The New York Knicks lost out on the LeBron James Sweepstakes by his own ‘Decision’ to take his talents down to South Beach. But it almost seems that somewhere out West, high in the Colorado Rockies area, a 6-foot-8 scoring machine that happened to be born in New York but raised in Baltimore was hoping with his fingers crossed for his turn. Carmelo Anthony didn’t wish to wait for free agency to force his way to his desired team. Without being belligerent and unbearable to be around Melo, as he’s affectionately called, just wanted to come home. Former Knick legend Bernard King was his childhood idol.
What’s interesting about this is LeBron left home for what he thought of as greener and sunnier pastures while Melo wanted to return home to help his hometown team back to a realm of decency. Both men are mega-stars by NBA and the sporting world’s standards and they would both make ESPN’s Top 10 list on a regular basis because of something spectacular done on the court. With that being the case, the chances of economic success increase immensely. In memorabilia and jersey sales alone, big named department stores as well as mom and pop sporting shops are racking up.
Had LeBron come to New York last summer along with Amare Stoudemire, his star would have been as bright as the lights on Broadway. But now with Melo in the fold, and if the Knicks would happen to win an NBA title, he would ascend to Joe Namath- and Walt “Clyde” Frazier-status in New York’s icon-ville.
The Melo Effect will be felt in economics as television ratings for MSG have soared through the roof. In fact, Carmelo’s first game as a Knick against the Milwaukee Bucks did a 6.75 share and was only bested by the return of Michael Jordan as a Bull in the infamous ‘double-nickel’ game. That means commercial advertising dollars will take a hike.
As Stoudemire, for all his exploits this season early on, made the Knicks respectable, Carmelo on many other levels makes the Knicks relevant. If sports fans tuned in to either ESPN or TNT, they would notice that the Denver Nuggets are scheduled at least once a week. That schedule was made out long before the opening tip of Game One of the season, well before the trade.
The league and television networks are star-driven and Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA’s biggest and brightest. Welcome to New York.
Follow Jerald on Twitter @JerryHoover65