Throughout his NBA career, Carmelo Anthony hasn’t lived up to many people’s expectations who regularly compare him to other members of the 2003 NBA Draft class such as LeBron James & Dwyane Wade. Does Melo have 2 or even 1 championship like his former draftees? No, and that’s the end of the argument for some ignorant fans.
Anthony has accomplished some amazing feats in his 13-year career and has been underappreciated by many, including the media. If the former Orangeman has an off shooting night, tune into ESPN where it’s sure to be mentioned on the bottomline and on SportsCenter during the highlights. But when Melo has a good shooting night, don’t expect anybody to disperse this information because LeBron has these all the time.
The comparisons are unfair so instead of bashing a player for not playing like someone he was drafted with, let’s take a look at 5 prime reasons that the New York Knicks superstar has been underappreciated in his career thus far:
Carmelo Anthony has played with an All-Star in only 4 seasons but his teams have missed the playoffs only twice
Besides a brief stint with Allen Iverson that didn’t go as planned, Carmelo has never played with another bonafide superstar. He had Chauncey Billups as a teammate towards the latter part of his career, but with all due respect to Mr. Big Shot, I don’t believe he can be the second best player on a championship-caliber team. Besides those two, number 15 (at the time) never played with any great players while in Denver unless you consider a young, erratic J.R. Smith great…I don’t either.
After the big trade in 2011, Amare Stoudemire was supposed to be that guy but we all know how that panned out. Could Kristaps Porzingis be Melo’s sidekick of the future? Some believe he’s already the best player Anthony has played with in years which speaks to the promise KP is showing early in his rookie season and also to the lack of quality players Carmelo has played with in his career.
In the 12 seasons Melo has been in the NBA, only 3 times has a team won the championship without at least 2 of their players making the All-Star team.
Carmelo Anthony is a lock for The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame
Also selected third overall in his draft, Dominique Wilkins was elected to the Hall of Fame in just his second year of eligibility. ‘The Human Highlight Film’ was known as an electric dunker and an unstoppable scorer, currently sitting in 12th place on the all-time scoring list. There was no question this man deserved to be in the Hall of Fame with a career stat line of 24.8 PPG, 6.7 RPG and 3.1 APG.
Why am I referencing Dominique Wilkins in a story regarding Carmelo Anthony? Take a look at how eerily close their stats are to each other.
Now why is it that nobody argues that Wilkins doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame but Anthony is questionable because he’s a “one-dimensional player”? Their stats are nearly identical in almost every category, proving that Melo can hang with one of the best in league history.
Carmelo Anthony truly appreciates his fans
I get the opportunity once a year to observe Anthony at his Camp Melo in NYC and it’s amazing to watch how much he genuinely cares about his fans. Compared to some other athletes who may just be interested in hosting camps for the cash incentive, Carmelo takes the time to take pictures with each camper independently, visits each team as they go through drills and always thanks the parents.
The following is an excerpt from The Hoops Whisperer by Idan Ravin, Carmelo Anthony’s trainer:
I admire his patience with his fans: complete strangers who adore him and wait for him after games, at the mall, at restaurants, at bars, at nightclubs, at events, at the airport, on the sidewalk, at the grocery store, at the hotel, and at the gas station. They hope to say hello, to shake hands, to ask for an autograph, to pose for a photo they can send to their friends or post on Twitter and Facebook and Instagram.
One time when I knew his energy was low I asked him, “Do you want me to tell them not now?”
“Nah, it’s cool,” Melo said.
“Yeah, it’s cool.”
“Why is it cool?”
“Because they’ll always remember,” he said.
“You just never know what it could mean to someone.”
It’s great how a superstar of his magnitude takes time out of his day to make fans’ days, months or even years. In his pre and post-game interviews, he always seems to be very respectful to the media as well, something that’s not too easy to do in the media market that is New York.
Carmelo Anthony is a great teammate/leader on and off the court
I am not on the New York Knicks roster so I can only talk about what I see on TV, at MSG and on Melo’s social media accounts, but Anthony always seems to have his teammates’ back.
Just days after Carmelo was allegedly enraged when Phil Jackson selected Kristaps Porzingis with the 4th overall pick in the draft, he was tracked down by the paparazzi and asked about the Latvian prodigy. Melo replied by saying ‘I really love’ Porzingis and that he’s working out with him tomorrow.
In a game in Atlanta, Kent Bazemore and KP got into an altercation which started by the Hawks’ Guard ripping the ball out of Porzingis’s hand after the whistle. It got heated when Bazemore and Kristaps started talking shit to each other face-to-face so Melo jumped in and pushed the Hawk out of KP’s face. When Anthony was asked about the situation after the game he replied with, “I’d go to war with him (Porzingis) any day”.
To cite one last example, Quincy Acy wasn’t in the holiday spirit in 2014 when the Knicks were playing the Washington Wizards on Christmas Day. Obviously frustrated with the way the game and the season was panning out up to that point, Acy fouled John Wall hard on a fastbreak and threw a punch after the Point Guard retaliated with a push. Sensing his teammate wasn’t going to calm down any time soon with Wizards draped all over him, Anthony grabbed Acy and brought him away from the opposing team and referees to try to keep his teammate out of more trouble.
Now Carmelo could’ve easily just walked away not wanting to get involved with the situation (I’m looking at you Cole Aldrich), but the leader stepped in to help his teammate avoid further trouble.
Carmelo Anthony is one of the most dynamic scorers in NBA history
Stop looking at what Carmelo can’t do and start looking at what he can do. On any given night, there’s a chance number 7 erupts for 60+ points, something that can’t be said about too many people who have ever played this game. While many of the great scorers had their trademark moves like Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s hook shot and Kobe Bryant’s fadeaway, Anthony does it in every way possible.
Sure, Melo loves to ‘isolate and devastate’ as the great Walt Frazier would say, but he’s grown tremendously as a 3-point shooter since donning the blue and orange. In his best year 3-point wise in Denver, Carmelo never averaged more 3-point attempts or makes as he did in his worst year in New York.
The advantage that he has over players like LeBron by developing a long-range jumper over the years is that he’ll be able to contribute more in his latter days offensively. As of December 28th, LeBron held the worst field goal percentage outside of the paint. When James and Anthony won’t be able to get in the paint as easily as they do today, only one will be able to rely on their shot more heavily without sacrificing wins and losses for their team.
All Knicks fans remember Melo’s 62-point night which broke the Knicks single-game scoring record and MSG scoring record, but many forget about an equally impressive game. While a Nugget, Carmelo Anthony went absolutely silly against the Timberwolves by scoring 33 points in one quarter. This broke the franchise record and tied George Gervin’s NBA record at the time until Klay Thompson’s 37-point quarter last season.
So while many around the sports world continue to not adequately acknowledge Anthony in the prime of his career, fans and ‘analysts’ should enjoy the superstar before they’re watching career highlights of Carmelo during his last year in the NBA.
Penthouse Views is an editorial column on SkyscraperSports.com that gives the best views on the hottest subjects around the New York sports world.