Carmelo Anthony is an NBA All Star. He was a National Champion at Syracuse, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, and he could even win a third Gold down in Rio four years from now. But all that doesn't do enough to escape one simple fact: Carmelo Anthony's friends are better at basketball than he his.
Not his friends from Syracuse, or Baltimore, or anywhere else either, but the NBA circle he associates himself with. He's not as good as those guys. Or at least, to be fair, he's not as accomplished. I'm not sure he ever will be either.
His star will always be loosely linked to the careers of the guys he came in with; LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and so on. It's also linked to this most recent class of Olympians too. But he's not amongst the NBA's elite. I think some of that has to do with his lack of desire on the defensive end. The remaining drivers I'm not as sure.
Ken Berger recently touched on this subject for an article at CBSSports.com, where he offered the following:
Anthony just completed his ninth season, making the playoffs every year but advancing out of the first round only once. His gifts as a scorer are beyond reproach, but there has to be more from Anthony if he is to join the likes of James and Dwyane Wade -- contemporaries from the 2003 draft -- in the conversation about those who will carry the NBA into the post-Kobe Bryant years. In fact, with the likes of Paul, Williams, Durant and Russell Westbrook, Anthony already is in danger of being passed by fellow stars who came into the NBA after he did. Being shunned in this conversation has long irked Anthony, who has brushed it off as unfair, uninformed criticism. A couple of years ago, while he was still a Nugget, Anthony told me, "If people are having talks and I'm not in the conversation as a top-five player in this league, then they shouldn't be talking about it." Since then, the greatest success Anthony has experienced involved a flexing not of his on-court talents but his off-court muscle in orchestrating the trade that sent him to New York with a max extension and the keys to the franchise. Thus far, he has a jettisoned coach, two first-round playoff exits and the departure of point guard Jeremy Lin to show for it.>Berger's comment regarding Lin was made tongue-in-cheek, but the rest of what he said is valid. Furthermore, I think Anthony already been passed by Chris Paul and Kevin Durant on the NBA pecking order for sure. Russell Westbrook's not too far behind either. I mention all this to say that it's not necessarily a bad thing. Anthony's still great, he's just not on that Mount Rushmore of the NBA's greatest. To reference back to that NBA Draft of 2003, he's more Chris Bosh at this point than Dwyane Wade. Still an All Star to be sure, still an explosive talent, but not amongst the best of the best. Maybe he was once, maybe could've been, but it doesn't look like he will be. And maybe, we should just all stop asking him to be something he's not. Unless, of course, he wants to somehow bring an NBA Title back to New York. Then all of this would sound ridiculous.
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What has Cris Paul, Deron Williams done that CarmeloAnthony hasn't done? Anthony did good on defense during the season and in the olympics. As far as the Knicks,he can't do it all by himself.
People talk of how good the Knicks were with Lin when Anhony was hurt and on the bench but they don't talk about how good they were when Lin was on the bench.Anhony's the one that got them into the playoffs. Anthony has his faults but he gets a whole lot of undue criticism.
I thought he did fine on defense last year. Chandler sets the the tone defensively and both Melo and Amare were much more engaged on the defensive end. So anyone saying this crap now did not watch him play a bit last year and is simply talking a stereotype.
@JustinG Dude ...really ! No Knick for most of last season would have been mistaken for a defensive stalwart but after coaching change(which I still disagree with at that time)! For all the extensive changes and responsibilities the team was asking of CA their was no way he could alter his game that much and still be a productive NBA star. The fact remains that this organization is a "mess"...From the top to the ball -boy! Every season the roster turnover but for 2-3 spots no draft picks are signed and developed....Since their fantasy belief in being able too sign LBJ they seem to have no long term team development in sight....This is not how the best teams work! Carmelo's talents or shortcomings or not the real story in NYC...This has become a front office seeking to acquire stars rather than put together a winning squad...
@Jerseysmelltours @JustinG Really DPOY Chandler Shump was a top perimeter defender in the league as a rookie Jeffries was a great defender. They went from 22nd to 5th in defense rating 28th to 11th in ppg allowed. That is the best turn around in the NBA hands down. I don't know what some peoples expectations are, but to go from 22nd to 5th in one season is a crazy accomplishment. They had 0 practice time starting the season and 0 practice time between games pretty much. Now that they get to practice with one another and work on things, they will be that much better. You can't just throw 5 guys out on the court and say "Ok, no practices and pretty much no days off between games. You guys need to be number 1 in every category from top to bottom even though you have never played with one another." Really? that is what you were expecting?
I'm a Knicks fan. And I could tell you that Anthony will NEVER win a title unless he starts playing defense and becomes a more well rounded player. Ball hogs can win a game or two when they're shooting well. But they do not carry a team. Yes, he scores a lot of points. But, he gets no rebounds or assists. And he might as well stand under his basket when the other team has the ball because he can't even get in the way of anyone trying to take a shot.
@NYSportsfan He's second to only Chandler in rebounds and second only to Shumpert in steals. How much more does he have to do to get some credit? He even blocks a shot or two. He does have a problem with keeping some opponents in front of him but that's why Chandler is there, for the backup. With all of the good ball handlers in the league, no one person can stay in front of all opponents, that's the importance of having a good rotation during defense. You have to have someone to pick your man up when he gets by. That's fundamental defense, covering each others back. Anthony is playing defense but there's no team defense which is what wins games. Stoudemire on the other hand plays no defense at all. I hope the Dream taught him some kind of defense with those post moves he says he learned. You guys need to watch Carmelo and give him some props for adjusting his game. If you don't see the adjustments he's made than you truly must be watching with blinders on. Plus, he was playing hurt the whole short season and still outplayed most of his teammates.
@NYSportsfan Hahaha, ain't that the truth!