Carmelo Anthony’s year in New York falls short of hopes

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Carmelo Anthony may have held much of the attention for a while, but the skyrocketing popularity of Jeremy Lin may have put a permanent stop to it.

When Anthony was announced, Madison Square Garden literally shook, with fans lining up to buy jerseys and chanting his name all the way. They were all obviously thrilled to have the New York native back in their city. However, the excited homecoming did not seem to last.

Over the year following the celebrated trade of Anthony from Denver, the Knicks are a sub .-500 team. On Tuesday, the New York Post reported that the Knicks should try trading him with Pau Gasol of the Lakers.

While Anthony is still popular, he does not seem to be as loved anymore. Although fans continue to appreciate his talent, they seem to be questioning whether these talents will translate into victories. Tweets in Twitter even expressed fear of his possibly messing things up when he came back from injury and wound up playing with Lin.

Although Anthony tried to shrug off these comments, it seems that on the inside, he actually envies the popularity that Lin enjoys, especially considering how he used to be an underdog that rose to sudden success.

Last week, Anthony was quoted as saying that he could not see why fans would not like him. He said that he did care whether the fans liked him, but that this was not his main priority: he was here to do only one thing, which was to win games in basketball. “If they don’t like it, then they don’t like it,” he said. “I move on.”

Unfortunately, Anthony has not been winning enough games lately.

After getting Anthony on February 22, 2011, the Knicks were 14-14, following a 28-26 record prior to his arrival. This season, the Knicks are at 16-17, although 6-4 had been without Anthony.

Lin continues to be the favorite, having led the Knicks to a record of 8-2 ever since his first meaningful minutes in a win over the Nets on the February 4 game. Two nights later, Anthony suffered an injury, a strain on his right groin, causing him to miss the next seven games, as the offense came out from a funk throughout the season.

Interestingly, with Anthony out, the team has continued to look better, causing fans to wonder if Anthony, who was actually the lead scorer of the Knicks, was actually the reason for the problem.

On February 12, a fan Tweeted his wondering if Anthony knew or even cared how “terrified” Knicks fans were about his impending return.

Anthony was indeed aware, and Monday’s loss of 100-92 to New Jersey may have confirmed their fears. Rusty from injury, Anthony shot a measly 4 for 11 from the field, resulting in 11 points. Later on, he said he struggled to play the way the Knicks did over the past two weeks, confirming his confidence in Lin’s capability of running the team.

“I want Jeremy to have the ball,” Anthony said. He admitted that although there were times when he would have the ball, but that for the most part, he wanted Lin to have the ball.

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