Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony is doing everything in his power to improve the lives of his fellow Americans, whether it be the poor children of his native Baltimore, or the underpaid players in the D-League.
The always forward-thinking Melo is using his position on the board of the NBA Players’ Association to propose some major changes he believes will lead to a true league farm system, with more opportunities to shuttle prospects between the big clubs to the minors, as well as better pay for D-Leaguers. Per Ramona Shelburne:
Anthony said a major issue he has been emphasizing in collective bargaining talks is increasing the number of "two-way contracts" that allow players to play for both D-League and NBA teams, thereby creating 44-60 more jobs. He said he also has been addressing increasing pay for D-League players to make it as lucrative to play domestically as abroad, and language that will encourage all 30 NBA teams to have a D-League affiliate.
This is a big deal. Rarely do you see unions filled with veteran players advocate on behalf of youngsters. Of course, Melo has made enough money already that he can afford to pay it forward.
In this case, Melo is leaning on his experience as owner of the soccer club Puerto Rico FC.
"I'm a big advocate of developing our own players. If you look at soccer, for example, a lot of those clubs have top-notch academies. By me being in soccer now, I've started to understand the dynamics of developing your own players. We've got to keep our players here. We don't want them to have to go overseas."
Better league infrastructure. More job creation. Let’s get this cat into the White House already. Melo 2020.