If you recall, back on September 11th, our sterling smallish power forward/large small forward was asked about his future employment options.
I’m not. I’m just not going to do it,” he said. “I’m going to let everybody know the first day that I’m not going to talk about it. Hopefully you guys and your colleagues respect that, and that’s it.
Got it. Great. He will not discuss this issue. You can ask till you’re Phthalocyanine Blue, till you’re Blue-r than Tobias Fünke trying to get into the Blue Man Group, but Master Carmelo Kyam Anthony shall speak no further on this subject. When it comes to free agency, he’s a Benedictine ballin’ monk. Fin.
Of course, today we got to read this New York Observer interview. I highly recommend perusing the whole thing, if only because the lede and the tag is a joke about Melo getting into an elevator with a Hasidic Jew, features tales of Melo dealing in foreign currency speculation (THERE’S NO RELATION BETWEEN MONETARY INVESTMENT AND THE PRESENCE OF THE SEMITIC PEOPLES. STOP THAT RIGHT NOW.), and is in general a fascinating read.
Of course, the part that is drawing the most attention is this juicy quote:
I want to be a free agent. I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.
Hm. That would seem to contradict the prior statement, if not for the fact that the bulk of the interview seems to have occurred at around the same time frame as the first quote — September 10th or 11th.
I’m speculating here, but odds are, something this this occurred. Melo gave a freewheeling long-form interview with the Observer (He digs the pink newsprint. So do I!). There were one or two of Melo’s representatives present for this interview (they always are), either from CAA or his PR team. They heard the statement about wanting to be a free agent, about wanting to be wanted and/or needing to be needed and courted and realized pretty quickly how badly that would play, that Melo’d come off sounding like Dwight Howard’s burbling id incarnate/any vague chatter about free agency would cause a media kerfluffle, so they whispered in his ear that a follow up quote should be issued tout suite, thus resulting in the, “I’m not talking about it,” line.
I.e., the first quote actually came after the Observer piece.
So my general advice would be not to freak out. That this doesn’t in any way represent a change of heart/sudden burst of wanderlust on Melo’s part. I think we’re all pretty settled on the fact that Melo will be opting out after this season. Whether he takes the full max or settles for less in the name of saving a few PabloBucks to spend on the rest of the roster remains to be seen.
But if Melo needs any confirmation about how badly the Knicks do want to retain him, I am more than willing to front JD and the Straight Shot for one song and sing this ditty, whenever and wherever he so desires. Melo’s a big Elvis Costello fan, right?