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Carmelo: The Last Chance for the Knicks
This article originally appeared on Blackathlete.com on Dec 11, 2013, but we felt it was worth re-publishing, especially with the recent hiring of Phil Jackson as the President of Basketball Operations for the New York Knicks.
NORTH CAROLINA-(BASN)-Even though, this former Baltimore “Bad Boy” is no Bernard King, or Patrick Ewing, he might be the Knicks last hope to win a NBA Championship.
As a result, at night, I must admit, I find myself walking in circles late at night, thinking about Carmelo Anthony possibly leaving the Big Apple in order to test the free agent market next season?
With his potential departure, sadly, the Brooklyn Nets will become headline news in New York City.
Despite being called a selfish player and labeled a player, who doesn’t know how to win, Melo is a vicious competitor.
And, truthfully, his jump shot is “sweeter” than Lebron James and his post-game is even deadlier than Kevin Durant’s. Last year, in fact, Carmelo, under Mike Woodson’s leadership, help the Knicks finish in first place in the Atlantic Conference at 54-38, while averaging 28.7 points, 6.9 rebounds per game, and shooting 44.9% from the field and 38 percent from behind the 3-point arc.
So, why hasn’t he won a NBA Title yet?
While many NBA analysts can make a long list of reasons why Carmelo is ring less, most of them forget Chris Paul is still ringless in L.A. as well as Kevin Durant in OKC.
However, most people also forget, while labeling Anthony a loser, that this young man single-handed won a NCAA Title as a freshman at Syracuse, was named to the All Rookie team, to the All-Star team six times and to the All-NBA team six times.
Along with these accomplishments, he also led the Denver Nuggets to two division titles and to the playoffs every year from 2004 to 2010.
In 2009, Melo, in fact, helped the Nuggets advance to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1985. But, somehow, basketball fans forget all of this, in the age of Lebron, that Melo as a member of the USA National Team, won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and a gold medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics, where he broke the US men’s Olympic team’s record for most points in a single game when he scored 37 points against Nigeria.
So, all of this negative talk that he doesn’t know how to win, is simply not true.
Unfortunately, Carmelo, suffers for the “Allen Iverson syndrome,” where basketball fans don’t really appreciate how great he is despite the stats, because they can’t get pass his off-court behavior, cornrows, (even though he cut them off) and his “so-called” on-court “thuggish” attitude during games.
Especially, the fight in Madison Square Garden,when he was a member of the Denver Nuggets, where he threw a “sucker-punch” at the Knicks’ Mardy Collins, who fouled Nuggets guard J. R. Smith on a fast break on December 16, 2006. This altercation was the most penalized on-court fight in the NBA since the Pacers–Pistons brawl two years before.
Despite all the negativity surrounding Melo, he continues to grow as a player, a person, and a leader on-and-off the court.
This year, however, he hopes to silence his critics and New York naysayers, who say he is not a winner by bringing a championship back to N.Y. He won’t have to worry about trying to do it all by himself.
Because, he’ll get plenty help from Tyson Chandler, J.R. Smith, Raymond Felton, Iman Shumpert, whose back after ACL surgery, and Amare Stoudemire. Plus, with new additions to the Knicks, which include Metta World Peace and long-range shooter from Toronto Andrea Bargnani, this could be the year Carmelo shakes off some of his haters.
Eric D.Graham, a graduate of Winston-Salem State University, where he received a B.A. in Mass Communication with a concentration in Radio and Television, with a minor in History, with an emphasis in African-American Studies, is currently the Editor and Chief of Black Athlete Sports Network, where his articles appear daily along with his controversial cartoon character Bobbee Bee “The Hater.” Graham can be reached at email@example.com