New York Knicks star forward Carmelo Anthony will win an NBA title if he joins the Houston Rockets, notes Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson in an interview with Spike Lee on SiriusXM NBA Radio.
This is precisely what Robertson told Spike Lee on his SiriusXM NBA Radio program, per SiriusXM.com's Bobby Bonett in his April 24 update:
"Oscar Robertson went and broke Spike Lee's heart.
"In an interview with Spike for his SiriusXM NBA Radio program, 'Spike Lee's Best Seat in the House,' Robertson told the New York Knicks superfan that Carmelo Anthony, who is set to test the free-agent market, should say goodbye and good riddance to the Big Apple."
Robertson told Lee the difference lies in the fact Anthony is surrounded by players on the Knicks roster who are just plain average.
"Wherever that kid's gone, when he was at Denver, they had a team that fooled around with the ball, fooled around with the ball, then all of a sudden when they needed a basket, threw it to Carmelo.
"Then, when he shot the ball, they said he shot too much. Then, when he didn't shoot, they said he didn't shoot enough. No matter what he does in New York, they're going to criticize him, the people are going to criticize him, because you got guys on (the Knicks) that just cannot play."
When Lee said things in New York are bound to change for the better with the arrival of new team president Phil Jackson, Robertson had a quick retort, per Bonett.
"Let me ask you: When was the last time Phil Jackson played?
"I think Phil is great to have gotten $12 million out of (Knicks owner Jim Dolan). Super job. Take the money and run.
"If I were Carmelo, I would say,'Listen, I'm not gonna stay here and take all this gruff and all this criticism. You got other guys on the team making $12, $15, $16 million and doing nothing, and here I am averaging 28, 29 points per game.
"If he goes to Houston, they're gonna win everything. You look at LeBron, LeBron's got a great game, Durant's got a great game -- they can't out-shoot Carmelo.
"I'm telling you right now, the kid, he can just get that shot away. He's gotten smarter, he's going to the basket a lot.
"What gets me is that everyone thinks that everything that happens bad is (Anthony's) fault."
Anthony made it clear his top priority is to remain with the Knicks but has asked Jackson to take the necessary steps in improving the roster before he signs a new contract, according to ESPN New York's Ian Begley. '
Anthony also said two months ago he's willing to take a cut in pay to stay in New York. Jackson told Begley on April 23 he hopes his star forward would make good on his promise.
"I think (there is) a precedent that's been set. Because the way things have been structured now financially for teams is that it's really hard to have one or two top stars or max players, and to put together a team with enough talent, you've got to have people making sacrifices financially.
"So we hope that Carmelo is true to his word and we understand what it's going to take, and we will present that to him at that time."
Should this be the case, Begley argues "If Anthony took less money to re-sign with the Knicks this summer, it wouldn't help the team's salary-cap situation for 2014-15."
The ESPN New York report states this is due to other mega-deals for other Knicks players next season.
"Unless Anthony takes a significant pay cut, the team is expected to be over the salary cap thanks in part to commitments next season to Amar'e Stoudemire ($23.4 million), Tyson Chandler ($14.6 million) and Andrea Bargnani ($11.5 million).
"Anthony can sign a max contract worth $129 million over five years. If he signs with another team, the maximum he can earn is $95.8 million over four years."
The 29-year-old Anthony just concluded his 11th NBA season where he averaged 27.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists, per ESPN stats.