Jake Brown | Twitter |
The amount of vitriol and hate going around for Carmelo Anthony this offseason is ridiculous.
First off, let's talk about facts and what is justified criticism of the 10-time NBA All-Star.
- Melo has never won an NBA title.
- He's never been to the NBA Finals.
- He's coming off the worst season of his career, averaging 16.2 PPG, 5.8 RPG, and 1.3 APG, while shooting just 40 percent from the field.
- He's 34 years old and has played 15 NBA seasons.
All those things are true about Melo. He's not in his prime. He's not the same player he was with the Knicks and Nuggets. He's getting old and won't be one of the top 25 players in the NBA again, barring an unexpected renaissance.
But in the category of 'scrub' that FiveThirtyEight put him in with a -0.3 5-year market value? Shut the front door.
Melo has averaged 24.1 PPG for his career, even after his downfall in Oklahoma City last season. He's been to the playoffs 11 times. He's made 10 NBA All-Star teams. He was the 2013 NBA scoring champion. He's won three gold medals for his country.
Yet because of one bad season on a team where he played with Russell Westbrook, who shoots more than a doctor at a blood drive, he is receiving all this hate.
It was a huge adjustment for Melo going from the guy to the third guy on a team with two stars that were just better and in their prime. It's an adjustment he will make wherever he winds up next -- whether that's with LeBron James and the Lakers, with his buddies Chris Paul and James Harden in Houston, or with The Process in Philly.
You know how many players haven't won an NBA title? The list is too long to get in to, but not everyone gets there. Any team that LeBron was on had been claiming that role in the East. When Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan were playing, they took that role in the West while Melo was on the Nuggets.
Blaming one player for not being able to make the Finals and because he shoots a lot is ludicrous and nonsensical no matter if you like Melo or not. He's not in the realm of LeBron and Kobe and Harden and Steph Curry and Kevin Durant. He was a star, though, and has always been fun to watch. And he has all the accolades mentioned above.
To label the guy a 'scrub' now is based off skewed personal opinion, not facts. Say what you want about him: from the #StayMe7o stuff to the LaLa stuff to self-serving videos of him working out. It doesn't take away from the fact that Melo will help his next team get better.
Melo is not going to be the star of the show again, but he 100 percent will be a very important piece in the puzzle. Does he need to come to the realization that he's better off coming off the bench? Possibly. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't be playing at least 20-plus minutes every night for a competitive team.
You may not like Melo personally. You may think he's washed and finished. You might hate his social media, branding, attitude, etc. But thinking he's finished, a bad player, or not capable of possibly being part of a team that can compete for a championship? That's just foolish.