Snitchin’ on Melo

Rocky Mountains have shielded Carmelo’s transgressions from media attention. He’s been of a small, scenic snowglobe–often far from the minds of casual sports fans who fondly remember the Gerry McNamara days. Conversations regarding his move to New York have pertained to stats, chemistry, contracts and palace intrigue. Few Knicks fans are worried about the guy who can’t stay out of trouble. Even fewer fret about the risk incurred with bigger, brighter lights. But…

There was that time he walked through an airport, with weed in a backpack. Now, I have zero issues with marijuana use, and I don’t think the NBA should even test for it. But in these United States, it’s generally not a good idea to walk through airports while holding. It’s also not a good idea to accidentally appear in a “Stop Snitchin” video–even if the drug war is stupid, futile, and brutal.

Those were relatively benign run-ins, to little consequence. A friend absorbed legal ramifications for the pack. Anthony apologized for his unintentional “Snitchin’” cameo, relieving snitches everywhere. But, you know…

It’s also not a good idea to swerve your way to a DUI charge. And if an NBA player asked me: “Should I physically threaten this groupie on Twitter, as my wife publicly eggs me on?” Well, the answer would be somewhere between, “Wow! A pro-athlete is talking to me!” and “I see you just went ahead and did it while I gawked. Say the account was hacked, call your beleaguered lawyer.”

In a vacuum, these events can be explained away or dismissed. With dots connected, the pattern speaks to a running oblivious streak. I’m not one to judge a player’s character as “bad” or “good.” Humans are complicated, so is morality. I don’t know Carmelo and he could be a fantastic person for the same reasons he guilelessly trips himself up. But I do know this: Melo gets caught and getting caught is a liability.

“In a vacuum,” isn’t where Anthony lives–not anymore. He now plays in a frenzied, packed, caustic, stormy fishbowl. Melo’s most famous black eye happened in Manhattan, when he delivered a feeble slap, during a brawl. Why is the memory so enduring? Partly because New York helps amplify history.

So, to review:

Carmelo Anthony often gets into legal trouble. He’s about to play in America’s biggest city. He’s now in the local crosshairs of far more reporters. The most recent Kat Stacks-controversy happened mere months ago.

The Knicks have an enormous amount of future-melting money invested in the man and situation, described above. How are his personal problems not a bigger concern? Oh, I remember: James Dolan has such a great track record with one-dimensional scorers who carry checkered baggage into MSG.

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