Here are the facts: It is Carmelo Anthony’s 9th season in the league. He makes upwards of $18 million every year. He nearly disgraced himself and acted selfishly in Denver to force his way to New York in time to sign a hefty extension. He will turn 28 this year. And he had to actively ask Mike Woodson to hold him accountable.
Yes, a man with nearly a decade of experience in the NBA with a maximum contract needs to be monitored like a 6-year-old boy. How does a Melo fan rationalize that? I am not making up that Carmelo Anthony did not try under Coach D’Antoni – he actively admitted it. Where have we seen this sort of “I’m going to do what I want to do, and try when I feel like it” mentality in New York before? Stephon Marbury. Steph quit on Larry Brown and quit on Isiah Thomas – and yet always seemed to be absolved by the MSG faithful of any wrongdoing. We ignored Steph crying his way out of Minnesota when KG got paid more than him, we ignored how willing the Nets and the Suns were to get rid of a guy that was supposed to be superstar.
It was never Steph’s fault. Always everybody else’s. How’s that for accountability?
And now we are seeing the same thing with Carmelo.
The fact that Carmelo lacks the self-motivation to actually give half of a crap on a defense reeks not only of the selfishness we saw from Steph, but of the selfishness we saw from Carmelo just over a year ago when he held the Denver Nuggets hostage to get a trade done.
Carmelo begged for this, he begged for the spotlight, he begged for the impatient nature of the New York media (really, guys, how many Knicks games have you really watched if you are begging for the media to show patience?). And what did Carmelo do when he got here?
He gave up.
He stomped his feet until a new coach came in to monitor him. Like a child.
The fact that he needs monitoring, that he needs to be held accountable by some third party to actually give a damn is what is scary about Carmelo. Not the missed shots – eventually they should start falling just by simple regression to the mean. He is a professional athlete, an experienced one. Why should he “need” a tough coach to play well? If he’s the superstar worth the bounty that the Knicks paid for him, shouldn’t he be self motivated to actually care to win for the city he pushed to come to and he “grew up” in (I use the term “grew up” loosely – he moved away from New York at 8)?
I am sick of the excuses for Carmelo, just like I was sick of the excuses for Stephon Marbury. Carmelo has now quit on two of his previous coaches, one of whom took shots at him the second he stepped on the plane to New York. Eventually, we as fans have to realize: maybe the player is the problem, and not everybody else.
I want to believe Melo can turn it around, can get himself motivated, to want to be the superstar we all want him to be. But right now, he seems to care more about himself than he does the mental health and chemistry of the other 14 guys on the floor.
I wonder what the excuse will be when he quits on Mike Woodson.