New York Knicks

No Country for Melo Tony

Carmelo Anthony

New York, NY, USA; New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony (7) during the fourth quarter against the Memphis Grizzlies at Madison Square Garden. Memphis Grizzlies won 95-87. Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

So the Clippers and the Knicks are apparently talking a Blake-for-Melo swap. I’m not sure how to react. Seriously??? The ex-LA resident Clipper fan in me wants to cry. There is no Knick fan in me – despite going to school in New York City – but if there was, oh, my. Send Melo Tony away! Send him away for a pick. Send him away for no picks. Send him away for a piece of pizza. Just get him out.

Five years ago, there used to be a few sure things in the NBA. The Clippers being the laughing stock of basketball was one of them. They were “cursed!” Never mind that being cursed just meant drafting the wrong players, signing the wrong players, and just making poor decisions in general. Honestly, the Clippers weren’t cursed. They were lucky. There were no Greg Odens. No city of Cleveland stuff. Elton Brand ruptured his Achilles’ and ran away to Philadelphia. Count your blessings, LA.

Blake Griffin saved the Clippers. Without him, they’d probably still be firing coaches, paying nobody any money, and squandering draft picks. Nowadays, Clipper Nation is alive and well. Sometimes, people might even mention the Clips as championship contenders before cooler heads prevail. Regardless, they compete nightly and aren’t a total drag like the Lakers. None of that is remotely possible without Blake Griffin — the guy who turned the pretenders into the contenders. Without him, Chris Paul doesn’t even consider going there. There is no Doc Rivers. You think Captain Jack stops by? Not a chance!

To make matters worse, it’s not like they’re considering a trade for Paul George. Carmelo Anthony currently heads a team with a 10-22 record in the worst conference ever. You don’t trade your curse-breaker for a shot-taker. You’re a smart guy Carmelo, I’ll give you that. You’ll get out of this somehow, you always do. But I’m not worried about you. I’m worried about the Clippers.

Why would Los Angeles even consider that trade? I understand ESPN is, from time to time, very gossipy. So this all might be a whole bunch of gossip. But if you’re the Clippers, the existence of this rumor means – at the very least – you thought of the trade. How else would ESPN get wind of it? They’re next level, ESPN. They grab the rumors where they start: the frontal lobe of the human brain. The fact that someone in the Clippers organization actually formed a thought that involved trading Blake Griffin for Carmelo Anthony is pure, crazy madness.

I would have said the Clippers were a changed franchise a week ago. I would have gone out on that limb. But maybe that change was about as real as an ex demanding a second chance because they spent a year “traveling.” True colors are true colors, sometimes. You can’t go to a bunch of temples in Chiang Mai, party with Australians and suddenly claim you’re a better person. Change starts inside.

Melo Tony hasn’t changed his whole career. But you know what? That’s fine. He knows who he is. And he seems to be okay with that. More power to him. But if the Clippers make this trade – and that’s still an if, thankfully – all they’re doing is confessing that they were pretenders these past four years. That’s lame.

If I was a Clippers fan, this rumor would terrify me. It’s like Llewelyn Moss going back to that No-Country-shootout to give the dying guy some water. Why!? You could have walked away with the king’s ransom! Instead, you’re trading it for the king ransomer. Blake Griffin isn’t a perfect player (or a defensive ace) either but he’s shown a willingness to improve. He’s also five years younger than Melo Tony. That right there, is enough for me.

So go ahead Clippers. Do what you need to do. I just hope that Doc Rivers speaks for the entire organization when he says all this is “stupid.” Because honestly, it kinda is. Clipper Country should be No Country for Melo Tony.