Oscar Robertson: Carmelo Anthony should leave Knicks for Rockets
Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson won his only NBA title in his first season with the Bucks after 10 with the Cincinnati Royals, and the 75-year-old thinks the same could happen to Carmelo Anthony if he leaves the Knicks for the Rockets this offseason.
"If he goes to Houston, they're gonna win everything," Robertson said to host and Knicks fan Spike Lee on SiriusXM NBA radio on Thursday, according to ESPNNewYork.com. "You look at LeBron [James], LeBron's got a great game and the kid down at Oklahoma, [Kevin] Durant's got a great game -- they can't out-shoot Carmelo. ... I've seen him in a lot of basketball games over the years and I'm telling you right now the kid, he just can get that shot away. Now he's gotten smarter, he's going to the basket a lot. But what gets me is that everyone thinks that everything that happens bad is his fault."
Anthony finished second in the NBA with 27.4 points per game and he averaged a career-high 8.1 rebounds this season.
"I would leave today [if I were Carmelo]," Roberston added. "... Let me tell you why: wherever that kid has gone, when he was at Denver, they had a team that fooled around with the ball, fooled around with the ball, then all of the 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 cannot play. You got guys that are hurt all the time."
Anthony can opt out of the final year of his deal this summer, and he has previously expressed his intention to do so. However, he also said he'd take a pay cut to remain with the Knicks and give them flexibility to sign other players.
But Anthony doesn't want to endure another losing season, as this past season was the first time in his 11-year career his team didn't make the playoffs.
Robertson said hiring Phil Jackson as team president shouldn't sway Anthony's decision.
"Let me ask you: When was the last time Phil Jackson played?" the 12-time All-Star and 1964 MVP said. "... 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 this team making $12, $15, $16 million and doing nothing, and here I am averaging 28, 29 points per game.'"
Anthony can sign a max contract with the Knicks worth $129 million over five years. If he signs with another team, the maximum he can earn is $95.8 million over four years. SI WIRE: Pacers GM Kevin Pritchard: Coach Frank Vogel's job is safe