"No matter what's going on on the court...win, lose or draw...when I go home and there's no judgment. Here...(in Puerto Rico)...I feel like that." -- Melo
Carmelo Anthony has made me a bigger fan of him this offseason. In the past, Melo might have discussed possibly leaving the New York Knicks after a dreadful campaign, or Melo may have shook his head at the organization's questionable roster moves. This offseason, #7 of the Knicks has been taking is talents all across the Caribbean, from Cuba to Puerto Rico.
In this all-access look via VICE Sports, Anthony provides the people a behind-the-scenes vantage point into the lifestyle of the NBA superstar. Melo went back to Puerto Rico to provide community service, as the island recovers from hurricanes and poverty. Being that Melo is a man of the people, he also talked the Knicks organization into hosting a mini-camp in Puerto Rico.
It's not all business for Carmelo, as Hennessy is also featured in the short film (Oh, Melo), and the Knicks forward discusses his thoughts about Puerto Rico FC in the NASL and the stadium that will house the club, courtesy of...Melo. Also, a brief discussion takes place about the newest additions to the Knicks' roster in rookies Kristaps Porzingis and Jerian Grant.
One thing that stood out from the mini-doc was Anthony's rendezvous to La Perla, one of the island's most infamous neighborhoods. It was nothing but love though, as Melo chopped it up with Tempo, the reggaeton legend who just finished up a 12-year bid in prison.
There are a ton of blogs and publications that love to spotlight when a player is doing bad, but what Carmelo is doing right now deserve much applause. Puerto Rico has suffered mightily from economic and educational woes, but Anthony has stood tall in his support for PR.
Think about what's happening here. Carmelo Anthony is out here being a man of the people. He is uplifting a country in Puerto Rico and helping a dysfunctional organization in the Knicks come together in the name of unity. Carmelo Anthony is still one of the 10 best players in the world. Carmelo Anthony is arguably still the best 1-on-1 player in the league. Carmelo Anthony is as lethal from three-point range as anyone. Couple those things with an improved roster, the progression of Melo as a stretch-four-type player and the continued molding of Phil Jackson onto this team, and things could be looking up for the Knicks...
...and if things actually improve in New York, maybe the Knicks will make the pilgrimage to Puerto Rico an annual tradition.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”