Carmelo Anthony gave Knicks fans the "Your mother and I are separating" speech on Monday, sitting them down at the dinner table to explain that, while he still loves New York very much, he's opting out of the final year of his contract to "explore his options."
OK, so he actually had his agent, Leon Rose, do it for him (finally, someone to pass to!), which was weird; after all, the separation wasn't a surprise to anyone who watched the marriage between 'Melo and the team deteriorate over the past year: The silence, the growing distance, the Bargnani…not even the promise of a new therapist could keep this once-happy couple together.
So while Carmelo made it very clear that he'll always be a part of their lives, perhaps its time Knicks fans face reality: 'Melo's just a man, and as Chris Rock once opined, a man is basically as faithful as his options. So with his free agency looming, here are five ways we could see this trial separation could playing out.
'Melo Leaves for Someone Younger: The Knicks are one of the oldest teams in the NBA. One of the youngest? The Houston Rockets, who just so happen to be prime suitors for Anthony's services, provided they don't pick up a couple player options. Could a team built around 'Melo, Dwight Howard and James Harden contend in the West? Absolutely. Anthony's just gonna have to get used to Houston's roommate situation…and sure, he'd like to have a night in every once in a while, but, hey, Houston's young. She wants to have fun. She makes him feel alive again. It's either this or a sports car.
'Melo Goes for a Chicago-Style Three Way: Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah has reportedly been wooing Anthony for a week, but so far, 'Melo hasn't responded. Will his decision to opt out change that? Most see Chicago as a logical destination for Anthony, though Kevin Love could complicate things. How will this, uh, Love Triangle play out? And could Carmelo co-exist with Derrick Rose? He's only read about these things in Penthouse Forum.
'Melo Lives Out His Texas-Sized Fantasies: Look, not even Dirk thinks a Carmelo-to-Dallas scenario could happen, though is the crafty German just being coy? And if Anthony really is exploring his options, well, who amongst us hasn't wanted to wear a cowboy hat all the time? It's literally the only look he hasn't attempted at this point, and while it wasn't possible in New York, down in Dallas, no one is gonna tell 'Melo to take off his ten-gallon lid.
'Melo Just Moves to Miami: This is what most newly single dudes do anyway. Plus, he's already got the linen suits for South Beach.
'Melo Comes Home: Look New York, Carmelo knows he hasn't always been the best husband. He wasn't always there for you and, yes, he said some things in the heat of the moment that he wishes he hadn't. But he's been out there for a while now; he's seen some things, had some experiences, but the funny thing is, he just missed you the entire time. And he wants to come home. Let's make this work. Let's do this together. So please take him back. He's sorry. Also, your $129 million, five-year max contract is nice, too.