When Carmelo Anthony was 8 years old, he moved from Brooklyn to Baltimore and struggled fitting in enough that the memories still affect him as a grown man.
Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, Carmelo's son, turned 7 in March.
Those seemingly insignificant bits of Anthony trivia didn't seem so insignificant Monday after watching a 3-minute, 49-second video of the potential Bull weighing his future on the VICE sports website. Relaxed in sweats and a denim shirt, Anthony provided a glimpse into his personality that humanized an NBA superstar not exactly known for his maturity.
"The average person just sees the opportunity to say, 'Melo should go here, Melo should go there,' " Anthony said. "But they don't take into consideration the family aspect of it, your livelihood, where you're going to be living. Do you want your kids to grow up in that place? Do I want to spend the rest of my career in that situation, in that city?"
Anthony taped the interview June 3 in the Brooklyn office of VICE, a new website "dedicated to the game beyond the game," that was launched June 10. Publisher Will Kiersky participated in the conversation that carried no restrictions and revealed how badly Anthony seeks to balance his professional and personal lives.
"My son goes to school and loves it here (in New York), (so) to take him out and take him somewhere else, he would have to learn that system all over again," said Anthony, 30. "I know how hard it was for me when I moved from New York to Baltimore at a young age, having to work your way to try to make new friends and fit in and figure out the culture in that area."
Anthony's voice was sincere, his tone sobering. He hardly sounded like someone eager to leave a comfortable environment and the $29 million more the Knicks can offer even if it improved his chances to win an NBA title. He sounded like a guy more concerned about a legacy that had nothing to do with basketball.
But Kiersky, in the room as Anthony spoke of "the big picture," came away convinced of nothing more than Anthony's commitment to do what's best for his family. We'll see.
"The interview made him more human, but I didn't get the inclination he was leaning one way or another," Kiersky said in a phone interview.
It all depends on the source, and so many exist in this Melo-drama that surely we will hear from Kim Kardashian any day now. If only I were kidding. Kardashian counts among her BFFs La La Anthony, Carmelo's actress wife, and Larsa Pippen, Scottie's wife — which means this story is destined to break either on Instagram or in People.
Not only were the Anthonys and Pippens on the guest list for the Kardashian-Kanye West wedding but were vacationing together last weekend in France. Carmelo and Scottie appeared together in Paris at a World Streetball Championship sponsored by Nike and, naturally, photos show Anthony decked out head-to-toe in the Air Jordan gear he endorses.
Nobody knows how hard Pippen, a Bulls ambassador, has pushed the idea of Anthony chasing a championship alongside Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah. Nobody knows whether Anthony's affinity for Michael Jordan, who gave Kiyan Anthony an exclusive pair of shoes for his seventh birthday, affects his desire to hang a banner in the House MJ Built.
Nobody knows anything, really, except Chicago wants Anthony badly enough to replace the controversial Donald Trump sign on his building with M-E-L-O without hearing a complaint in the city.
How badly does Rose want Anthony? Rumors fly, with the latest report claiming Rose prefers trading for Timberwolves forward Kevin Love over signing Anthony. Believe none of it until Rose speaks, because no elite point guard could lack that much awareness. Anthony not only would bring the Bulls immediately closer to a title but, theoretically, they might not have to part with Taj Gibson as they would in a Love trade.
Before Thursday's NBA draft, the Bulls might have to decide whether to pull the trigger on a trade for Love or stand pat and go all in on Anthony. What a delightful dilemma that would be for John Paxson and Gar Forman; certainly more tantalizing than whether to package the 16th and 19th picks to move up to draft an unproven rookie shooter.
Getting Anthony and Love is unrealistic. Landing either star would define the Bulls' summer. Striking out on both would sting worse than losing in five to the Wizards but, worse, convince nobody the Bulls can get beyond the first round again next season.