Carmelo Anthony, Knicks couldn't be further from NBA title

Carmelo and Phil hold meeting on Knicks' future (2:21)

ESPN Knicks reporter Ian Begley breaks down the options for the Knicks in free agency following Carmelo Anthony's conversation with Phil Jackson. (2:21)

OAKLAND, Calif. -- "At times, we didn't even compete out there."

These were Carmelo Anthony's words after the New York Knicks' 36-point loss to the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.

But, really, you can take the date and the opponent out of the equation. The phrase Anthony used above applies to dozens of nights over the past two years for the Knicks.

New York is a combined 101 games under .500 since the start of the 2014-15 season. The club is miles away from playoff contention and light years from occupying the same space as the world champs.

If you need evidence to support this, just look at what happened Wednesday night in Oakland.

Golden State shot 48.6 percent from beyond the arc, the backcourt of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combining to hit 13 of 22 attempts and score 53 points. The Knicks? They shot 36.8 percent from beyond the arc and their starting backcourt combined to score six points.

How bad was it for New York?

Anthony said he talked to his teammates in the second half to try to "light a fire" under them.

"They tried to pick it up," he said, "but by that time we were down 30."


To be fair, the Knicks aren't the first team to struggle at Oracle Arena.

Wednesday's win was the 50th straight home victory for Golden State. So it's probably misguided to look at the loss as some kind of measuring stick for New York.

"What they're doing right now, no one has seen before," Anthony said. "...We're witnessing history here."

Anthony, of course, would love to make history of his own in New York. He's said several times over the past three years that winning a title is his sole focus at this point in his career.

Given that desire, it's hard not to wonder what Anthony thinks about the Knicks' current situation -- and their future.

New York has no first-round draft pick this summer and will be coming off of its third straight season without a playoff appearance -- not exactly the ideal situation to recruit free agents.

Given this predicament, it appears the club will need at least two offseasons to turn itself into a competitor. And that's being optimistic.

What that kind of timeline means for Anthony's future is anyone's guess.

The veteran forward met recently with Phil Jackson to discuss some issues surrounding the franchise. He didn't want to talk about many details of the meeting when asked about it on Sunday night. But he made it clear he's eager to see what Jackson and the front office do in the offseason.

"It's in their court. The ball is in their court," Anthony said. "They have an opportunity, we have an opportunity to do something this offseason. We gotta do something. It's there."

This wasn't some bold proclamation from Anthony, and it wasn't a threat. It was a subtle reminder that the 31-year-old wants to play on a winning team.

Will he pursue that goal with another organization? Probably not.

Anthony has said several times he's committed to New York and has no plans to waive his no-trade clause. And he's had the opportunity to do so. Boston expressed interest in Anthony prior to the trade deadline but was told Anthony had no desire to leave the Knicks via trade to play for the Celtics, sources say.

So Anthony hasn't given any indication he plans to explore his options on the trade market this summer. He said as recently as three weeks ago that he has no plans to leave the Knicks.

But there are some in the organization who believe Anthony may change his stance -- and look into his options on the trade market -- if the Knicks fail to add talent in free agency, according to league sources with knowledge of the situation.

The guess here, though, is that Anthony remains with the Knicks when it's all said and done.

But nights like Wednesday's -- and seasons like the Knicks' current campaign -- certainly make you wonder.