Carmelo Anthony is officially done for the season. That seemed as though it would be the case when the New York Knicks were eliminated from playoff contention, but while sitting out in the Knicks’ win over the Brooklyn Nets, it was revealed that Anthony has a small tear in his labrum.
According to the team, no surgery is needed, and Anthony will be reevaluated in a month.
‘Melo had been playing through the shoulder pain since aggravating it on April 2 against the Nets. At that time, the Knicks had just slid into eighth place in the East, thus making the injury incredibly untimely. The Knicks lost their next two games against the Washington Wizards and Miami Heat, and Anthony played very poorly, shooting a 9-31 from the field with 10 turnovers. The back-to-back losses all but finished the Knicks’ season.
Now Anthony and the Knicks face an uncertain future. Anthony has stated that he’ll opt out of his contract to test free agency this summer, and it’s possible that he’s played his last game as a Knick. This season is the first time in his career that he hasn’t made it to the playoffs — an achievement he boasted over other more accomplished draft-class mates like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
For the Knicks, it’s a tricky situation. It’s hard to fine a more talented player than Anthony (seriously, there are maybe 5-15 better players in the league depending on who you ask, and acquiring those players is pretty difficult) and he’s proven he can lead a team if given the right supporting cast. However, the Knicks will be looking at a player who can earn a five-year, $129-million contract while turning 30 at the end of May. Furthermore, the last two seasons — arguably the best of his career — have proven he’s versatile at the power forward slot, but he’s also torn his labrum two years in a row and hasn’t had surgery to fix it. These things don’t bode well for a player who has, maybe, three years left in his prime.
Phil Jackson and the Knicks face a plethora of big questions this offseason, and Anthony and his shoulder injury will certainly be among the biggest.