In a documentary set to air Tuesday on the MSG network, Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony reveals that at one point of his free agency tour this summer he wanted to sign with the Bulls, whom Melo said “hit everything right on the nail.”
The New York Post obtained an unfinished copy of the half-hour program, during which Anthony gives details of his visits to Chicago, Los Angeles and Houston.
After his Chicago visit, Anthony told agent Leon Rose:
“Great meeting. You could see the culture they have over there. The seriousness they have, what they’re about. It comes down to winning to me, and that’s what they’re about. That’s what I like. They hit everything right on the nail. That’s hard to do.”
Melo also talked about the Bulls’ recruiting efforts by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah:
“D-Rose is tough. He even hit me [up]. I’ve been talking to him. Him and [Joakim] Noah. Noah’s more outgoing. But I’m glad we did them first.’’
Why didn’t Anthony opt out of the Big Apple for the Second City? Simply put: Money.
His manager Bay Frazier laid out the options in the documentary:
“Do you want to win? Do you want a quick fix? It’s Chicago. But it’s not guaranteed to win anywhere. So you got to think about that.
“You also got factor money — even though it ain’t about money — you want to win and got to understand what New York is trying to do and he gets that. He gets Phil Jackson being a winner. They don’t do a sign and trade with Chicago — that’s $74 million as opposed close to $129 million. That’s a no-brainer.’’
Despite his assertion that “it comes down to winning,” Anthony stayed in New York, signing with the Knicks for $124 million over five years.
The Knicks are currently 4-14. The Bulls are 11-6 and first in the NBA Central.