Carmelo Anthony: Free Agents' Perception of Knicks Hindered Attempted Signings

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistNovember 1, 2018

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2017, file photo, New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony looks on during a break in an NBA basketball game against the Philadelphia 76ers in Philadelphia. Phil Jackson has made his relationship with Anthony worse and hasn’t made the Knicks better. Heading into the trade deadline and nearly three years since he was hired, there are questions if the guy who could do little wrong as a record-setting coach will ever get it right as an executive.  (AP Photo/Matt Slocum, File)
Matt Slocum/Associated Press

The New York Knicks won one playoff series during Carmelo Anthony's seven seasons with the team, but he pointed to the perception of the franchise beyond the on-court developments when asked why the team was unable to attract other top-notch free agents.

"I think just the business," he said, per Ian Begley of ESPN.com. "Everything that was going on. The perception of New York Knicks ... not basketball but the organization.

"I think it probably scared a lot of people away. Scared some people away. Not knowing the nuances and the ins and outs of kind of what was going on, who is in charge, who is not. So it was more than just basketball when it came to people making those decisions," he continued.

Begley noted there was plenty of front-office upheaval during Anthony's tenure with four different team presidents/general managers and four different full-time head coaches. He also identified the "publicly deteriorated" relationship between Anthony and team president Phil Jackson as one reason the team gave off negative vibes around the league.

New York traded Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to the 2017-18 season, where he scored a career-worst 16.2 points per game behind a career-worst 40.4 percent shooting from the field.

The Thunder, led by Russell Westbrook and Paul George, proceeded to lose in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz and then traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks, who bought out his contract. The Syracuse product signed with the Houston Rockets, but they are an ugly 1-5 and he is averaging just 13.2 points per game while shooting 37.3 percent.

It is a drastic departure from last season's 65-17 Rockets that reached Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals, although they have plenty of time to turn things around. 

As for the Knicks, they are looking for more long-term stability with first-year head coach David Fizdale even in what figures to be a rebuilding campaign while Kristaps Porzingis is sidelined with a torn ACL.

There are building blocks in place with Porzingis and Kevin Knox, and Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports appeared on FS1's Undisputed at the beginning of October and said the team is among the contenders to land Kevin Durant during this coming offseason.