boos had even stopped reverberating in Barclays Center, it seems, we were hearing about whether the New York Knicks’ decision to take Latvian big man Kristaps Porzingis with the fourth overall pick in the 2015 NBA draft did or did not displease All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony. Whether Anthony was upset by the pick and didn’t understand why Phil Jackson would pick a player who might not be able to contribute immediately, or was “far from upset” and really does think Porzingis will wind up being “a steal” isn’t quite clear, but we can evidently put one issue to bed — Anthony did reach out to the 19-year-old 7-footer after the draft … in his own utterly unmistakable way.Before the
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Here’s how Porzingis described his initial interaction with everyone’s favorite Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles creative director and venture capitalist during a sitdown in Las Vegas — where Porzingis acquitted himself pretty well in Summer League action — Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling:
Carmelo Anthony reached out to me after I got drafted. He said, “Congrats, welcome to the team.” I didn’t have his number, so I texted back, “Who’s this?” And then a few minutes later, he said, “This is Melo” with his No. 7 as the “l.” I met him actually when I came for my Knicks’ tryout for the first time. We’ve talked a couple of times since then.
Me7o. Me7o? Me7o! Me7o.
This is a thing that ‘Melo does. He includes the hashtag #StayMe7o on his tweets and Instagram pictures. He almost did it when naming his venture capital firm, but I have to imagine that A) one of the multiple branding experts with whom he consults threw him/herself in front of that or B) we’re just waiting on the paperwork on the name change to get finaliz3d.
It’s not immediately clear where this came from, but I have a sneaking suspicion it came from Anthony’s affiliation with Jordan Brand; baseball fans know full well how much they love shoving a number in the middle of of a word. It could also be that, after all that time hanging out with CP3, he just couldn’t stop himself from trying to jam his number into a nickname, even if it, like, really doesn’t fit.
Whatever its origins, it’s an awkward choice of stylistic accent for someone who does seem to want to be considered fashionable and cool. Then again, given Anthony’s other notable choice of stylistic accent, maybe it’s all too perfect. ‘Melo has, after all, made it very clear that he wants “to be the digital athlete.” If nothing else, he sure seems committed to being an athlete with a digit.
Now, that said: glass half full! Anthony did reach out to Porzingis to congratulate him and to welcome him aboard, and while some will argue that Anthony’s absence from the Knicks’ Summer League outing indicated unhappiness with the state of things in New York, the rookie seems especially eager to get to work with the 10-time All-Star, according to Zwerling:
Melo is a superstar, so he’ll be great for me. I’ll be open a lot of times just because he draws so much attention. And off the court, it will be great for me to be around him to see how he carries himself, and with the fans, how he dresses, how professional he is with the media and how hard he works in the gym. So it will be a great experience for me to learn from him.
That can only mean one thing: We’re a year away from some New York newcomer getting a text that reads, “It’s [email protected]$.” That’s just smart branding and secure password protection.
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