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.
Two of my friends, Scott McConnell (@scottmcconnell7) and Andy Joss (@andyjoss82) are loyal Melo lovers. They joint wrote this piece about defending Melo. It’s actually pretty good and pretty funny. I think you’ll all enjoy it.
Recently, there have been an abundance of anti-Melo sentiments emanating from the world’s most famous arena. Melo has been accused of being lazy, not playing defense, not sharing the ball, and even not trying. But we are here to defend the man who once brought such joy the people of New York.
When Melo arrived in Madison Square Garden, restored to the city in which he grew up, he was celebrated as royalty. Hailed as the messiah that would return the Knicks to the lofty heights that they once dwelled in familiarity. Once proclaimed by this very blogger to be the “best pure scorer in the league”, those talents still reside in Melo’s able body. The New York media and its faithful must learn patience with Melo, as they have time and time again showed this team throughout the past decade.
Like it or not, Melo is there for a purpose. And like or not, Melo will remain there for that purpose. The low blowing and finger blaming is an attitude worse than any act that Melo has committed. Let our message ring loud and clear: The New York Knicks need Melo to win a championship. Sure there may have been games where his effort looked lackluster, or his defense subpar. But Melo does know how to win a championship. Recall his freshman year at Syracuse and his magical run with the Orange to the championship. The media-created negativity that surrounds the Knicks star is the only true tumor to this team.
We would like to leave this blog with a simple plea: do not bash our star for things that he may or may not have done. Instead celebrate his talents and support him for the fact that the Knick nation will not reach its goal without him. Carmelo Anthony would not be here unless he wanted to be, and Melo will bring titles back to the Garden.
In conclusion, many people think that Melo is the hero that New York deserves, but not the one it needs right now. Fair or not, critics will attack Melo for his perceived shortcomings in those times when the Knicks struggle. That is the heavy baggage that comes with the label of superstar and the accompanying max contract. Whenever the team does not perform up to the high expectations laid out, it is Melo who must take the blame. The media will ravage Melo’s good name in an effort to assign blame for their beloved team’s shortcomings. They attack him, because he is strong, he can shoulder the blame.