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Walsh Must Answer Garden Calls

Posted By Brandon Marcus On Feb 11 2011 @ 6:48 pm In NBA | 2 Comments

The New York Knicks ready themselves to face the defending champion LA Lakers at home Friday night having lost 10 of their last 14. MVP chants for Amare Stoudemire are rightfully fading and in their listless loss to the Clippers Wednesday night, a new chant began. It was more of a plea: We Want Melo!

A month ago Knick fans were content with their team and energized by the start of a new era. They were new and exciting; played hard and were winning a few games. A refreshing change from a decade of futility. That excitement hasn’t waned completely, but the schedule toughened, and Amare Stoudemire and Ray Felton have wore down. The gravity of the NBA season has pulled them back to .500, while the standards of the Knick fan have continued to rise back to pre-Isiah levels. It didn’t take long for respectable to no longer be acceptable.

Carmelo Anthony has been twisting in the wind for most of the season, and the speculation surrounding him is an unpleasant chime on the NBA’s front porch. The noise grew too loud for Mikhail Prokhorov’s taste and he removed his Nets from the conversation.

Despite the overload of rumors that have been floated, New York has always been Melo’s chosen destination, and Donnie Walsh has waited patiently for negotiations to swing in his direction. Many believe it is not a matter of if, but when Carmelo will become a Knick, and as the team fails to distinguish itself, the calls for that “when” to be now have amplified.

Sentiment now is the Knicks must do what is necessary to acquire him prior to the deadline. Waiting until free agency to sign him, for a while was the ideal outcome, but now is an unaffordable luxury. Walsh has played his cards right and the Knicks have the leverage, with Denver in desperate need of a resolution.

The framework of a deal is in place that has Wilson Chandler headed to Denver and Anthony Randolph and Eddy Curry to Minnesota, but the Knicks know they will have to part with more to complete a deal. Walsh has no desire to include Danilo Gallinari or rookie sensation Landry Fields in a deal, and neither do I, but how far will he be prepared to go in those final hours. Walsh’s tenure as Knick President may be judged on it.

Anthony has hinted at the possibility of signing his extension if not traded, a subtle but clear message to New York to grab him now or risk losing him forever. The steady-handed Walsh will not be panicked by these remarks, nor by the chants of the Garden crowd, but the trade winds grow stronger. The bluster is rattling that chime on the porch. And the onus is on Walsh to bring the noise back inside Madison Square Garden; in the form of playoff cheers.

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