The Basketball Gods Have Not Been Kind To Melo, But It's His Own Fault

by Jason Francis

The summer of 2014 in NBA free agency was viewed as a grand homecoming with the two of its brightest stars elected to be true to hometown heroes instead of checking out greener pastures.

First, LeBron James shocked the sports world by leaving the dominant Miami Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavs, whose fans literally burned his jersey when he left half a decade ago.

That was followed with the more drawn-out decision of Carmelo Anthony. In his first real free agency experience, Melo toured the nation with recruitment stops in a number of major markets. Each stop resulted in a new headline proclaiming Carmelo was done with New York.

In the end, Anthony decided to stay as the centerpiece of the Knicks and finish what he started. It was a respectable move, even if the NYK had the most money to offer. Regardless, he knew the road to success would be a tough one.

With that said, I doubt Carmelo expected to be in the position he is now, as the collective eyes of the NBA turn toward NYC for this year's All-Star weekend.

Let's hope Melo has developed some tough skin because you have to figure he's going to be the butt of a lot of jokes from his fellow sports stars.

The New York Knicks currently sit with a record of 10-42, firmly placed in the basement of the league.

In President Phil Jackson's first season, Melo is watching every team that courted him move in the opposite direction he is. All the veterans who were supposed to aid him, like Bargnani, Calderon and Stoudemire, have dealt with injuries keeping them off the court for extended periods of time.

Melo himself has been playing on a left knee that everyone knows will need surgery at some point. Just last night, he left a game against Miami after aggravating the same knee.

This left the Knicks to again fend for themselves with a rag-tag roster of D-league call-ups and undrafted hopefuls.

You can only wonder what is going through Anthony's mind as this weekend's All-Star celebration approaches.

As he sits in the locker room getting his knee taped up, the face of one of the biggest sports franchises not only has to deal with the total deconstruction of the team he started with, but also those who have moved on are seeing success in new surroundings.

One-time Defensive Player of the Year Tyson Chandler was sent back to Dallas and has returned to form with the Mavs.

A few weeks ago, younger defender Iman Shumpert and former Sixth Man of the Year JR Smith were sent to Cleveland where they now support LeBron James and the surging Cavs.

But, the basketball gods just have not been as kind to Carmelo Anthony.

Just when you think things can't get any worse, you turn on the TV and see the leading sports headline of the day is your boss, the owner of the Knicks via Cablevison, James Dolan, spewing venomous insults in response to an angry letter from a disappointed fan.

With everything happening regarding the on-court performance of the Knicks, Melo now gets to weigh in on the erratic, cringe-worthy antics of this oddball owner.

Once again, you can imagine the jokes waiting for Melo this weekend as LeBron, Kevin Durant and the crew arrive into his city.

With 30 games left, it seems Melo is destined to need work on his knee and hang it up for the reminder of the season. That will present him with front row seats for the ongoing nightmare that the 2014-2015 season has been.

Will all this suffering be worth it in the upcoming off-season where the New York Knicks will have cap space, financial flexibility and draft picks to truly rebuild with?

New York's legion of fans can only hope so. In the meantime, you can only guess and wonder if Carmelo Anthony is mentally tough enough to endure what he has signed up for.