Before Carmelo Anthony re-signed with the New York Knicks last month, the team who possessed possibly the greatest challenge to pry him away from New York was the Chicago Bulls; maybe even more so than the Los Angeles Lakers, who offered him a contract.
Yet it took Anthony getting a five-year, $124 million deal from the Knicks because in the end, that's where Anthony's heart was the most as opposed to playing with what some felt was a stronger team in the Bulls with Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah and Paul Gasol or the Lakers with Kobe Bryant, Julius Randle and Carlos Boozer.
On Tuesday, Anthony's former coach in college from Syracuse, Jim Boeheim, also agreed with those people who felt that Anthony would have been a better fit for the Bulls because of how good Chicago was talent-wise.
"Just from a basketball point of view it would have been better to go to Chicago because they've got better players. But he wanted to be in New York and he wants to see if they can turn it around there. I think that's a great thing."
But despite acknowledging the fact that the Bulls are miles ahead of the Knicks talent-wise, Boehiem also said that in the end, Anthony wanted to play for new Knicks team president and former Lakers head coach Phil Jackson and new Knicks head coach Derek Fisher.
"He stayed because he believes Phil," Boeheim said. "Derek Fisher, he knows the game. If you’re going to pick a coach who hasn’t coached, he would be the guy I would pick. I think he’s a great choice. I talked to Derek a little bit. I think he’s really smart. I think he’ll be a really good coach. I think they’ll show significant improvement this year. If they get a couple of guys down the road, I think they’ll be good. … The bottom line is that [Anthony] wanted to stay in New York and he feels that they'll be significantly better this year. A few moves, a different look, a more consistent approach. And then it comes down to can you attract a couple guys? Maybe not the guy — but a couple good players to get you back on the right road."
Only time will tell if Anthony ultimately made the right decision to stay with the Knicks as opposed to signing with the Bulls, who will look to challenge the Cleveland Cavaliers for the top spot in the Eastern Conference, especially with LeBron James returning to the team and the eventual trade that will land them Kevin Love in the next couple of days.
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Tags: Basketball, Chicago Bulls, Jim Boeheim, NBA, New York, New York Knicks, Phil Jackson