In it, Carmelo talks about growing up in Brooklyn's Red Hook projects and mentions that he idolized Bernard King, whose best Knicks season (1983-84) was the year Carmelo was born (May 1984). King, one of the most unheralded great scorers in NBA history (seriously, Hall of Fame material), also played for the Washington Bullets from 1987 until 1991. Carmelo moved to Baltimore when he was eight, which would be around 1992.
Still, though, as Kennedy reports, most of the documentary was shot in 2008, when the Knicks were linked to LeBron and Melo seemed happy in Denver. So it's not like anything should be read into this.
But at least now we know what number Carmelo will wear when he finally joins the Knicks, because his trademark number, 15, has been twice retired (Dick Maguire and Earl Monroe). My guess is Melo will choose No. 30, in honor of The King (no, not the one in Miami), who remains the last great scoring small forward this franchise has seen. The number hasn't been retired and, for all of you who need some sort of number-related symmetry, it's double 15.
As we've consistently told you here, don't expect a great deal of activity involving a blockbuster for Carmelo in the early part of the season. People I've talked to with direct knowledge of the situation insist the Nuggets will still try to convince him to stay there before they rush into a deal. Despite the perceived value of the Nets' offer, I'm also told the Nuggets are not all that enamored with 19-year-old rookie Derrick Favors.
The Knicks, meanwhile, aren't faring any better when it comes to putting together a package to interest Denver. Anthony Randolph hasn't looked good in the preseason and now he's out for the season opener with a sprained left ankle. (It's the same ankle he injured last season, when he suffered two ligament tears. An MRI, however, was negative for that type of damage this time around. He will be re-evaluated on Wednesday.)
Starberman reported that Spike Lee is offering his assistance by getting in Carmelo's ear (Spike's a Brooklyn guy, too, remember) and we've also heard that despite his previous grumblings about the organization, Charles Oakley may also get involved in the process.
The plan is to keep Carmelo focused on playing at the Garden -- if they can't swing a deal by the Feb. 24 deadline, the Knicks will be able to create the cap space to sign him as a free agent -- and, therefore, keeping other potential trade partners at bay by refusing to sign an extension with any team but the Knicks.
Anyway, here's Melo's thoughts on BK (via Hoopsworld):
"Bernard King was my favorite basketball player. Of course everyone liked Jordan, Magic, Bird and all of those guys, but Bernard King was the guy who I looked at and thought, 'Yo, he's the real deal.' Especially when he was in New York, I wanted to be Bernard King. I couldn't go out there saying, 'I want to be Pat Ewing' or 'I want to be John Starks.' I wanted to be Bernard King, that's who I wanted to be!"