Even on the heels of the Miami Heat’s NBA Finals drubbing at the hands of the San Antonio Spurs, the prospect of superstar Carmelo Anthony taking his talents to South Beach is a frightening one for fans of other teams in the Eastern Conference. But Tuesday morning on SiriusXM NBA Radio, NBA analyst and former coach Jeff Van Gundy told Frank Isola that he isn’t convinced adding Melo would do any good for the Heat.
“I’m not sure they need Carmelo Anthony,” Van Gundy said. “Listen, the first three games of these Finals, they scored efficiently. They just couldn’t stop San Antonio. And I don’t see where Anthony is a great fit, and I don’t see, necessarily, Bosh and Wade – maybe James would because he makes so much off the court – but Bosh and Wade saying, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna take a lot less so Carmelo Anthony can make more than I do.’ I don’t see how that works.”
Van Gundy added that he wouldn’t hold it against Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh if they were to ask for max money, as opposed to taking less to add another superstar to the mix in South Beach.
It’s easy for outsiders to say, “Take less money.” How many people in their jobs willingly say, “Yes, pay me less”? Management people don’t do that; they maximize their ability to secure the highest salary. I don’t begrudge anybody making the money they do. When the Miami Heat agreed to those contracts with Bosh and Wade and James, there was a mutual agreement that this was fair. So it doesn’t say to me, if Dwyane Wade says, “No, I’m gonna take my $40 million,” that he’s not a team player. I think he’s handled his reduced role with James coming in there well, he’s trying to age as gracefully as he can … It’s hard in this game, when you get less opportunities and your health is not where it needs to be.
As for the Spurs, Van Gundy marveled at the dynasty built by Gregg Popovich and the franchise’s leadership, that has netted five titles in less than two decades.
“It’s their level of sustained success over the past 17 years with Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan,” Van Gundy said, that impresses him most. “Never even in a lockout season being under 50 [wins] in the regular season [with the exception of the 1998-99 lockout-shortened season, when they won the Finals]. And having that big gap between their last championship and now; to be able to do that with the basic same core, to me, is an incredible accomplishment, especially coming out of the Western Conference.”
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