New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony indicated he's willing to leave the Big Apple if it means winning an NBA championship. While the Knicks can offer him the most money, Anthony implied on Friday that money isn't a motivating factor for him.
Anthony announced in October his plan to opt out of his contract after the season and test the free agency market. The Knicks' losing season only furthered speculation Anthony would leave New York, and during a "Sportscenter" interview on Friday he seemingly confirmed he's willing to take his talents elsewhere.
"I want to win a championship," Anthony said, via BasketballInsiders. "If I have to become a free agent in order to do that, then that's what I have to do."
He also indicated money won't factor into his decision, adding, "I've made plenty of money, enough that I could retire right now."
Anthony's former coach at Syracuse, Jim Boeheim, believes Anthony should focus on cementing his NBA legacy by winning a title.
"What I'd tell him is what I would tell any NBA great player," Boeheim said, via CBS Sports. "If you're a great player in the NBA, for you to be recognized as a great player you have to win a championship. It's as simple as that. And I think you have to put yourself in the best position possible to win a championship. LeBron James did it. ... And it's changed the image of LeBron James forever.
"I think you have to be in a place that you have a chance to win a championship. I think Carmelo loves New York, but I would tell him, 'Let's try to get some place where you can win this thing.'"
Anthony can officially opt out of his contract in July. The Los Angeles Lakers and the Chicago Bulls are among the teams reportedly intent on pursuing the All-Star.
UPDATE: Anthony seemingly clarified his comments made on "Sportscenter".
Melo says he still wants to retire a Knick and his first priority is to stay.
— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) February 14, 2014