There is no doubt that Carmelo Anthony has been one of the most underappreciated hoopers of the last 15 years. There is nothing more satisfying than seeing the ball going through that net and seeing Melo put 3 fingers up to the dome. But he has been hated on for way too long.
Picture this, it’s 2005 and the Cavaliers are taking on the Nuggets. LeBron James and Anthony, the two most touted players of their draft class, are going head to head. This matchup has always been fun to watch, but this was their ascension to greatness. Everybody respected these two young NBA players. We all knew they were the future of the NBA. Both young phenoms having reached pinnacles in their amateur careers could ascend further.
Now it is 2020, and Anthony is finally on a team after a year-and-a-half hiatus. The media posts about him, and instantly here come the comments.
Everybody always pictured Anthony as a “toxic” player on whatever team he’s on when in reality, he is a bucket. Anthony has averaged more than 23 points per game throughout his career. He was the league’s leading scorer in 2013. He is currently 36 and can still be one of the better scorers in the game.
But you know what really grinds my gears? The same fans who said he was washed just a year ago now say Anthony, who they’ve dubbed “Skinny Melo,” is a walking bucket since he’s hitting clutch three’s for the Trail Blazers. Those “fans” are now putting their 3 fingers to the temples when they play ball in the driveway. Where were they when he was on the horrendous New York Knicks? Where were they when he got released from the Rockets just after a few games?
Oh yeah, they were out there SHITTING on him, when he has been nothing but dedicated and loyal to the game of basketball.
The Knicks-Bulls game from Easter Sunday in 2012 remains one of the best games I’ve ever seen in sports. Melo has the ball with just ten seconds left and the Knicks down three. Mike Breen yells his signature “BANG!” as Anthony forces overtime. Now in OT, Carmelo pulls up again and Breen again yells that signature “Bang.” The Knicks take the win thanks to Anthony’s second clutch shot of the game.
Anthony has been one of the most respected and disrespected basketball players in NBA history. But you really cannot hate on what he has been doing lately. He is clutch, he is still that top scorer and he could be a first ballot hall of famer. Even Dame Dolla said, “when we got [Carmelo Anthony], everybody had something to say about him…But he was a good teammate and good for our younger players. On the floor he talks about whether he’s having a good or bad game. Just all about the team”.
Anthony was also asked what he learned about the NBA while he was out and unsigned. “Clarity,” he answered. In my opinion, by clarity, he means hate. He understands that people are going to hate. But that hate is motivation. After all, a 77 rating in 2k only adds fuel.
You also have to respect what Carmelo Anthony does off the court. He has been a huge voice for the Black Lives Matter community as well as building basketball courts in Puerto Rico and low income areas. Anthony was on the most recent cover of SLAM magazine with his son Kiyan, talking about “It Stops Now.” Melo was also on “Good Morning America” recently advocating for the Black Lives Matter community.
Carmelo Anthony has done so much for the basketball world and he just never got the love he truly deserves. It is time to appreciate his talent and to STAYME7O.