Some see Anthony as a gifted scorer who hasn’t been surrounded by enough talent to win in New York. Others see him as a player who shoots too often, doesn’t defend often enough and can’t lead a team to an NBA title.
Because he’s the face of one of the most talked about teams in the city, everyone seems to have an opinion on Anthony. And most aren’t afraid to voice it.
The majority of these opinions are based on Anthony’s play, what he says in interviews, or how the media portrays his actions and statements.
But there’s one New Yorker who has a unique perspective on the Knicks superstar -- one based on more than secondhand accounts.
In 2014, Stuart Goldfarb -- former president and CEO of a billion-dollar corporation and member of the WWE Board of Directors -- and Anthony co-founded Melo7 Tech Partners, a venture capital firm focused on early-stage technology companies. In 2015, Anthony and Goldfarb started another company, producing television programming for Vice Media.
Goldfarb works with Anthony on a daily basis discussing strategy, potential investments, new technologies and ideas for new television projects. Their company has invested in several sports-related businesses, including online ticket marketplace Seat Geek, analytics-based Vantage Sports and daily fantasy juggernaut DraftKings.
But Goldfarb and Anthony’s relationship extends beyond business. The men are also close friends.
They met through Anthony's wife, LaLa, who trained at the same boxing gym as Goldfarb. They quickly developed a strong connection and eventually the two families were vacationing together, proof that you can mix friends with business.
ESPN.com sat down with Goldfarb to talk about Melo7 Tech Partners and his relationship with Anthony.
Q: How do you and Anthony find companies to invest in?
A: We have very active relationships with a wide network of top venture capital firms. We also have very good relationships with a lot of founders and entrepreneurs, both West Coast and New York. Sometimes Melo will see or read about a company that's very interesting to him, or I will, and we'll reach out. Or, usually we’re able to find somebody who knows somebody and can get an introduction. And we have a lot of unsolicited deal flow that tends to be unpredictable and sometimes crazy.
Q: How much time do you guys spend talking about investments?
A: It’s more than most people’s full-time jobs [for me]. It’s day and night. It’s what I do. ... It’s the same with Melo. Both of us have lives where there’s not a lot of boundary between professional life and personal life. Any busy professional is kind of the same way. I’m texting with him or talking with him at midnight or 1 a.m. plenty.
Q: How did your friendship develop?
A: We have a number of common interests. Melo loves wine and really knows a lot about it. I love wine, too, and he’s taught me a great deal. We both love street art. And, again, Melo has introduced me to many artists I did not know. When we first started hanging out together, we talked a lot about business and technology, which I’ve always been interested in. I’ve been casually making small investments in technology companies for many years. Melo really wanted to start doing the same, so we decided to invest together in a more serious way.
Q: What did you show Carmelo early on about investing in tech companies?
A: People get intimidated by business terminology. Tech companies, in particular, tend to have their own vocabularies. Early on, just getting familiar with the concepts and language was important. But at the end of the day, after we look at the company’s product and its market, we are really investing in the company’s founders. In addition to having great common sense, Melo understands people. And that’s probably the most valuable asset to have.
"In addition to having great common sense, Melo understands people. And that's probably the most valuable asset to have." Stuart Goldfarb
Q: How has he grown as an investor over the past two years?
A: I see Melo maturing in a really good way all the time. I really do. When we first started going to business meetings he wasn’t as confident as he is now. He is light-years ahead of where he was in terms of business confidence.
Q: How would you describe Carmelo?
A: Melo is -- he’s very mellow, he’s very laid-back. If I was a 32-year-old NBA player, I’m not sure I’d be, you know, the most respectful guy in the world. There’s a real possibility I’d be a jerk. One of the things I respect most about him is he’s not [that] at all. He’s one of the nicest people I know. He’s genuinely kind, he’s very respectful. My family loves him. He is very emotional, he’s incredibly curious, he’s smart.
Q: What would the average fan be most surprised to know about him?
A: How disciplined and determined he is, how hard he works, how much he cares about stuff, how much he loves his family, and how intellectually curious he is.
Q: Carmelo has used his platform to speak out about social issues recently, and organized a town hall meeting in Los Angeles. Did that surprise you?
A: Was I surprised? No. Proud? Yes. Melo is extremely thoughtful regarding social issues and always concerned about the communities he came from. Ever since he has been in the NBA, he's given back in many ways, public and private -- to Baltimore, Red Hook, Brooklyn and Puerto Rico. ... He's a great, great admirer of Muhammad Ali. I'm sure he got inspiration from Ali to take a stand. Melo is smart enough and mature enough to know that he definitely doesn't have the answers. But he's also smart enough to know that he, and his fellow athletes, should all use the influence they have to begin making changes in their communities.