Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire played almost five seasons with the New York Knicks. The Knicks faithful were elated to have welcomed Melo, a Brooklyn native, back home and to have a perennial All-Star forward in “Stat.” However, the pair didn’t feel the same way about it.
It was stormy in New York
From the get-go, the Anthony-Stoudemire pairing didn’t look good. Sports Illustrated’s Howard Beck said Stoudemire, having reached his peak under the tutelage of Mike D’Antoni in Phoenix, was “a disciple” of the then-Knicks head coach. On the other hand, Melo “wanted to do what he does, which is a lot of isolation.”Nevertheless, that Knicks squad made it to the playoffs three consecutive times.
Beck said when Jeremy Lin’s “Linsanity” broke out, Stoudemire was hyped as he was used to playing with a talented point guard in Steve Nash in the past.
“When Amare came to New York to play for D’Antoni, he’s all on board with what D’Antoni’s about philosophically and the ball ‘finding energy,’ as D’Antoni would say,” Beck said via HoopsHype. “Amare loved that Linsanity run.”
As for Melo, he thought nothing about Stoudemire, D’Antoni, and Lin was good. Things were getting uglier over time, and it boiled down to how much heat can they take. In the end, D’Antoni couldn’t stand it and got out of the kitchen.
“That relationship eroded so badly that D’Antoni officially resigned, whether people want to say he was pushed, shoved, or asked,” Beck added. “…Amare and Carmelo never really saw eye to eye. Amare wanted to do things the D’Antoni way. Carmelo wanted to do things that benefited his game the most.”
A new coach was appointed, and Anthony carried on as the face of the Knicks. Stoudemire gradually declined, averaging 12 points per game in his final run with New York, a figure less than half of his 25.3 in his maiden season with the team.
With D’Antoni now eliminated, Melo found a new nemesis in the Knicks organization. This time, the All-Star forward clashed with then-Knicks president Phil Jackson.
Jackson wanted Anthony out and was pushing for a trade. But once again, Melo’s star power prevailed, and the Knicks kicked Jackson as New York Media was on the player’s side.
“I think that Jim [James Dolan] felt like I was facing too big of an uphill climb and relieved me of the job because he just saw the media was going to be backing Carmelo in this situation,” Jackson said. “And I was going to be the guy taking the lumps.”
In 2017, the Knicks finally let Anthony go. He has played for four different teams since then, but he never became as big a star as in New York.