Carmelo Anthony can pick between two blessings: guaranteed money or potential championships.
First let me say that, sadly, money is like a foreign substance to me.
The value of a dollar is a mystery. Here today, spent tomorrow. The only benefit is that it's easier to balance a checkbook that way.
Zero minus zero is zero.
All of which, of course, qualifies me to be wealth manager to sports figures like Anthony Inc.
Nobody knows where the NBA all-star will play next season, perhaps not even him at this point.
Yes, he might even wind up with the Bulls.
Anthony officially opted out of the final year of his Knicks contract Monday and will become a free agent on July 1. On the table are millions more dollars from the Knicks and no chance to win a title or fewer dollars from another team and a chance to win a title.
The answer, it says here, is to pursue a championship, but a good financial adviser listens to his client.
What Anthony would have to tell me is what he would do with the $40 million or so difference between staying in New York or relocating to Chicago, Houston or Miami.
Anthony already has been paid an estimated $130 million during his NBA career in basketball salaries alone.
Now the numbers being reported are another $129 million if he re-signs with the Knicks and at the most $96 million from another team.
Personally, I would take the third option: retire and save the four or five more years of wear and tear on my knees.
But that's just me.
Most people -- including Bill Gates and Warren Buffett -- could live quite nicely on the money that Anthony already has been paid in the NBA.
At this point another $129 million is … well, what is it exactly? What do you do with it that you can't already do with what you have?
Anthony could have his very own Starbucks just off the master bedroom of a new mansion. Maybe he'd need a 31-car garage to park one for every day of the month and 31 guesthouses for his chauffeurs.
That seems odd, but, then again, I'm not Carmelo Anthony or any of the other athletic affluent basking in luxury.
A unique financial plan must be customized for the unique best interests of Anthony and the unique Mrs. Anthony, also known as the luscious La La Vazquez.
A good guess is that it takes quite a few NBA bucks to make a wife named La La comfortable. (La La and 'Melo … with names like that, no wonder they're featured in a reality-TV series.)
Anyway, a trophy career always trumps a trophy wife.
Remember, an athlete can divorce his wife after the honeymoon is over, but the honeymoon never ends for a player and his championship.
As my own financial adviser Solly "Swiss Bank" McScrooge always argues about how much money is enough, "You always want more and then you want even more than that."
It would be interesting to survey retired NBA players who never won a title -- including great ones like Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing -- to find out how much they would have sacrificed for just one ring.
Getting back to Carmelo Anthony, are there charities that he wants to support with his latest windfall? Does he want to donate to candidates who can cure our country's ills? Will he buy the rooftop buildings and permit the Cubs to renovate Wrigley Field?
You know, important stuff like that.
If all Anthony wants are more cars, bigger mansions and gaudier bling he'd be better off going for the NBA title.
"Lived As A Champion" looks a lot better on a tombstone than "Died As A Billionaire."