Should I Stay Me7o
Melo, Melo, Melo. One of the most polarized athletes in today’s game. Drafted 3rd overall in the 2003 NBA draft, Carmelo Anthony has been victim of the success of his counterparts in the draft. LeBron James is now coveting his third championship and Dwyane Wade already has three titles.
Why is that though? Hey, I know this one. You’re going to say “the fact that he’s been out of the first round all of two times”, maybe “it’s this notion that he doesn’t make his teammates better”, or “the fact that he is an isolation player that is a high volume scorer”. So if that is indeed your argument, to indict Anthony, explain the many postseason visits in a loaded Western Conference.
Carmelo Anthony never missed the postseason in a Denver Nugget uniform; including his rookie year, where it is very questionable (in my eyes) how he does not have the Rookie of the Year award in his trophy case. Compared to James averaging 20.9 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 5.9 apg, 1.62 spg his rookie year, Anthony averaged 21.2 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 2.8 apg, 1.20 spg. Since numbers are slightly in Anthony’s favor but not significant enough, we should just take a look at production. One rookie led his team to a 6th seed with a 43-39 record the other helped produce a 35-47 record. I would assume at this point, you’re going to take this opportunity to argue talent; so let me help you out and say that out of both sides, only one of those two teams had an all-star (Carlos Boozer) in favor of LeBron James. Besides that, it’s a toss-up choosing between Ricky Davis, Darius Miles, Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Marcus Camby, Andre Miller and an undeveloped Nene at that time. So, I would assume, if a rookie is leading that type of C list talent to the playoffs in his first season playing with NBA talent, he has to somewhat be making teammates better. Otherwise, you are essentially saying he was just that much better than everyone else because he wasn’t averaging all of the Nuggets points.
While we are on the subject of teammates we all know that basketball is not a one man sport so who you play with is essential to having opportunities to win consistently. Let’s do a top 5 of Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and, just for fun, Chris Bosh’s teammates- just to compare.
Just by looking at the names, it seems as if everyone but LeBron James’ teammates are evenly matched. Therefore, we will look at situations and the stage these players were in their careers. Carmelo didn’t have any one teammate who was at the prime of their career. You look at James. He had/has Kyrie, Love, Wade and Bosh (when signed in 2010, all considered in the prime of their careers). You look at Wade. He had Shaq when he was still in the conversation for best NBA center. Anthony had Amare. Amare was the closest player to any of his teammates in their prime, but he could not stay on the floor. Allen Iverson and Chauncey were effective and still vital to his team’s success but they were not Philadelphia “AI” and Detroit’s “Big Shot Billups”.
For a long time (and possibly still today), many looked at Carmelo the man and the basketball player as selfish. Everything from forcing his way to New York when he could of waited until the offseason to sign with the team, signing the early extension in Denver instead of letting his contract expire to play with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James (as once reported by ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith), down to the reports of him not supporting the development of Jeremy Lin and countless other media reports constantly questioning Anthony’s character. Are these cases the media doing their jobs or are these legitimate reasons to question Number 7? Let’s take a look at who was included in the Melo trade. Mozgov, Gallinari, and Wilson Chandler. As of right now, Gallinari and Chandler both have spent a lot of money on suits for game day and Mozgov, after having flashes in the NBA Finals, has been nothing more than inconsistent. Shame on you, Carmelo. Shame on you. Should he have basically bought a championship with Wade and LeBron? NBA fans, what is it? Please pick one. Are we supporting players to leave their own team to play with other stars or do we want players to lead in their own path? Based on how they are questioning Durant’s move and the scrutiny the Miami Speech caused with the famous “Not 1, Not 2, Not 3, Not 4” lines, I, for some reason, find it odd that if the top 3 players in the 2003 Draft joined forces, that was somehow good for basketball. Again, shame on you Mr. Anthony. Jeremy Lin was given the keys to the Houston Rockets along with James Harden and we look up and third string guard, Patrick Beverley, is eating all the mins at point guard for Houston. The jury is still out on whether he is a starting caliber point guard in this league or the 1st PG off the bench, (even though it isn’t confirmed whether you were or were not in favor of formerly know “Linsanity”) Shame, shame, shame. Carmelo, how can you live with yourself?
Carmelo, after leading Team USA basketball to another Olympic Gold, has the chance this year (with upgrades at a few key positions) to make some noise in the Eastern Conference. Accompanied by 2nd year stand out Kristaps Porzingis, newly acquired Courtney Lee, Derrick Rose, Brandon Jennings and Joakim Noah, Anthony and the Knicks have placed high expectations on this upcoming season. This is easily one of Carmelo’s best teams he’s played on; regardless of injury history. Will this season be the determining year of defining his legacy? So far not according to ESPN who projected the Knicks south of a 40 win season. At this point, anything less than a championship for Carmelo means he isn’t producing anymore, which is interesting, seeing as how he isn’t expected to even make the playoffs. He has reached the point where you sit back and observe that he is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. LeBron goes home after losing an NBA Finals in Miami; he’s celebrated. Carmelo stays in New York to finish what he signed up to do; it doesn’t make sense. My advice to you, Mr. Anthony, stays Me7o.