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Carmelo Anthony's prank was OK, but his play is the real joke in N.Y.

Carmelo AnthonyArtNew York KnicksBasketballMuseums

Carmelo Anthony stood completely motionless for minutes on end on Tuesday while others circled around and looked on. Madame Tussauds wax museum called it a prank.
 
New York Knicks fans just call it, “running the offense.”
 
Seriously, though, this was a nice show of community outreach from Melo, during which he surprised museum visitors thinking the real Anthony was a wax sculpture. The look of shock and surprise and delight on the faces of the startled fans said it all.
 
But if Madame Tussauds really wanted to shock and surprise and delight people, they didn’t even need the real Anthony. They could have made a wax figure of him passing the ball.
 
Anthony’s actual wax likeness will be displayed in the museum alongside other famous New York athletes like Derek Jeter and Eli Manning and NBA stars like Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant. You know, people who have won things professionally.
 
Anthony couldn’t even win the completely made-up award for best Baltimore-related prank of the week. Buck Showalter and the Orioles take that prize. Carmelo’s execution, I must say, was pretty solid, but the idea is a little tired. Others, like Troy Polamalu and Ozzy Osbourne, have pulled off the prank in the past.
 
This past decade-plus of Knicks dysfunction would be a lot funnier for those of us who grew up in the New York metro area if it weren’t so damn depressing. The team playing in the Mecca of basketball in the world’s most famous arena has been reduced to the biggest punch line in basketball. Except for, you know, the Bobcats. There’s always the Bobcats.
 
Anthony is pretty optimistic, despite the fact that the Knicks have decided that the cap flexibility they very briefly enjoyed under Donnie Walsh made things too easy. They prefer a challenge and pined for the good ol’ days of Stephon Marbury, so naturally they hamstrung themselves with three more monster contracts.
 
“I believe my time is coming,” Anthony told ESPN.com’s Jared Zwerling at Madame Toussauds on Tuesday. “I’m a big believer in that. Whether this year or next year, I truly believe our time is coming.”
 
I want to believe in Anthony, I really do. Baltimoreans know better than most that his talent is undeniable, and the Knicks have some nice pieces with Amare Stoudemire, Tyson Chandler, Steve Novak and Jeremy Lin (and Iman Shumpert, if he can recover from an ACL tear).
 
Plus, now that Carmelo has a wax sculpture, Knicks coach Mike Woodson has the luxury of getting the real Anthony more rest. They can throw the sculpture out on defense. I doubt anyone would know the difference.
 
But nobody’s buying Anthony’s optimism. If anything sticks out about this year’s NBA finals, it was the dynamism. The athleticism. LeBron and Durant and Wade and Westbrook slashing through the key and distributing and running.
 
The Knicks are stuck with Melo-ball.
 
OK, I’ve been sufficiently nasty to an athlete who did nothing wrong Thursday but try to interact with his fans. Secretly, I’m just hoping that this past year and a half has been part of a more elaborate prank.
 
Maybe next season, Carmelo will stop pretending to be a wax figure on the court and start capitalizing on the talent Baltimoreans saw at Towson Catholic.
 
Oh, and win. That would shock and surprise and delight a whole lot more Knicks fans.
 
zhelfand@baltsun.com
twitter.com/zhelfand

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