Oscar Robertson says Carmelo Anthony should leave Knicks

Oscar Robertson, former Cincinnati player, talks to the

Oscar Robertson, former Cincinnati player, talks to the press during an event held at Madison Square Garden that welcomed the return of NCAA Tournament legends that played at the Garden in college on Wednesday, March 26, 2014. (Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy)

The Big O thinks Carmelo Anthony should get out of New York ASAP.

Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson spoke highly of Anthony during an interview with SiriusXM NBA Radio that aired Thursday night. Robertson said the perennial All-Star is unfairly criticized for shooting too much, that his supporting cast isn't very good and that if he were Anthony, he would not re-sign with the Knicks.

"I would leave today," he told interviewer Spike Lee. "Let me tell you why. Wherever that kid has gone, when he was at Denver, they had a team that fooled around with the ball, fooled around with the ball, then all of a sudden, when they needed a basket, threw it to Carmelo. Then when he shot the ball, they said he shot too much. Then when he didn't shoot, they said he didn't shoot enough.

"No matter what he does in New York, they're going to criticize him, the people are going to criticize him, because you got guys on that team that cannot play. You got guys that are hurt all the time."

After Lee, a noted Knicks fan, said Phil Jackson was hired to "clean this mess up," Robertson reiterated that Anthony should leave. "When was the last time Phil Jackson played?" he said. "I think Phil is great. To have gotten $12 million [a year] out of [James Dolan], I think it's great. Super job. Take the money and run.

"If I were Carmelo, I would say, 'Listen, I'm not going to stay here and take all this guff and all this criticism. You got other guys on this team making $12-, $15-, $16 million and doing nothing, and here I am averaging 28, 29 points a game.' ''

Anthony has said he will opt out of his contract and become a free agent July 1. Jackson said Wednesday that he hopes Anthony "is true to his word" and takes less than maximum money tore-signs with the Knicksfor less than maximum money to give them more flexibility to pursue stars in the future. Jackson said he will speak to Anthony about that.

Anthony could take less money and sign with a contender such as Chicago or Houston. "If he goes to Houston, they're going to win everything," Robertson said.

"You look at LeBron; LeBron's got a great game and the kid down at Oklahoma, Durant's got a great game. They can't outshoot Carmelo. I've seen him in a lot of basketball games over the years and I'm telling you right now: The kid, he just can get that shot away. Now he's gotten smarter, he's going to the basket a lot. But what gets me is that everyone thinks that everything that happens bad is [Anthony's] fault."

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