Carmelo Anthony, who has been somewhat of a recluse (aside from the occasional Twitter workout video) since the end of the season, made his first public appearance and comments since the end of the season on Wednesday, accepting a Medal of Honor from Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh.
Melo made a strong push to host The Basketball Tournament (a nationally-televised 64-team tournament with a $2 million prize pool) in his hometown of Baltimore in an effort to give the city some positive exposure and revenue.
In an ideal world, Melo would have preferred to just focus on the Baltimore aspect of the day:
Carmelo Anthony says he's 'at peace' and he 'doesn't know' about the chances of remaining a Knick. Says he's not talking about basketball.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 2, 2017
But of course, even despite his insistence on not talking about basketball, Melo coming out into public meant that our relentless media pals would be there to ask dumb basketball questions. They did not disappoint! From Marc Berman:
Anthony, hosting “The Basketball Tournament” in his hometown Baltimore, revealed he and Perry have already talked. Perry was with Detroit when the Pistons chose Darko Milicic over him with the second pick of the 2003 draft.
“I’ve talked to him,’’ Anthony said. “We’ve communicated. I’ve known Scott for maybe 10 years. I’ve known him for a while back to his Detroit days, the draft, 2003, all that. I’ve reminded him of that [bypassing him].’’
Anthony and [Phil] Jackson feuded, with the Zen Master trying to run Anthony out of town before he was ousted himself in late June.
“I thought it was a business decision,’’ Anthony said. “[James] Dolan’s got to run his organization.”
It’s good to know that Scott Perry and Melo seem to be on good terms, on the off chance that no deal is done by training camp and he starts the season in orange and blue.
Oh, and what of Melo’s alleged desire to go to the Rockets, and only the Rockets?
Carmelo Anthony asked about the Rockets: "You know I can't comment on that," he says with a smile.— Ian Begley (@IanBegley) August 2, 2017
Yeah, that sounds about right.
All of the basketball aside, this was just another of many instances of Humanitarian Offseason Melo shining through in his time with the Knicks. Whatever anyone may think of his performance on the court, he’s certainly done a great deal of good off of it in his time in New York. Here’s Melo after accepting the Medal of Honor:
Carmelo with some inspiring words after receiving the Mayor's medallion in Baltimore pic.twitter.com/tfu26vixC8— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) August 2, 2017
Not gonna lie, with that beard and hair, you could almost mistake Melo for a late-Knicks-tenure Amar’e Stoudemire.
So, good on Melo for helping his community! I hope TBT manages to help out Baltimore in a meaningful way.