Wednesday, November 14, 2018

In recent years, no player in the NBA has been through as much stress as Carmelo Anthony. From inferior teammates to unqualified coaches, to dysfunctional front offices, Carmelo can’t escape it. Through it all, he gets the blame for it more than not.

Why is that? Melo is looked up to by his peers, younger hoopers, and fans all over the basketball world. He has been the number one option on every team he’s played for since college. He is one of the four players to never average under 20 PPG at any point of their career since 1965. Those three other players? Just Kevin Durant, LeBron James, and Micheal Jordan. He is one of the greatest scorers this generation has seen. So why doesn’t he get the respect that he deserves?

Carmelo’s Ranking

Every year ESPN releases a top-100 player ranking and it usually gets no traction. Unless they give a ridiculous ranking to a HOF player like how they gave Kobe Bryant a 93rd ranking in 2015. This year they did it again by ranking Carmelo 64th overall. To put this in perspective, these are the players that were ranked ahead of Melo.

  • Lonzo Ball
  • Danny Green
  • Harrison Barnes
  • Malcolm Brogdon
  • Robert Covington
  • Danilo Gallinari
  • Jrue Holiday

On the bright side, many players, personalities, and analysts came to Melo’s defense saying the ranking was “Garbage” and “Disrespectful”. Even Portland Trailblazers’ guard CJ McCollum came up with a brilliant idea to have the players rank the journalist 1-100.

It’s very odd that Carmelo is ranked 64th given the fact that his ranking last year was 31st. Why did they have the audacity to rank Lonzo Ball, a rookie who hasn’t proved anything ahead of a 10-time All-Star. What has Melo done to receive this much hate from analyst, coaches, GMs and delusional Team Presidents?

Dysfunction

It seems like ever since his 5-year, $120 Million extension with no-trade clause with the Knicks in 2014, he has been viewed as “Selfish” and “Only in it for the Money”. In an era of non-loyalty and ring chasing, it’s peculiar how the narrative changed for Carmelo. The 30-year old at the time was courted by the Bulls, Lakers, Rockets and Mavericks before returning to the Knicks, who by rule were allowed to make the most lucrative offer. Melo stayed with the Knicks because he is a New York Knick at heart.  He believed that James Dolan and Phil Jackson would build a title contending team around him so that they could bring dominance back to the “Big Apple”. Looking back three years later, that was one of the foolish things to believe.

The Knicks arguably has the most incompetent front office. The owner is more focused on his “JD and the Straight Shot Band” than being an actual owner. During the 2017 NBA Draft, Dolan was spotted playing at a blues concert with his band. That alone should show where his priorities are. However, Dolan was never the basketball savvy type. He would delegate it to his colleagues that actually know what to do and who to sign. So his right-hand man was Phil Jackson. The man who didn’t want the job as Team President but took it because the offer Dolan gave him was something he couldn’t refuse. 5 year $12 Million Annually. It didn’t matter because 3 years later he parted ways with the Knicks after gutting them for another $24 million just to leave.

During his tenure, Jackson started a feud with Lebron James, fired Mike Woodson, hired Derek Fisher then fired him, traded away Tyson Chandler, and alienated Carmelo making his trade stock fall. The only notable thing that Jackson did right was to sign Kristaps Porzingis until he threatened to trade him this summer.

However, Dolan was never the basketball savvy type. He would delegate it to his colleagues that actually know what to do and who to sign. So his right-hand man was Phil Jackson. The man who didn’t want the job as Team President but took it because the offer Dolan gave him was something he couldn’t refuse. 5 year $12 Million Annually. It didn’t matter because 3 years later he parted ways with the Knicks after gutting them for another $24 million just to leave. During his tenure, Jackson started a feud with Lebron James, fired Mike Woodson, hired Derek Fisher then fired him, traded away Tyson Chandler, and alienated Carmelo making his trade stock fall. The only notable thing that Jackson did right was to sign Kristaps Porzingis until he threatened to trade him this summer.

This is what he was dealing with.

Even the New York fan base was fed up with Carmelo.

[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS2oqDSzqEA[/embedyt]

They went so far as excluding him from the Season Ticket marketing poster.

What’s Next for Melo?

The fact of the matter is, the Knicks are terrible and they will be terrible for a few more years. As great as Carmelo is as an individual, he is not the player to make his teammates better. He isn’t what people will calla “Leader”. Comparing his “Banana Boat” crew he is the least talented and least achieving (along-side Chris Paul). Him playing in the New York media doesn’t make his situation any better.

The only way for him to revive his career is to go team up with James Harden and Chris Paul in Houston to compete with Golden State. However, that seems unlikely given the fact that there is still a no-trade clause on his deal. Even if Melo somehow retires a Knick, like it or not, he is the best things that ever happened to them in 20 years. But Carmelo doesn’t care, in the words of “Hoodie Melo”…”F*CK IT I’M MY OWN FAN.”

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