I don’t care what you think about Carmelo Anthony. If you think he’s selfish, greedy, or not a good influence on players trying to win, you’re not seeing what you should be. Many of the things Melo is criticized for are completely out of his control, making him one of the most unlucky NBA players of all time.
2003 NBA Draft
Just months after Carmelo Anthony single-handedly lead Syracuse to a national championship, he was patiently waiting to hear his name called at the 2003 NBA Draft. The Cavaliers unsurprisingly selected the best basketball player since Michael Jordan, Lebron James with the first overall pick.
The 50-32 Detroit Pistons held the second pick. They knew they already had a team that could win the NBA championship in the next year, so this pick was essentially icing on the cake. They went back in forth between selecting the best player in college basketball, Carmelo Anthony, and a mysterious Serbian center, Darko Milicic. Eventually, they settled on Milicic.
Though Melo was taken by Denver with the next pick, this was the unfortunately only the first time he would be slept on in his career. What if Carmelo Anthony was taken by the Pistons? Would he not have been a high impact player this early in his career? We will never know for sure, but Melo would’ve been a great fit on the 2004 NBA champions: the Detroit Pistons.
Carmelo Anthony spent the first eights seasons of his career playing for the Denver Nuggets. He averaged over 20 points every year since he was a rookie, and even lead a team of Chauncey Billups, J.R. Smith, and Nene to the Western Conference Finals in 2009. With all respect to those three players, Melo was essentially surrounded with roleplayers.
After the Nuggets failed to surround Carmelo Anthony with capable talent, he demanded a trade in 2011 to his hometown team, the New York Knicks. He was eventually moved in return for Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Raymond Felton, Timofey Mozgov, and a first round pick.
New York Knicks
Ever since Carmelo Anthony put on a Knicks jersey, he was disliked by the majority of NBA fans. Though he continued to average over 20 points per game ever since joining the Knicks, he was still looked at as a selfish player who will never win a championship.
Up until this offseason, Carmelo Anthony was happy in New York despite never being surrounded by ample talent. Unlike most players who would become impatient and demand a trade, Melo stayed loyal to his hometown which I thought was really cool. This is why I think Melo can’t win. If he stays, he’ll be criticized for being selfish and not wanting to win. If he leaves, he’ll be criticized again for being selfish, and also for his lack of loyalty.
This offseason, it looks like Carmelo will finally be freed from the New York Knicks’ front office. Hopefully, he can start fresh with a new team this year.