Even during the glory days of Linsanity, when hearts across New York sung with optimism, the return of Carmelo Anthony was regarded with apprehension and fearful shudders. The Knicks are now a slovenly 2-7 since he reentered the starting lineup, and Anthony has assumed a position of popularity that lies somewhere between Joseph Kony and Typhoid Mary. On the Carmelo Anthony Sucks Forum, anonymous posts say things like, “Selfish Ego-maniac. It's all about Me-Melo-and I,” and, “Follow the Melo-BRICK road.” And during introductions before the Knicks' 106-94 loss to the Sixers on Sunday, he was greeted with a smattering of boos.
This is all an abrupt role reversal for a man who was regarded a year ago as the cornerstone of this team. To many fans, it didn’t matter that management disemboweled the roster to pry him away from the Nuggets or that a Baltimore upbringing made his “Brooklyn homecoming” narrative a tad imprecise. Anthony was the man who would lead the Knicks to the Promised Land. For this franchise, the second round of the playoffs would qualify as Xanadu — but so what?
As despair engulfs New York and shrieking for the firing of coach Mike D’Antoni resumes, Anthony has come to represent everything wrong with the Knicks.