The New York Knicks finally have Carmelo Anthony, a player they have been pining for since his wedding in June. So, why exactly are fans unsure of the whole arrangement? Why are Knicks fans not embracing 'Melo in all of his 'Melo-y goodness? As the wonderful Seth Rosenthal of Posting And Toasting outlines, it's because the trade negotiatons and final result harken back to the days of He Who Must Not Be Named, Isiah Thomas.
In a thoughtful post on a personal reaction to the trade, Rosenthal explains why a certain section of the Knicks' rabid fan base preferred the team's existent blueprint -- build smart -- over Isiah's old way of acquire-acquire-acquire-sell-sell-sell.
We just wanted something to hold onto. After a few years to trim the fat and swap out parts (some of which were difficult, but necessary, to part with), Donnie Walsh gave us just that. A team with Amar'e as the head and Raymond Felton, Wilson Chandler, and Danilo Gallinari as the menacing octopus arms wasn't going to win the championship this season, but that was almost beside the point. It was OURS and it felt like the start of something. The Knicks, ever the moving target, were finally a fully-formed mass of likable, talented characters who we could dress up and groom and pose in different positions without worrying that they would be snatched away.
And then they were. This most recent move- swapping two homegrown talents, one promising rookie, and one free agent acquisition who fit right in for a big-name star- reeks of meddling by James Dolan and, yeah, Isiah Thomas. If you take this as a sign that those two are ready to overthrow Walsh, then I don't know what to tell you. I choose to suppress that conspiracy theory because I like sleeping at night, but I can't really dismiss it.
The backlash in New York has little if nothing to do with Carmelo himself. It's all about what this specific trade for Carmelo means for the fate of the franchise.