NEW YORK — Overrated ball hog. This is Carmelo Anthony. He doesn’t seem to be a bad guy. He is not the devil. He’s probably going to shoot the Knicks past the Celtics in the first round of these NBA playoffs. But he’s not going to be an NBA champion. He’s not one of the all-time greats. He appears to be incapable of doing anything to help his team unless he has the ball in his hands. Who are the best NBA players who never passed the basketball? Larry Bird and Magic Johnson made teammates better with their passing skills. LeBron James is a great passer. Even Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant gave it up once in a while. Wilt Chamberlain — who averaged 50 points a game in a season — managed to lead the league in assists when he decided he’d done everything else. Oscar Robertson averaged a triple-double over a full season. Tiny Archibald led the league in scoring and assists in the same season. Not Melo. He plays like an only child. He cannot share the ball. He knows he’s better than all of his teammates and he plays like a man intent on doing it all by himself. He either has the basketball, or he’s demanding the basketball. The Knicks’ offense is Melo pounding, and four guys standing around watching. In many ways, this makes him the perfect face of the 2012-13 Knicks. There is a sense of desperation about this New York basketball team. The true greats win championships. The overrated ball hogs do not.
Look I understand what Shaughnessy is doing. I know why he wrote what he wrote. For fucks sake, I’ve written what Shaughnessy wrote in this same article. I get that its kind of like writing a troll blog. Saying inflammatory exaggerated shit to stir the pot. I’m not gonna flip out because this is the crux of what I do every day. But here’s the 2 main problems I have with Shaughnessy and anyone else still killing Carmelo at this point:
1) Since when does every NBA star have to be Magic Johnson or Oscar Robertson? Does Carmelo average 28, 8, and 7? No. Is he Lebron James? No. Is he Kevin Durant? No. Is he a good ball distributor? No. Nobody is claiming any of that. He’s an exceptional scorer. He takes a lot of shots because he’s by far the best player on the Knicks. Would you rather JR Smith gets to chuck up a couple extra threes per game? You want the ball in fucking Iman Shumpert’s hands? On this team, Carmelo should take 30 shots a game. He’s not a human triple double. He’s not a point forward. Theres only been like a handful of superstar point forwards in the history of the sport. He’s a small forward shooter/scorer. And he’s a very good one. He’s nothing more, but nothing less.
2) Its working this year. Like I said, I’ve criticized Carmelo the same way this idiot Shank has. Everyone has. Because some of the things he said are true. But this season it works. Game 1 was the perfect example of Melo’s game now. Incredibly hot start. Incredibly hot finish. Drilled a ridiculously huge, ridiculously difficult shot with a hand in his face. That shot he hit from the right wing – he was the only player on the court that could have hit that shot. And then in the last critical possession he’s doubled and finds K-Mart underneath with a sick pass from the top of the key to ice it. 13-29 for 36 points including putting the team on his back in the final minutes with the biggest assist of the game. If Carmelo had a better reputation, newspaper journalists are spinning that as “The superstar who persevered through his cold streak and carried his team when they needed him most.” But based on his reputation its spun as him being a ball hog. Its an old, tired rhetoric. This season, its no longer the case. Forget about the past and give credit where credit is due. This season, Carmelo has done everything he can do (meaning, yes, he can’t do everything) to get the Knicks where they are. And thats all you can ask of a guy.
PS – Everyone agrees Pres and Shank are some how related/separated at birth or something right?