When you think of Carmelo Anthony, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Some will say, “One of the best/purest scorers in the NBA,” while others might bring up his wife La La. Then you’ll have the long time fans bring up his championship run at Syracuse, which was a great one by the way. Myself on the other hand comes to one main conclusion, “No rings.”
Looking back at the top 5 picks of the 2003 NBA Draft class featuring LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Darko Milicic and Anthony, Melo is the only one without a title. Wade won his first with Shaquille O’Neal, then was joined by James and Bosh for his second and their first. Milicic won a title his rookie season, although he wasn’t a factor for that team. Anthony however, has never been close to winning a championship.
Carmelo sports career averages of 25 ppg, 6.4 rpg, 3.1 apg and 1.1 spg, while shooting 45% from the field and almost 81% from the free throw line. Those #’s and his ability have been good enough to lead his teams (both the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks) to the playoffs in each of his 9 NBA seasons, but in only 2 of those was he able to get his team out of the 1st round.
You have those sports people who use the excuse of Carmelo being stuck in the same era as Kobe Bryant, James and the San Antonio Spurs “Big 3” of Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili. You can also add Shaq into the mix as well, but I personally think that is a load of crap, because the Detroit Pistons, Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics managed to win a title during his career as well.
Carmelo just haven’t proven enough to me to show that he can lead a team nor has he shown me he can make his teammates better. Averaging 3 apg and 3 TO per game compares to that of Kevin Durant, but Durant’s apg has gradually went up every season, while Anthony’s fluctuate too much. This season was actually the worst of his career as far as passing to his teammates and he has never averaged more than 4 apg in any season of his career.
If all holds true like I expect it to, Carmelo Anthony will end up in the same sentence with guys like Charles Barkley (my favorite player ever), Dominique Wilkins and Reggie Miller. Great players who just couldn’t get the job done and win a title. Unfortunately, it’s looking like his best bet is to sell out and create a “Super Team” just for him to have a chance. Maybe he’ll end up with LeBron on his next contract….it’s just sad nowadays.
I’ve been a big time Carmelo fan since his Oak Hill Academy days, so please don’t construe this piece as hate. I love the guys talent level, but he just fails to use what he has. Watching his run at Syracuse and seeing what he was able to do that season, you could just see how big of a star he was going to be in the league. Also the way he led that team to a championship, it was nothing that suggested he would fail at the next level. He was by far the best player in college that season, even better than a somewhat underrated Wade at Marquette.
He just doesn’t seem like the same person since those days. The worst thing that ever happened to his game was working on his jump shot and gaining more confidence in shooting it. He shot less than 3 3-point shots per game the first 9 years in the league, but shot over 6 3-point shots this season. Now he relies squarely on shooting and not taking advantage of his strength and ball handling ability. Players and teams who live by the jump shot, die by the jump shot and we all know that.
Carmelo Anthony still has a bright future, but it may be so bright that he’s blinded and can’t see. I hope he can figure it out and find a solid team to mesh with and grow into a champion, but it’s looking highly unlikely at this point.