The 4-24 New York Knicks are a bad team. They have a superstar president in Phil Jackson and a superstar forward in Carmelo Anthony–and both the reputations are taking a beating. Talk of trading Anthony and his fat contract naturally rises up against this backdrop of abject failure. Addressing why an Anthony trade probably won’t happen, Dan Feldman at ProBasketballTalk writes that “Carmelo Anthony, who cares a lot about his personal branding, has business interests in New York,” noting that “playing in the nation’s biggest market certainly raises his (and his wife’s) prominence.” But there are two kinds of prominence, especially in New York–and Melo’s business interests will only benefit from Type 1 prominence.
Type 1 prominence is Derek Jeter–that’s a winning aura that translates into business success. Jeter could sell a New Yorker a traffic jam. On the other end of the spectrum is George Costanza prominence–Type 2. Costanza is the world famous loser from Seinfeld. Also a New York institution, Constanza’s the anti-Jeter. Lesson: You want to be prominent for something good. Otherwise, it’s not good for business. (Costanza couldn’t hold a job, btw.) Anthony’s no-trade clause allows him to remain a loyal Knickerbocker as long as he wants, but what if NYC sours on Anthony first? That’s not good for his business interests. You don’t see Phil Jackson opening up a restaurant downtown right now, do you?