If we've learned one thing about Carmelo Anthony these past few years, it's that he chooses bizarre moments to make big, sweeping statements.
To wit: the formerly guard-heavy New York Knicks spent the past summer acquiring a stable of young centers and power forwards. This would seemingly indicate a plan to keep Melo at small forward, a position he has yearned to play his entire career.
Or maybe not:
Melo: "I'm pretty sure I'll be at the 4 this season." Says the makeup of the team makes him feel that way. Interesting.— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 28, 2015
This statement is quite simply the essence Melo. He's not necessarily wrong -- and Phil Jackson made a similar proclamation last week -- but this is some odd timing.
Who would get the bulk of the minutes at small forward? Derek Fisher could pair Melo with the likes of Lance Thomas and Derrick Williams, or he could play Langston Galloway big minutes at off-guard and slide Arron Afflalo to the 3. Those are some pretty good ideas -- well, maybe not the Derrick Williams one -- but how then would they find minutes for the likes of Kyle O'Quinn, Kevin Seraphin and Kristaps Porzingis?
Speaking of Krispy, he was the subject of the most inexplicable Melo comment of the day:
Melo, on what he thought of Porzingis at No. 4: "We got him. What I think abt him is kind of irrelevant." Says he supported the pick, though— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 28, 2015
Dude. Duuuuuuuuude. Actions speak louder than words, of course, and Melo has been a tremendous mentor for Porzingis this summer, bringing him and other young teammate down for a brief training camp in Puerto Rico, working out with him in New York, and teaching him the tricks of the trade:
Porzingis said he and Melo played 1-on-1 games against each other for a week straight. I hope they took at least one break, lol— Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 28, 2015
Carmelo on Porzingis: "I kind of feel bad for him because there's so much pressure on him." Says he wants to take a big brother role w/him.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) September 28, 2015
Carmelo Anthony on his role with Porzingis: "I'm there to be that sounding board and (talk to him) about what's to come."— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) September 28, 2015
That's great stuff, truly. Melo is doing the right thing, as he usually does. But he never fails in producing that one icky sound byte that the media can turn around and use against him. He just can't help himself.
Where does this leave us? It seems clear that Melo is looking forward to working with Porzingis. But he also thinks he should play power forward, the same position Porzingis is most likely to play. Those two statements seem contradictory, but trust me: they aren't. This is just Melo being Melo, saying Melo things. I'm actually quite optimistic that this will work out.