Forcing" Lin from New York Unfair Slight Against Star

Gary Davenport@@IDPSharksNFL AnalystJuly 28, 2012

MIAMI, FL - MAY 09:  Forward LeBron James #6 of the Miami Heat defends Forward Carmelo Anthony#7 of the New York Knicks in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals in the 2012 NBA Playoffs  on May 9, 2012 at the American Airines Arena in Miami, Florida. 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.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
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New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony has developed a reputation as a petulant superstar on one  of the NBA's most dysfunctional teams.

However, the latest rumor involving Anthony and the Knicks just doesn't make a whole lot of sense and it appears that, in this instance at least, Anthony may be getting dragged through the mud for no good reason.

According to a report by ESPN New York's Ian O' Connor earlier this week, sources suggested that one of the reasons that the New York Knicks declined to match the three-year offer sheet that led to point guard Jermy Lin's departure to the Houston Rockets was that Anthony didn't want Lin on the team next season.

"Melo didn't want Lin back, I do know that," said one source who has extensive dealings with the Knicks and their players. "Everybody in that locker room wanted Lin back except Melo and J.R. Smith."

This rumor may have gained some traction because Anthony called the offer sheet "ridiculous" earlier this month, but frankly, the idea that Anthony had anything to do with Lin's departure from New York isn't any less ridiculous.

Sure, Anthony may not have been Lin's biggest fan, but simply put, there were two reasons why the Knicks chose to watch the wildly popular guard walk out the door and neither of them had anything to do with Carmelo Anthony.

The first is the same reason that is the driving force behind 90 percent of the decisions made in the world today...money. The offer sheet that the Rockets inked Lin to includes a salary of nearly $15 million in its third season.

That would have created a substantial luxury tax penalty for New York, one that team owner James Dolan and New York were apparently unwilling to absorb.

The second reason why Lin is no longer in the Big Apple is easy. James Dolan is a petty, vindictive despot. As Frank Isola of The New York Daily News reported, Knicks officials, Dolan included, were outraged that Lin "betrayed" them, first by hiring a publicist without their consent and then by going back to the Houston Rockets for more money after agreeing verbally to a third-year salary of $9 million that the Knicks certainly would have matched.

So, of course, Dolan and the Knicks did the mature, sensible thing and threw a temper tantrum, which as O' Connor points out in his ESPN piece, has become par for the course at Madison Square Garden.

"With [Dolan] it almost always gets personal, said one executive who also has had extensive dealings with the Knicks and Dolan. And that's how a lot of his decisions are made. You either kiss his ring or you don't, and if you don't you become persona non grata, and that's what happened to Jeremy Lin."

Anthony, for his part, has of course denied that he had any input whatsoever in the departure of Lin. The nine-year veteran, in London for the Olympic Games, called himself a "true supporter" of Lin in an interview with The New York Post and said he wishes Lin nothing but the best in his new home.

I’m proud of him, happy for him. Just to see where he came from, see where he started and ending up back in Houston the team that let him go and put us in a position to let us acquire him. He’s back out there in a totally different situation and settlement. I wish him all the luck.

Carmelo Anthony is a supremely talented basketball player, and he's also supremely talented at being a pain in the butt (just ask George Karl and the Denver Nuggets).

However, this one isn't on Anthony, and if Knicks fans want someone to blame for Jeremy Lin no longer being in New York, they need look no farther than the big office at The Garden.


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