by Mia M. Jackson
Carmelo Anthony grew up with Brooklyn in Red Hook Projects. Returning to New York as a millionaire member of the New York Knicks, he seems to walk even taller. I don’t believe that ‘Melo played any less intense or gave any less than his best to the Denver Nuggets. But there’s something about coming home that seems to stir the soul. His million –dollar smile now looks like a billion when he ran out of that tunnel. His energy? Infectious. Anthony, Amar’e Stoudemire, Chauncey Billups, and the other stars who have made their way on to this New Look Knicks roster seem to actually believe they can WIN.
But the belief doesn’t stop there. A Boost Mobile ad produced by Spike Lee takes Carmelo back to the streets of the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, the place he first remembers calling home. In the “Wassup Baby” segment below, ‘Melo walks through and sees folks he knew and others that will claim to have known him and he looks at home. But one voice caught my attention.
Carmelo walks on to the basketball court to talk to some young boys playing between the tall buildings. He asks the kids where they live. Next he points to where he lived and one of the kids, bouncing his basketball, asks “You used to live on the this block?” Carmelo answers yes and the youngster says, “I used to live on this block, too,” never once stopping his dribble. Camera crews and crowds aside, the kid will remember that conversation. Nothing ever substitutes for seeing a real live walking, ball-bouncing example of “here-to-there.” With that, the kid can win, too.