With the New York Knicks spiraling downwards, most of the blame will be placed on Carmelo Anthony. The Knicks star is still putting up scoring numbers, but everything else to help a team win he once again isn’t doing.
I have a theory on Anthony and it’s that he’s never truly played on a real basketball team.
When I think of recent great basketball teams, I think of the Spurs, the Lakers and Pistons back in the day and the 2011 Mavericks. Now all these teams had Hall of Fame players and coaches: Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Dirk Nowitzki, Phil Jackson, Gregg Popovich, and Larry Brown. The talent on the floor and bench were amazing, but that’s not what only got them their rings….they were a complete basketball team.
These teams had players who knew their roles, clutch shots, defensive stoppers, great schemes, better coaching, and two star players. Carmelo has never had that on a team he has been on. The best team he has been on is probably the 2008-2009 Denver Nuggets team, who lost to the Lakers in the Western Conference Finals 4-2. It was the first season that Carmelo got out of the first round.
I feel like every team Anthony has been on his entire life, including high school and at Syracuse, the game plan has been just let Carmelo score. Now I’m not bashing any coaches because I know being a coach is very hard, but there’s been no true team identity or style of play on any team Carmelo has been a part of.
There’s no questioning Melo’s ability to score points, but his efficiency has always been an issue. There’s no plan on offense other than to give Carmelo free will to shoot whenever he wants. That’s not what a team is all about. Sure Kobe shoots a lot, but there was an offense in tact with Jackson that got everyone involved, especially the bigs (Shaq, Pau, and Bynum).
Another reason why I say Carmelo has never been on a true basketball team is because he never had another great player play with him. People get on him and say he can’t be the best player on a team that wants to win a championship; that he can’t be a “Batman.”
Well where is Batman without his Robin? Give Carmelo another truly great scorer and player and then we can judge him. Every championship team has two or more great players, and Carmelo has never had a player who is in his prime to play with him.
Anthony has been playing basketball all his life, but he has never been on a true basketball team.