• Ryan Costello

Carmelo Anthony is Back!

Updated: Apr 15, 2020

By Ryan Costello

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Tuesday night, the NBA world, and the entire sports world, witnessed the return of a legend to the court. You may be asking, “Who are you talking about, Ryan?” Well let me tell you. The man goes by the name of Carmelo Anthony.

For those who don’t know, Carmelo Anthony is a ringless, future hall-of-fame small forward from Baltimore, Maryland.

Last night, Carmelo Anthony took to the hardwood as a member of the Portland Trailblazers for the first time in his career. The game had also been the first time in over a year that Melo has been a member of an NBA team. The man also decided to mix things up a bit and chose the number 00. The change comes as a surprise because he wore the number seven ever since he became a Knick in 2010.

Melo continued to never average less than 10 points per game in his career by dropping 10 points in Portland’s 115-104 loss to the Pelicans. Many people seem to forget, the man managed a whopping 24.9 points per game for the first 12 seasons of his career; he also went to 10 straight All-Star games, and oh yeah he has a scoring titles under his belt too. Also yeah, I know it’s surprising, I know how to use a semicolon.

I bring up Carmelo’s miraculous past because people still keep producing slander of him on the internet. As a fan of the Syracuse Orange, I’m naturally disgusted, but as a fan of the NBA I’m kind of ashamed. What led to Hoodie Melo becoming a joke in the league?

The story begins the 2017-18 season, when Carmelo Anthony joined a promising Oklahoma City Thunder squad. Anthony made up a big three of him, Paul George, and reigning MVP Russell Westbrook. The team, in my opinion, unsurprisingly failed and much of the blame fell on Carmelo. 

Image courtesy of the Associated Press

I believe the blame should’ve fallen on either the coach of the Thunder, Billy Donovan, or the organization's general manager, Sam Presti, who thought putting three ball dominant players on one team and continually running isolation plays was a great idea. 

Also, in my opinion, Carmelo and Westbrook shouldn’t have been on the same team in the first place. Westbrook is one of the fattest ball hogs in the league and is used to having a weak supporting cast. Russell Westbrook’s tendencies have resulted in him hindering other’s abilities while they were on the Thunder (James Harden and Victor Oladipo), and I add the Thunder part because it looks like the ship is headed in the right direction for the Houston Rockets. For those who don’t know, the Rockets acquired Russell Westbrook via trade over the summer.

Enough about Westbrook and more about the man of the hour. Once the Carmelo Anthony hate began in Oklahoma City, he got traded to the Atlanta Hawks for draft picks, power forward Mike Muscala, and dual-guard Dennis Schroder. Immediately after joining the Hawks he got waived and signed by Houston. 

While in Houston, Carmelo averaged 13.4 points per game in only 10 games, a great run until it ended when he was traded to the Chicago Bulls (which should’ve been the case in the summer of 2014) and, once again, immediately waived. I again disagree greatly with this move because although he only average 13.4 ppg with Houston, Melo balled out. The man dropped 40 points in a game against the Nets. In the end, he just didn’t fit in the system and got black-balled by the league for over a year.

Image courtesy of Complex

After Anthony’s time in Houston, the slander began. While in Houston and OKC, Melo saw himself hit career lows in shooting percentage, free-throw percentage, and points per game. Many people believed he was washed-up and couldn’t take a less important role in the roster. The people feared Melo would experience the same end to his career as Allen Iverson. 

Allen Iverson couldn’t take a back seat role while in his last few years in the NBA. Even after dealing with a back injury while in the Detroit Pistons in the 2008-09 season, Iverson still refused to come off the bench; and when he did start he only hurt the offense. AI decided to take his talents to Turkey after playing a split season with the Memphis Grizzlies and the Philadelphia 76ers. At the age of 36-years-old Allen Iverson still eyed a return to the NBA that never ended up happening because of his urge to be the focus of the offense.

Carmelo Anthony had been a completely different case on the other hand. He just didn’t fit in with the Rockets system and the masses believed he couldn’t understand the reality of his situation, which was simply untrue because Melo voiced that he’d take a lesser role as long as he got a chance to play in several interviews. 

Some people began to question if Anthony’s career was hall-of-fame worthy, including die-hard Knick fan, Stephen A. Smith. I want to take this as an opportunity to say you’re wrong, Mr. Smith. Carmelo Anthony will be a first-ballot hall-of-fame basketball player when he finally retires from the league. I already named some of his accomplishments as a player, but let me name some more. 

As a star freshman for the Syracuse Orange in the 2002-03 season, Carmelo averaged 22.2 points, 10

rebounds, and 2.2 assists per game during his lone season. He also helped bring Syracuse their only national championship and had one of the greatest runs in the history of the NCAA Tournament. 

Image courtesy of Getty Images

Carmelo continued his success into the NBA by becoming the greatest Denver Nugget in franchise history while averaging 24.8 ppg and shooting 45.9% with the team. Melo also had an outstanding career with the Knicks as millions of people know and earning six All-NBA nods over the course of his entire career. Finally, Carmelo leads all of Team USA in points scored, and has earned three Olympic golds along with all those points.

Now this post has gone on much longer than expected by I’d like to end it positively. Thank you, Portland Trailblazers for believing in Carmelo Anthony and returning him to the league.

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