I always try to make it a point when I talk sports, to always remain objective and unbiased. It’s something my mentor taught me, that way your opinion can always be respected by your peers. Not necessarily agreed with, but always respected. It’s why when talking about New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, I want to make it clear that this is what I honestly feel and have no personal feelings towards him. Because here’s the thing:
Carmelo Anthony is not who you want him to be.
There I said it. I know Knicks fans were excited about the possibilities when ‘Melo forced his way to New York via trade in 2011 and rightfully so. The Garden was more alive than it had been in years because of Amare’ Stoudemire and the addition of ‘Melo was only thought to make the Knicks a serious championship contender. But, reality reared its’ ugly head and people quickly realized the issue. Carmelo and Amare’ didn’t fit together. Follow that with serious injuries to his back and knees and Stoudemire is now a shell of his former self while still making superstar money (2 years, $45 million). Which brings us back to New York’s “superstar.”
It’s why I was so reluctant to buy into the Knicks early last season when they were on a tear and had fans in New York dreaming of championships. It’s why I chuckled when ESPN was claiming Carmelo as the MVP of the league in November. It’s why I found it hilarious that Carmelo was leading the NBA in playoff shots, despite being eliminated in round 2, all the way until Game 2 of the Finals. And it’s why his statement about his game being ‘pretty much set in stone‘ tells you everything you need to know.
Carmelo Anthony does not deserve to be mentioned among the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Kevin Durant.
I’m tired of him being thrown in that group and it’s time to stop doing so. Carmelo, the guy who has been out of the 1st round in his 10 year career twice, has nothing in his game to work on? But LeBron is coming off back to back championships and claims every area of his game has improved? Kobe’s Lakers are expected to have a down season, but if you ask him the goal as always is a championship. Carmelo? As long as the Knicks have ‘fun’ it’s a successful season. Stop doing a disservice to yourself as a fan, and these other elite players by including Carmelo with them.
He’s a prolific scorer, decent rebounder, and notoriously bad defender. There are just the facts. But to really elevate yourself and team to championship levels, there are other things a star player needs. Mental fortitude, willingness to be elite in areas other than scoring, and a leader. Carmelo isn’t just missing those attributes, but completely secedes that he doesn’t plan on improving his game in the slightest.
That’s why it’s time to cut the charade. Carmelo isn’t one of the top players in the league and we should stop comparing him to such. Luckily he has me to say what needs to be said. Carmelo is who he is. He won’t surprise you, and you should place your expectations accordingly. I always have.