Via Howard Beck
New York is still New York. But there is another city that can offer heady doses of fame, fortune and brand promotion, and it happens to be home to the N.B.A.’s most glamorous franchise. The Los Angeles Lakers will have millions in salary-cap room next summer, and a powerful recruiter in Kobe Bryant, one of Anthony’s closest friends. Per N.B.A. rules, the Lakers could offer Anthony only $96 million over four years. But they can offer something the Knicks cannot: a tradition of success, a knack for acquiring and building around superstars, and a habit of staging parades in June.
Maybe Anthony isn’t going anywhere, as he asserted last week. But verbal commitments and loyalty are malleable concepts in professional sports. Nothing means anything until the contract is signed.
I understand Howard’s point of view, but I cannot disagree more. Yes, NBA players are fickle and love to be courted, but most players will go where the money is. The Knicks are where the money is going to be, so expect Melo to stay in NYC without question.
Furthermore, having Kobe Bryant as a recruiting tool makes no sense at all. He is coming off a season ending injury, his career is on the decline, and by the time Melo gets to LA Kobe will be very close to retirement.
If you told me that Melo would go to the Lakers because of their vast salary cap space, I would agree, however, NY will also have that same cap space. So those two points cancel each other out.
Since both teams will have tons of cap space, the decision really comes down to money. Since Melo can re-sign in NY for more years and MONEY, the idea that Melo will bolt NY for some California Dreamin’ is just that….a dream. Melo is not going anywhere.