Carmelo Anthony is looking for reasons to stay in New York, according to Marc Stein of ESPN.com, who hears from people close to the superstar that he doesn’t want to make it seem as though he’s tacitly admitting that he needs to find a better team to win. Knicks owner James Dolan is planning to try to convince Anthony that one reason to stay is the notion that the team’s disaster of a season is Mike Woodson‘s fault, Stein hears.
Sources tell Stein that Dolan is only keeping Woodson around this year so that Knicks brass can make the case to Anthony that the team’s problems are almost entirely because of Woodson. Making a coaching change now would give the Knicks a chance to fail without Woodson, opening up the potential for Anthony to conclude that his teammates are the main issue. The Knicks are 22-40, in 11th place in the Eastern Conference and five and a half games out of the playoffs.
In addition to pinning the blame on Woodson, Dolan plans to sell Anthony on his financial incentive to re-sign with the Knicks, promise to bring in another superstar no later than 2015, and vow that he’ll hire a marquee coach this summer, Stein hears. Anthony is reportedly more interested in what the Knicks can tell him about the reinforcements they can bring in this year rather than 2015, which lends credence to the significance of a coaching change. There’s been some sentiment within the organization since Christmas that Woodson should be fired, but the team isn’t hesitating to make a move now just because it doesn’t feel it has a qualified assistant coach ready to take over, Stein writes.