Carmelo does have a unique game; it is an old school mid-range game that a lot of players don’t work on anymore. So, I understand him saying it is a lost art.
I think the critiques come more from him holding the ball, not passing and lack of defensive effort at times. He is a forgotten man in OKC, but that has been a good thing for the team.
“I watch guys work out in the summer, and it’s just straight shooting 3s and pick-and-rolls and ballhandling. Nobody works on the stuff I work on. It’s a lost art.” He knows all the criticisms, could recite them chapter and verse, and he says, “To be honest with you, I think I might be the only person in the history of the NBA who gets criticized for what he’s great at.” He laughs hard at that, and he says, “That’s OK. I’d rather be criticized for something I’m great at.” Fifteen years out there on the elbow, roughly 17 feet away, chiseling stones for his own personal pyramid. It’s a way of reaffirming his value in a world that no longer agrees.
The world has moved on, and he’s trying to move with it. Lord knows he’s trying. But for 15 years, Carmelo Anthony has tied his worth to what he can create from this one spot. It has given him 10 All-Star appearances and a scoring title and a cosmopolitan lifestyle that comes with nearly $250 million in career earnings. He drinks only the best wine and smokes only the best cigars and is close enough with Barack Obama that the two of them are in the process of finalizing Anthony’s future role in the Obama Foundation. It has also created divisions on teams, serial conflicts with coaches and none of the postseason success that his talent seemed to portend when he left Syracuse in 2003 after one championship season.
In Anthony’s defense, he has changed his game to help OKC.
Will it make a difference in playoffs? Time will tell.