This blog is all about me. It always has been, and it always will be (until I get picked up by a website and they start paying me to do this). So...it always will be.
Which is why when an NBA super-star gets traded I can find a way for it to positively affect me.
That said, here are five reasons why Carmelo Anthony being traded to the NY Knicks is the best thing for me, and my NBA enjoyment.
1. Everything is better when NY is the villain - New York might be the only city that can sway the success of an entire professional sports league.
The NFL got about 16 times more interesting when Rex Ryan came to the Jets and began hiring the leagues more, um, 'frowned-upon' players while making claims of winning Super Bowls, beating the Patriots, and smelling women's feet.
The only time I can remember actively watching MLB was during 2004 when the Red Sox and Yankees faced off in the ALCS. That was 7 years ago! I haven't watched baseball since.
Sources say I'm not missing anything.
The New York Red Bulls (that's the MLS team for those of you who don't know...so, all of you) have been a middle of the pack team for years, and Major League Soccer hasn't been doing so hot in America. So...you know. You can see a clear correlation there.
The New York Rangers have been...OK, I think I made my point. Go look it up for yourself if you need more convincing.
Now, after the Knicks have been beyond irrelevant for the last 10 years, I actually began to pity them. It's like watching an Al Pacino film from this decade. He used to be the biggest star and one of the most imposing acting forces on Earth, and then you watch The Recruit, 88 Minutes, and Righteous Kill and you just start feeling bad for him. Maybe its time he pulls a Sean Connery and start doing voice-overs for video games. Let us remember his great films nostalgically and not force us to watch his decrepit body crumble before our eyes on screen.
The Knicks were irrelevant and the Eastern Conference was boring. You had the Celtics (which are a fun team to watch and you can easily form an opinion for or against them) and the Magic (who you want to like but never really take seriously). Before that it was the Cavaliers (with LeBron) or the Pistons (snooze). I don't know about you, but when I think Orlando, Cleveland and Detroit I don't exactly think NBA powerhouses. It's been the Lakers and Spurs show for the past 10 years. Yawn.
Now the Knicks are relevant. Carmelo, Amare, Chauncey Billups and company. Al Pacino starred in "You Don't Know Jack" which is up for nomination. And I can rest easy and be comfortable again. I can hate the NY Knicks. After rooting for them to get Carmelo for the past 7 months, I can immediately flip the switch and begin to loathe their entire being.
Life is good.
2. The Power has Shifted to the Eastern Conference - Don't worry. Don't skip ahead. I'm not actually going to break down the power shift in the NBA. I just want to use this paragraph to rant about Kobe Bryant. (But let it be known that the Eastern Conference is in a trading frenzy right now moving pieces and trying to one-up each other with the bigger acquisition - Deron Williams traded to the Nets, Wizards making moves, Hawks making moves, etc.)
OK, so Kobe. Just when I was beginning to respect the guy as a player and a professional and he goes and does what he did in the All-Star game. I've never seen someone so concerned with winning the MVP of the All-Star game. He was doing everything he could on the court (including shooting 26 times in 29 minutes) to ensure he would get the most meaningless honor given in the NBA. He's like the kid in class who doesn't have any friends and gets picked on a lot so he focuses all his attention on studying and becoming really smart. He wins every spelling bee and gets high marks on all his tests like he's going to prove himself to the rest of the class. Look, we get it, you're smart. High-fives for everyone. Now lets head to the bathroom for your Thursday afternoon swirly.
Maybe he wasn't hugged enough as a child or maybe his dad, Joe "Jellybean" Bryant, drove him too hard. Or maybe it was growing up with a dad nicknamed "Jellybean". Who knows. But when you try that hard in an exhibition game to prove yourself, you deserve to have your knee caps removed and used for batting practice with Jose Cancseco.
It's like Kobe has a list of Michael Jordan's accomplishments on his bedroom wall. And if he can just check off every box that MJ did, then Kobe can be called at least as good as MJ was. (Jordan had three All-Star MVP awards, Kobe now has four). I'm sure he raced home, got out his big red Sharpie and added a check mark to his list.
What a loser.
3. The NBA is Exploding Right Now - It started with the Boston Celtics back in 2007 when they acquired Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen, assembling the first Big Three (of this generation) since Manu, Tony Parker and Tim Duncan down in San Antonio. In 2008 Pau Gasol (one of the league's premier centers) gets traded to the Lakers for a chicken sandwich, two handshakes and a side-hug. Then LeBron and Chris Bosh go to the Heat to join forces with Dwayne Wade. Struggling teams all over are clearing cap space to sign big name free agents. Amare goes to NY, Carmelo gets traded there. Deron Williams goes to New Jersey while teams are clearing cap space for Chris Paul's free agency coming up.
The NBA is a fantasy league right now (credit @JoeFuller4 for that).
And you know me....I LOVE FANTASY SPORTS!!!
4. Playoff basketball is going to be so good this year - I won't belabor this point either. The Eastern Conference will shake down something like this:
1. Boston (4 All-Stars)
2. Miami (3 All-Stars)
3. Chicago (1 All-Star)
4. Orlando (1 All-Star)
5. Atlanta (2 All- Star)
6. New York (1 Eastern Conference All-Star, 1 Western Conference All-Star)
The entire Eastern Conference All-Star team came from 6 out of the 16 teams. Those 6 teams are the top 6 ranked teams in the Conference. You think any of these teams look forward to playing each other in the playoffs? Get your popcorn ready...I just used a T.O. joke from 2005 and deserve to have my keyboard taken away.
5. The Washington Wizards - Carmelo going to the Knicks and the subsequent trading frenzy that has followed has finally allowed me to let go. I no longer need to pretend that the Wizards can be anything other than completely irrelevant in the NBA until at least 2026. I'm giving it 15 years. Why? Unless Washington suddenly becomes the hot place to play, we're not going to get any big name free agents for a while. We have no pieces to trade, we have the ugliest uniforms and a name from a game of Dungeons & Dragons. No one is coming here.
So we have to wait out the primes of LeBron, Wade, Amare, Carmelo, Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Joe Johnson, Rajon Rondo, and others. By that time the Wizards may have accumulated enough Lottery picks to have done something worthwhile.
Either way, John Wall's prime will be past and his talent will have been squandered. Sure, he'll break the assist record and set a consecutive double-double streak for every game in the entire season. But the Wizards will win 20-30 games and never make it out of the East.
So, here's to the 2030's! That's the decade I'm calling for Washington sports. We'll be relevant then. And it's only 19 years away!
I'm going to go hit myself in the head with a shovel...hopefully that makes the next 20 years go by faster.