Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal had some strong words for New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony on Monday.
Carmelo hasn’t come out and said that he wants to bolt New York like he did the Denver Nuggets, but can become a free agent this summer if he opts out of his current contract.
As with many athletes, he has made no commitment to staying with his current team and created an uncertainty that might dissuade other players from coming to play for the Knicks.
“He owns the city, he should be trying to get guys to come here and not like ‘I’ll stay here a couple of years — I forced my way here, No. 1, I got here, now I want to leave.’ That’s just not cool at all to be honest with you,” Barkley said, according to a report from the Associated Press.
Kenny Smith elaborated on his thoughts about the ‘Melo situation.
“What happened to the law of attraction?” Smith said. “Like, you’re good enough where you can attract guys that want to play with you. And that’s what’s missing, I think from the Knicks, and I think what’s missing from Carmelo, is just the law of attraction. Like, there aren’t a lot of guys saying they want to come to New York and play here with this guy.”
And perhaps the strongest words of all, depending on how you look at it I suppose, came from Shaq.
“Carmelo, to me, needs to stop being satisfied with being mentioned after LeBron,” O’Neal said.
Carmelo won the NBA scoring title last season after averaging 28.7 points per contest, his first such title and his highest average since the 2006-07 season when he averaged 28.9. He is due to make over $22 million this season.