Recently, Carmelo Anthony found himself bearing it all on ESPN’s First Take. He sat down for an interview with Stephen A. Smith trying to justify a new contract for himself and trying to convince owners across the league to take another shot on him. The mighty, like they always do, have fallen. But at this stage in Carmelo’s career, it would be unjustifiably so.
Carmelo Anthony should still be in the league! The NBA’s respect for Phil Jackson is what is truly hurting Melo. Despite the NY Knicks experiment with him as an executive failing miserably. Phil Jackson gave Carmelo Anthony that $124 Mil guaranteed contract, with $26,243,760 in the fourth season and $27,928,140 in the fifth and final year. Cant be mad at Melo for that. Phil then blew the team up around him… completely. Never gave him a free agent piece worth talking about. And when KP finally came around, he was young and couldn’t contribute at a high level. Additionally, Phil fired a coach in Mike Woodson, who won 54 games and won a round in the NBA playoffs, the only such round in the last 2 decades!
Still, somehow, Phil Jackson made it seem like Melo was the bad guy before a very nasty break-up. HOW?!
Jackson traded him off to OKC, where Carmelo Anthony truly didn’t fit and OKC didn’t even have enough time to put the right pieces around that big 3 because it was an extremely last minute deal. But it clearly wasn’t all Melo’s fault that the team didn’t work out, because they didn’t do any better last season without him.
THEN, Carmelo Anthony goes to Houston, where he already had an issue with coach Mike D’Antoni. CP3 gets injured and the whole team looks shaky. But for whatever reason, Houston only gave Carmelo 10 games to make it work. Imagine if the Miami Big 3 only had 10 games to make it work that first season?! Stop it!
Melo got his money though, because it was guaranteed.
All that talk that Carmelo should have been a lot more open to the idea of coming off the bench was silly as well. He was making $27 mil. He was a perennial All-Star in NYC, that’s not a 6th man in OKC or Hou. In 2012, while that may seem like ages ago, Carmelo Anthony averaged 28.7 points per game. He was third in MVP voting that year. That was the last time he had a solid team around him.
In recent months, Carmelo has been extremely calm and quiet through it all. But to act like he doesn’t know how to play winning basketball in THIS NBA is flat out disrespectful. Stop telling me he doesn’t play D… most of the league doesn’t. SERIOUSLY! No one is watching defensive highlights on top plays. There are about 10 guys in the league who are elite defenders and the rest just do enough to not end up on a highlight reel.
Don’t tell me he can’t lead a championship team, that’s irrelevant to this argument. Only 4 players have really led a championship team in the last 10 years. Maybe 10 players in the last 20 years, but that’s a reach. . There’s no denying he was an elite talent for much of his career. No denying he can still put up 20 a night. In fact, Melo’s career average is still over 24 points a game.
Money was the issue last 2 years. He was making 27 mil so many teams couldn’t afford him. He’s not washed… that’s s lie. He’s not selfish, that’s bull. While the league mindset has changed he can still make some team in this NBA relevant. He can still fill seats and he can he mentor some young talent. The league would be silly not to give him another year or 2 of action.
He clearly wont be making $20 mil, but doubt that’s what he’s asking for at this point in his career. He just wants to contribute. And he can. Should he be making the league minimum though? The league minimum in the NBA right now is $507,500. That would be completely below the market rate for his talent, he deserves a respectable offer!
Vince Carter will be spending his 22nd season playing for the Atlanta Hawks this coming season. He is an example to Carmelo of the type of longevity that can be had. Carmelo Anthony has been active 17 seasons and is 35 years old. He has a lot more to contribute to this league. He just needs a fair shot.
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