What’s With The Hate on Carmelo Anthony?
What’s With The Hate on Carmelo Anthony?
By Oliver Cachapero, Jr.
Just like many NBA players whom we admire because of their struggles in life prior to playing in the league, Carmelo Anthony had his own share of struggles early in his life. He was born in the slums of Brooklyn and lost his father to cancer when he was just two years old. He was then raised in Baltimore where he witnessed violence and drugs as a daily occurrence. The sad reality of life did not stop him from pursuing his dream of becoming a professional basketball player.
He grew to be a well-decorated high school basketball player earning several Player of the Year awards and All-USA and All-American First Team selections.
In his only season in college, he played for Syracuse and led the school to its first ever title in 2003. He averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds per game that year.
He was then drafted 3rd overall to the NBA by the Denver Nuggets in 2003. In his rookie season, he turned the Nuggets franchise around improving its standing to 43 wins and 39 losses from its previous awful record of 17 wins and 65 losses. The Nuggets reached the playoffs that year, their first appearance since the 1994-1995 season. Anthony led the team with averages of 21.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 2.8 assists per game while 44.9% from the floor; a very impressive stat-line for a 19-year-old NBA rookie.
In his seven full seasons as a Nugget, the team reached the Playoffs in each of those seasons, led of course by Anthony who was occasionally teamed up with washed out stars (Iverson, Billups) and average stars (Andre Miller, K-Mart, Camby), but never with a bona fide superstar. Nevertheless, the Nuggets, under Melo’s helm, was a winning team which climaxed in 2009 when they reached the Western Conference Finals, losing to the eventual Champions the Los Angeles Lakers in six hard-fought games. Carmelo averaged 27.5 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 3.7 assists per game during that series.
His dominance on the offensive end was never questioned. He once scored 33 points in a single quarter, tying the then NBA record.
As a New York Knick, he recorded three consecutive 40+ point game in 2013 and led the league in scoring that year. He ranked 3rd in the MVP voting just behind LeBron and KD. He received one 1st place vote. The following year, he scored a career high 62 points, a Madison Square Garden record.
But despite his success, he has always been a laughingstock in the league for his alleged selfish brand of game and ineffective team leadership.
When he scored 62 points, he did not register a single assist in 38 minutes. People would hate him for that zero assist but did not praise him for his 23 field goal made, 10/10 free throws made, thirteen rebounds and zero turnovers.
How come he is condemned for his selfish play if his career average in assist (3.1) is higher than Dirk Nowitzki (2.5) and almost the same as Kevin Durant (3.8)? People should stop mocking Carmelo of his passing skills and must understand that he is paid to shoot the ball, unlike LeBron James who is the designated playmaker.
How come he is to blame for all the Knicks’ woes for the past four seasons if the franchise has a very dysfunctional leadership while all Carmelo wanted is to be loyal to his hometown and give his fellow New Yorkers that elusive title? Unfortunately, his enthusiasm has not been fairly reciprocated by the franchise.
How come fans and even fellow players downplay his selection as Kevin Love’s replacement in the 2017 All-Star Game if he is averaging 23.4 points, 6.1 rebounds, 2.9 assists per game this season, better in all categories than Bradley Beal, his most vocal critic. It just so happened that Carmelo is stuck with a bad team.
How come his will to win has been questioned over and over again if he is inarguably one of the most clutch players in the league right now even at the age of 32? He is tied for fourth best in field goal made within the last minute of the game (twelve, tied with Kemba Walker) just behind DeMarcus Cousins, Russell Westbrook, and C.J. McCollum.
And before I forget, he is currently the top 25 scoring leader of all time, reaching that feat in just 957 games, and he has at least three more 20+ point scoring seasons in his sleeves.
Outside his NBA achievements, we all know that he holds the most Olympic medal as a member of the Men’s Basketball National Team (three gold medals). In addition, he has initiated several charity works and is a staunch advocate of the rights of African Americans.
If these accomplishments would still not merit respect from fans, media, coaches and players then I do not know what will.
I just hope Carmelo decides to join a team that could contend come Playoffs time this season, because if he wins an NBA title before he retires, he would join a rare group of seven other players who have won an NCAA Title, NBA Title and Olympic Gold Medal (Clyde Lovellette, Bill Russell, K.C. Jones, Jerry Lucas, Quinn Buckner, Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan).
That would cement his already hall of fame career if you ask me.