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I would argue that the ppg actually say almost nothing. 

I agree. Possibly SteveR has a perspective he might want to add.

Are you kidding me? I said *scoring* *machine*, not *sewing* machine, or scoring *threat*, or perhaps more importantly, I didn't say superstar because Anthony is 6'8", weighs 240 pounds, and has a career rebounding average of only 6.6 per game, among other reasons.

Name me some players who averaged 20+ ppg for each of their first 13 years in the league.

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Why, yes I do. Although I like him & would really like him to lead the team to victory, his being a "scoring machine" comes with a hefty price tag, as he needs the ball to do his thing... more so, I think, than other prolific scorers. It's hard for even a good team to resist standing around while he keeps the ball. I wish he was more of a catch & shoot scorer, but he's not.

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Why, yes I do. Although I like him & would really like him to lead the team to victory, his being a "scoring machine" comes with a hefty price tag, as he needs the ball to do his thing... more so, I think, than other prolific scorers. It's hard for even a good team to resist standing around while he keeps the ball. I wish he was more of a catch & shoot scorer, but he's not.

Thanks Steve.  I was hoping that a Knicks fan and New Yorker could give an updated perspective on Carmelo Anthony over these last several years.

Anyway I'd like to switch to a variation on a well known aphorism:  It might go like this:  "If you want to see the definition of handsome, go to the dictionary and you'll find my picture".  (snark snark)

You'll hear variations on that aphorism all the time...and there never are pictures of the term.

.....except search in Google on "ball hogs NBA"  and one will find a list of results....and son of a gun....on quite a few of the results one will actually see Carmelo Anthony's picture.    OMG.  For that search phrase he is the seeming visual representation of the term:

From an article from last year covering then current ball hogs, Carmelo is #1 of the top 15. From a 2014 article on all time NBA ball hogs:  Carmelo's picture heads the article:  Carmelo is only ranked 7th of all time.  Iverson is ranked 8th all time...and Anthony and Iverson played together one year.  Imagine being a teammate on that team?  If you were a starter with them you might as well of pulled up a beach chair and sat down and watched one or the other. In this video ...there is Carmelo's picture again.

Anyway, Carmelo Anthony scores a lot of points, he shoots a lot, and before he shoots he gets the ball and holds on to it and does his own little set of moves.  In general that type of play doesn't lead to winning championships.

Who has been like Carmelo Anthony?   One player that came to mind is Adrian Dantley who is from this area. (one could come up with many more, I'm sure)  He was a monster scorer over a long career.  He was never a part of a championship team though he got very close in '88 and if he hadn't been traded in '89 probably would have been part of a championship team...albeit during those two years he shot less and scored less than in previous seasons.   An amazing coincidence about Dantley and Anthony--> Dantley was an assistant coach on the Denver teams while Carmelo Anthony played for them.  Dantley is in the Hall of Fame btw.

Dantley's offensive game had "ball hog" written all over it.  One redeeming factor though was that he shot with amazing accuracy and while shooting he picked up tons of fouls, often being one of the league leader in foul shots and free throws made.

....and he coached Carmelo Anthony.  That is interesting.

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On 2/16/2016 at 3:58 PM, DaveO said:

.....except search in Google on "ball hogs NBA"  and one will find a list of results....and son of a gun....on quite a few of the results one will actually see Carmelo Anthony's picture.    OMG.  For that search phrase he is the seeming visual representation of the term:

From an article from last year covering then current ball hogs, Carmelo is #1 of the top 15. From a 2014 article on all time NBA ball hogs:  Carmelo's picture heads the article:  Carmelo is only ranked 7th of all time.  Iverson is ranked 8th all time...and Anthony and Iverson played together one year.  Imagine being a teammate on that team?  If you were a starter with them you might as well of pulled up a beach chair and sat down and watched one or the other. In this video ...there is Carmelo's picture again.

Anyway, Carmelo Anthony scores a lot of points, he shoots a lot, and before he shoots he gets the ball and holds on to it and does his own little set of moves.  In general that type of play doesn't lead to winning championships.

I'm not sure why you'd bring up Adrian Dantley, who was most certainly not a ball hog; he was a 6'5" forward who played like a center, posting low, drawing fouls, and having a career .540 FG%, currently the 25th-highest in NBA history. There are only four players in NBA history who have scored more points than Dantley with a higher FG%: Charles Barkley, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Artis Gilmore, and Shaquille O'Neal. If you can get hold of a copy of Springbrook High School's 1972 yearbook (when Buzzy Braman played for their state-championship team), there's a picture of Adrian Dantley in it from when Springbrook played DeMatha. That said, the 1979 yearbook is clearly the superior product. ;)

Screenshot 2016-02-16 at 18.06.14.png

Alex English is the more apt comparison, since Anthony and English both:

* played extensively for the Denver Nuggets

* turned the team around

* scored a ton of points

* were never effective in the playoffs

* were highly effective in *getting* to the playoffs

The 8 seasons before drafting Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets:

* never made the playoffs

* never finished above .500

* averaged 25 wins per season

* won a total of 63 games - combined - in 4 of those seasons

* were tied for the 4th-worst record in NBA history one season, going 11-71

The 10 seasons after drafting Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets:

* made the playoffs every year (yes, 10 seasons in a row)

* never finished below .524

* averaged 48.3 wins per season

Everyone talks about the season after drafting Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics:

* went from going 29-53 (.354) to 61-21 (.744), an improvement of 32 wins.

Nobody talks about the season after drafting Carmelo Anthony, the Denver Nuggets:

* went from going 17-65 (.207) to 43-39 (.524), an improvement of 26 wins.

I repeat: Anthony's rookie season, the Nuggets went from going 17-65 (.209) to 43-39 (.524).

Regarding this challenge:

On 2/14/2016 at 2:01 PM, DonRocks said:

Are you kidding me? I said *scoring* *machine*, not *sewing* machine, or scoring *threat*, or perhaps more importantly, I didn't say superstar because Anthony is 6'8", weighs 240 pounds, and has a career rebounding average of only 6.6 per game, among other reasons.

Name me some players who averaged 20+ ppg for each of their first 13 years in the league.

There have been four other players in the history of the NBA - LeBron James, Hakeem OlajuwonMichael JordanKareem Abdul-Jabbar - who averaged 20+ ppg in each of their first 13 years in the league.

On 11/24/2015 at 1:58 PM, DaveO said:

So many basketball players don't have those advantages.  Think Alan Iverson.  Hugely controversial, but also hugely popular in certain demographics and really probably the toughest great pro pound for pound...and the toughest by a huge degree.  Iverson is highly admired in various demographics.

I'm pretty confident that Melo is equally admired in various demographics; equally scorned in others.

Oct 1, 2013 - "Jordan Proclaims He Could Beat LeBron In Prime" on nba.com

From that article: "Jordan said there's a long list of players he would've liked to have played one-on-one - Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Julius Erving, Carmelo Anthony, Dwayne Wade, [Kobe] Bryant, and [LeBron] James ...."

I'm not the biggest Carmelo Anthony fan, but he's a lock for the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, and to imply that he hasn't helped his teams is absurd.

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I suspect I'm in agreement with Farmer John above--> I don't like watching Carmelo Anthony's game as it applies to the team and the flow.  I just "picked" one big scorer by random, which turned out to be the local, Adrian Dantley, I didn't search for close equivalents.  Dantley is in the Hall of Fame.  He like Alex English were both prolific scorers.  I found Dantley interesting to watch.  He'd butt push guys down low, had terrific fakes, would shoot with accuracy and often pick up fouls.  Neat to watch, but repetitive and never changing.

I'd certainly consider Dantley a ball hog though, (and reportedly so did some teammates and coaches) even while he demonstrated skill and amazing basketball IQ.  I think his style got him traded a lot.  And his style slowed down team flow...but he was a great scorer.

Now frankly I didn't know that Denver turned around their record that significantly after Anthony joined them.  That is impressive.  But obviously they needed  more.  Interestingly with Anthony they usually lost in the first round of the playoffs, they had one year with another notorious ball hog, an aging but still potent Iverson, but in that year they still only played in one playoff series.  The following year they traded Iverson for Chauncey Billups an all around guard and went to the West finals...an improvement.

I simply don't like Anthony's game.  I can't speak for Farmer John or SteveR but they also at least show reservations.  I didn't bother stating this above, but with the Olympic team Anthony has very willingly played a supporting role and a rebounding role without having to be the big scorer.  He can adjust, he just hasn't.  Could be teammates, could be coaches, could be him, could be a combination of the above....but he has always played the same in the regular season and playoffs.  It hasn't ultimately worked.

But yeah...he has scored a lot.

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I suspect I'm in agreement with Farmer John above--> I don't like watching Carmelo Anthony's game as it applies to the team and the flow.  I just "picked" one big scorer by random, which turned out to be the local, Adrian Dantley, I didn't search for close equivalents.  Dantley is in the Hall of Fame.  He like Alex English were both prolific scorers.  I found Dantley interesting to watch.  He'd butt push guys down low, had terrific fakes, would shoot with accuracy and often pick up fouls.  Neat to watch, but repetitive and never changing.

I'd certainly consider Dantley a ball hog though, (and reportedly so did some teammates and coaches) even while he demonstrated skill and amazing basketball IQ.  I think his style got him traded a lot.  And his style slowed down team flow...but he was a great scorer.

Now frankly I didn't know that Denver turned around their record that significantly after Anthony joined them.  That is impressive.  But obviously they needed  more.  Interestingly with Anthony they usually lost in the first round of the playoffs, they had one year with another notorious ball hog, an aging but still potent Iverson, but in that year they still only played in one playoff series.  The following year they traded Iverson for Chauncey Billups an all around guard and went to the West finals...an improvement.

I simply don't like Anthony's game.  I can't speak for Farmer John or SteveR but they also at least show reservations.  I didn't bother stating this above, but with the Olympic team Anthony has very willingly played a supporting role and a rebounding role without having to be the big scorer.  He can adjust, he just hasn't.  Could be teammates, could be coaches, could be him, could be a combination of the above....but he has always played the same in the regular season and playoffs.  It hasn't ultimately worked.

But yeah...he has scored a lot.

Ernie Banks.

The thought of limiting conversation to the five players who ever lived who were such blatant superstars that they almost single-handedly brought championships to their teams makes me cringe - there are hundreds - *thousands* - of basketball players worth discussing.

Noah Rubin.

The guy will never win a single Grand Slam, but so what? I wish there were 10,000 different athletes being discussed on here. I wish there were 20,000 classical musicians. I wish there were 30,000 films.

It's fine - encouraged - to give your honest opinions about people (like Anthony), but it's going to be a really boring place if all we talk about is Novak Djokovic and Stephen Curry.

Hell, I'm not a big fan of Green Pig Bistro, but that doesn't mean we can't find things to love about it, and to cordially discuss the things we don't.

Here's Darko Milocic's kickboxing debut:

Anyway, Carmelo Anthony scores a lot of points, he shoots a lot, and before he shoots he gets the ball and holds on to it and does his own little set of moves.  In general that type of play doesn't lead to winning championships.

Mar 18, 2013 - "How Carmelo Anthony Changed the NCAA Tournament Forever" by Avi Wolfman-Arent on bleacherreport.com

This was about the 2002-2003 season, before which Syracuse had never won an NCAA basketball tournament, and was unranked before the season began. Carmelo Anthony honored his mother's request to attend college for at least one year. That season, Syracuse defeated Kansas for the NCAA Championship, with Anthony scoring 20 points and grabbing 10 rebounds in the title game. He became the first freshman ever to lead an NCAA Champion in season scoring average over the season, with a 22.4 ppg average. The reason he "changed the NCAA tournament forever" is because two years after Anthony's season, the NBA instated a rule which required rookies to be at least 19 years old, or to be one year removed from high school, thus encouraging the "one-and-done" teams we now see with schools like Kentucky. Those players do it because they have to; Anthony did it because he wanted to fulfill a pledge he made to his mother. To me, this qualifies as "winning a championship" in more ways than one.

Apr 24, 2014 - "Oscar Robertson Thinks Carmelo Anthony Needs To Get Out Of New York ASAP" by Bobby Bonnett on blog.siriusxm.com

This article features an audio interview between Spike Lee and Oscar Robertson.

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I loved Carmelo in college to the point of telling a friend I would draft him ahead of Lebron. He has probably been the best mid-range scorer in the league for the last decade. He has also allowed the all around game he showed in spades at Syracuse to devolve into being what people who do not watch today's (in my opinion excellent) NBA product like to claim is wrong with today's NBA product. His time with the Knicks (and his decision to resign in NY) has been nothing but a bunch of "me first because i'm a superstar". The good thing about this is he is doing it under the watch of the uber-pompous Phil Jackson and Dolan.

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This short video  does an excellent job of highlighting the pros and cons of Carmelo Anthony's game and why, despite his prodigious scoring over a long period he elicits many negative comments:  (disregard the spelling of the title)

He takes a lot of shots.  He is a good scorer.  He is not the most deadeye guy in the world from mid distance to long distance--but he does shoot a lot.  And where the objections arise...Carmelo holds the ball and the offense stops.

If you play or played a lot and if you played with someone like Carmelo, usually you get damned tired of it...and during the course of a game you probably stopped putting out max effort.  That phenomena isn't universal but those reactions occur a lot.

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Rewind to the 2003 NBA draft:

1. The Cleveland Cavaliers select LeBron James.

2. The Detroit Pistons select Carmelo Anthony Darko Miličić. Not Carmelo Anthony, not Dwayne Wade, not Chris Bosh, but *Darko Miličić.

3. The Denver Nuggets select Carmelo Anthony. 

The next year, the Nuggets, behind Anthony, went from going 17-65 in 2002-2003 to 49-33 in 2003-2004, but you know what's even more amazing than that?

The Detroit Pistons won the NBA Championship. With Darko Miličić.

Two years before that, Carmelo Anthony led Oak Hill High School to a 32-1 record and the #2 ranking in the United States, behind only Chris Bosh's team that went 40-0. In one of those games Oak Hill played St. Vincent - St. Mary with LeBron James, then a junior - Oak Hill won the game, 72-66, led by Carmelo Anthony, who scored 34 points, going 14-25 from the floor.

One year before that, Carmelo Anthony led Syracuse to their first-ever NCAA Championship, averaging 22.2 points and 10 rebounds per game for the season, and being named Final Four MVP.

Now, what happens if the Detroit Pistons take Carmelo Anthony with that #2 pick? They not only win the NBA Championship the next year, they threaten to become one of the great NBA dynasties (even as stands, they reached six consecutive Eastern Conference finals from 2003-2008); instead, the foolish Pistons drafted Miličić over a *proven winner*, in what was arguably the single worst NBA draft pick of all-time. Perhaps the Pistons knew how much Anthony would cost them, but if true, that's a *terrible* reason for not drafting the best player available - you just do it, and deal with the fallout afterwards. Maybe they wanted Chauncey Billups badly, and knew they couldn't afford both - I don't know - it would be interesting to find out the reason they didn't draft Anthony.

Anthony would have been surrounded by good players, and his entire career path would have been different. Instead, he's gone to two teams where he's had virtually *no help*, and has been forced to do everything by himself.

I wonder how many MVP awards Anthony would have had if he had been selected by the Pistons. He might not have won the 2012-2013 scoring title like he did, but he'd have some rings on his fingers. 

Ball hog? You bet he's a ball hog. I would be, too. He got *totally fucked* by not being drafted by the Pistons. Or maybe they knew something about Darko that we haven't yet found out.

Apr 1, 2014 - "Carmelo Anthony's High School Basketball Coach at Oak Hill Says Criticism of Knicks Star is 'Ridiculous'" by Julian Garcia on nydailynews.com

From the article: ""When I coached him he was all about winning," Smith said. "He had players here and he just wanted to win. He was really disappointed here when we were the best team in the country and we went out to California and got beat by Mater Dei. I remember how disappointed Melo was after that game. All he wanted to do was win. He wasn't here to be the best player. He just wanted to win."

You know what? I've said this before: I don't "argue to win"; I "discuss to learn," and I had begun this post by starting to write that I agreed with all of you that Anthony was a ball hog, and a "me-first" player. But I also did about thirty minutes of research before typing anything, and I'm now of the mindset that you are all looking at a snapshot, when you need to be remembering the entire fifteen-year-long movie. Anthony *is* a ball hog, but he was put in a position where he couldn't win - he knew it, and (I hypothesize) decided, "Well, damn it, if I can't win championships, I'm going to be remembered for being a great individual player, and I'm going to make a ton of money, so here I go." And then off he went and joined the 3J Club (James, Jordan, Jabbar).

One other interesting observation: Anthony seems to be going through the downward trend in the classic "career scoring arc" (going up in points-per-game, then down, before retiring). This season is his 2nd-lowest points-per-game average of his career, ahead of only his rookie season. The interesting observation? He's having his best season *ever* in defensive rebounds and assists - I don't know what that means, to be honest: He's definitely "thicker," so maybe he's lagging back on defense and not getting up the court on offense like he was a few years ago, so he's getting more defensive rebounds and assists as a result (this is also the lowest offensive rebound season of his career - that would support this hypothesis).

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This is an interesting [*fantastic*] article, worth reading despite what you think of Anthony, and I *swear to you* that I just found this article ten minutes ago (I'm pretty sure it just came out tonight, because I would have found it this morning if had been released) - I haven't even finished reading it yet [now I have].

"Brotherhood: As Their Careers Diverge, LeBron and Carmelo Share a Unique Friendship" by Howard Beck on thelab.bleacherreport.com

This is one of my favorite threads in the history of the website, because I honestly think that, several years from now, we're all going to reach a consensus, whatever that consensus happens to be.

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Nice article.  Interesting perspective on the career long deep friendship between Anthony and James, their careers, and the what ifs.  I'm still of the opinion that Carmelo Anthony is a great scorer but not a great team player.  That comes from having watched him play over the years; at Denver and then at NY.  In my perspective too many shots, too many shots where the ball falls into his hands and it doesn't leave until a sometimes labored shot, too many times when the rest of the team flow stalls as Carmelo does what he does.  But he is a great scorer. No dispute there.

Per the article this is the year he is passing more and stretching his skills to other parts of the game.  Admittedly this is also the year I haven't seen him play a single game; possibly haven't even seen a highlight.  His game isn't compelling to me at this point.  The Knicks have been too disfunctional and depressing over the last few years for me.  And with his hype and salary he simply hasn't gotten them close to a championship team, even in their best year with Anthony on the team.

I found the comments from Chauncey Billups interesting.  Sort of what if comments.  But they are also comments with some close first hand observation as Billups played with Anthony for several years in Denver including the Nuggets best season when they went to the West Division finals before losing.

Billups also played for the Detroit Pistons team that made a mistake in not drafting Anthony 2nd behind Lebron.  That Detroit team kept adding key pieces and became a powerhouse, surprisingly winning one NBA championship and competing for championships for several years.  Had Detroit drafted Anthony would they have become the powerful team they became in the mid 2000's?  Would they have picked up Rasheed Wallace before the trade deadline in the 2004 season and won the NBA championship that year, losing in the championship the following year.

The excellent Detroit teams of that era were defensive powerhouses.  How would Anthony have fit in???   Unknowns!!   Billups says the team would have insisted and made Anthony change his game.  He would have had to move the ball more and be less of a ball hog to fit in.    But also if you look at those Detroit teams, had Anthony played, started and starred for those teams, with changes in his game, he probably would have easily been their lead scorer...though probably with less points than he accrued in Denver.    All conjecture I admit.

But Billups current perspective comes from the experience of both playing on those powerhouse Detroit teams and playing with Carmelo later on.  He acknowledges that Carmelo is great at what he does....and has holes.   I like the depth behind that perspective.

Another set of comments that reflect on a perspective from upthread;  I don't think Carmelo Anthony was the singular or pronounced reason Denver's record improved dramatically after he was drafted.  I'd go with what the advanced statistics freaks in basketball would and have referenced at times.  We can see those stats at Basketball Reference dot com, a site for basketball junkies.  When you review the advanced stats for the Denver Nuggets during the years that Carmelo Anthony played for them; you'll find that during each of those years there were several teammates of Carmelo's that outdid Anthony in "advanced stats" or at least equaled or were similar in impact.  Andre Miller, Marcus Camby, Billups, and Nene all had similar or at times more significant impact on the team according to the Geek's stats during most of those years.

Anthony's Advanced stats were excellent, and in some of those years the best on the team...and in others of those years his overall impact was not as strong as those of teammates.  Look them up.

Anyway, he's a good player, a great scorer, seems to be a nice guy, a loyal friend, etc.  He also altered his game during international competition.  But overall I don't see him as a guy who converted his game and thereby converted his team to a winner.  And frankly I played with ball hogs.  It ruins the fun and the game.  Nothing like running up and down the court and never or scarcely touch the ball.  It simply ruins the game.  No fun at all.  I bet some of his teammates past and present harbor the same perspective whether they go public with it or not.  LOL

This is one of my favorite threads in the history of the website, because I honestly think that, several years from now, we're all going to reach a consensus, whatever that consensus happens to be.

Discussions like these are usually best made in bars with beers flowing and some kinds of games on the TV's.  As to consensus....just curious.  Are you coming around to my way of thinking??? ;)

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Another set of comments that reflect on a perspective from upthread;  I don't think Carmelo Anthony was the singular or pronounced reason Denver's record improved dramatically after he was drafted.  I'd go with what the advanced statistics freaks in basketball would and have referenced at times.  We can see those stats at Basketball Reference dot com, a site for basketball junkies.  When you review the advanced stats for the Denver Nuggets during the years that Carmelo Anthony played for them; you'll find that during each of those years there were several teammates of Carmelo's that outdid Anthony in "advanced stats" or at least equaled or were similar in impact.  Andre Miller, Marcus Camby, Billups, and Nene all had similar or at times more significant impact on the team according to the Geek's stats during most of those years.

Anthony's Advanced stats were excellent, and in some of those years the best on the team...and in others of those years his overall impact was not as strong as those of teammates.  Look them up.

I was using basketballreference.com yesterday morning, and one of the things I noticed was that Anthony's teammates improved after he was drafted.

Some examples, using the season before, and the season after:

Before: 3 players averaged over 10 points per game

After: 5 players averaged over 10 points per game

Before: Nene Hilario - 10.5 points, 6.1 rebounds, 1.9 assists per game

After: Nene Hilario - 11.8 points, 6.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists per game

Before: Marcus Camby - 7.6 points, 7.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists per game

After: Marcus Camby - 8.6 points, 10.1 rebounds, 1.8 assists per game

I saw enough to convince myself that Anthony made his teammates better.

I'm up for looking at the advanced stats, if you explain them to me, but I don't know where to find them, or how to use them. However, regardless of advanced stats, I think it's *really* dubious to ignore the fact that in the 8 years before Anthony, playoffs 0 times; in the 10 years after Anthony, playoffs all 10 times. That is huge, and there is *no way* his teammates were responsible for a 153% increase in wins his first year - that's two-and-a-half times as many victories: 17 vs. 43. That, too, is huge.

Look at who he was playing with - players like Andre Miller, Nene Hilario, and Marcus Camby were solid, but they weren't stars (although Camby was excellent in college - somehow, some way, I remember Ken Beatrice saying he was the best college player in the country).

Discussions like these are usually best made in bars with beers flowing and some kinds of games on the TV's.  As to consensus....just curious.  Are you coming around to my way of thinking??? ;)

I summed up my way of thinking pretty well in the Mar 22, 10:37 AM post - I put quite a lot of time into that post. If I look at a snapshot of today, I see a ball-hog; if I look at the big picture, I see a total winner who became a ball hog for reasons given in the post, and I think if he had gone to Detroit, things would have been wildly different - and I think it would be amazing if those four guys got together somewhere and won a title.

And I think this discussion is *much* better here than in a bar, because we can reference facts, take time to think about things, and evolve our positions.

"Carmelo Anthony, a Victim of Circumstance?" by Philip Rossman-Reich on hardwoodparoxysm.com

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I'm up for looking at the advanced stats, if you explain them to me, but I don't know where to find them, or how to use them. However, regardless of advanced stats, I think it's *really* dubious to ignore the fact that in the 8 years before Anthony, playoffs 0 times; in the 10 years after Anthony, playoffs all 10 times. That is huge, and there is *no way* his teammates were responsible for a 153% increase in wins his first year - that's two-and-a-half times as many victories: 17 vs. 43. That, too, is huge.

...

Look at who he was playing with - players like Andre Miller, Nene Hilario, and Marcus Camby were solid, but they weren't stars (although Camby was excellent in college - somehow, some way, I remember Ken Beatrice saying he was the best college player in the country).

...

I summed up my way of thinking pretty well in the Mar 22, 10:37 AM post - I put quite a lot of time into that post. If I look at a snapshot of today, I see a ball-hog; if I look at the big picture, I see a total winner who became a ball hog for reasons given in the post, and I think if he had gone to Detroit, things would have been wildly different - and I think it would be amazing if those four guys got together somewhere and won a title.

And I think this discussion is *much* better here than in a bar, because we can reference facts, take time to think about things, and evolve our positions.

"Carmelo Anthony, a Victim of Circumstance?" by Philip Rossman-Reich on hardwoodparoxysm.com

Advanced Statistics:   Admittedly I'm an unrepentant geek on this stuff.   I look at 3 things:  PER  (player efficiency rating, Win Share and Win Share per 48 minutes.)   I think win share and win share per 48 minutes are intuitively comprehensible...at least what they are trying to get at.

PER is crazy complex:  Check out the formulas here.   Very complex.  I'm a "math guy" and have created models for business and economics but never anything even remotely as complex as this one.   But I know there are modelers in many industries who do these kinds of things on a regular basis.  They create models, measure actual performances against them and then tweak the models to make them more accurate against real life situations.

PER mostly measures offense.  Per that Wikipedia article Carmelo Anthony had a career average that surprised me at its strength.  But the measurement is virtually all offensive and virtually not reflective of defense at all.  Anthony's career PER measures to annual all-star rating.  That is impressive.  Can't deny it.

On the accompanying players thing...and scoring averages going up or down...from observation over the years I think that how to interpret that is subject to innumerable variances...not just having a certain teammate.  Virtually too numerable to reference.    But one thing on the Nene and Camby references are simply that one, Camby, was injured on and off during those years, and the other is that Nene in those earlier years was moving from newbie and sub to starter and more minutes.   Those could be factors.

On the Camby thing....he was a college contemporary of Tim Duncan and was rated as high, maybe higher, maybe slightly lower than Duncan during college.  What an icon on which to be compared.  When he was healthy Camby was a quality player at defense and rebounding.

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3 hours ago, DaveO said:

...and now his boss speaks to the Melo ball hogging tendency.   Well if it hampers your ability to win games its important to focus on it.

Definitely a polarizing player - I enjoyed the video in that piece, as well as the one that follows it.

Jul 12, 2014 - "Carmelo Anthony Re-Signs with Knicks" by Ben Golliver on si.com

From the article:

Carmelo Anthony will remain in the Big Apple, re-signing with the Knicks on a five-year contract reportedly worth at least $120 million.

Knicks president Phil Jackson announced the signing on Sunday.

"After three months of questions around Carmelo Anthony's return to the New York Knicks, we are now happy to know that we have the cornerstone of what we envision as a 'team of excellence.'" Jackson said in a statement.

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On 12/8/2016 at 2:31 PM, DonRocks said:

Definitely a polarizing player - I enjoyed the video in that piece, as well as the one that follows it.

Jul 12, 2014 - "Carmelo Anthony Re-Signs with Knicks" by Ben Golliver on si.com

Admittedly I don't enjoy Carmelo Anthony's game.  The video comments were interesting.  That is Tim Legler, a former player who might have played his best while being a member of the Wizards, back in the day.  Legler was a noted shooter and a 3 pt specialist.  Hist shots went up quickly.  He wasn't a ball hog.

I spend time listening to these commentators without passing judgement.  Legler is pretty straight forward.  Within the last week or so he was commenting on Westbrook's game, and his streak of triple doubles, remarking on Westbrook's athleticism, and suggesting that he has a good chance to average a triple double.  All of which is fine.  Never in Legler's bounciest most athletic could he (or virtually anyone else) approach what Westbrook is currently doing.  (hmmm.  I suppose that is judgement...huh?)

Meanwhile, as to the 2014 remarks:   Anthony went for the money.  The Knicks had no other options, Jackson said about the only thing that was possible at that time, and Legler notes about Jackson making comments.

The Knicks are playing better than the last 2 years.  The big tall guy, Porzingus is a unique player and they have put together some players that have improved the team.  Carmelo Anthony continues to hold the ball too long, but with better players its less of a problem, and frankly Anthony is shooting a little less and touching the ball a little less....all of which is positive for the Knicks.

Meanwhile watching something like this is so much more entertaining and aesthetically pleasing than watching Carmelo Anthony hold onto the ball, not to mention the shot was wide open:

"Warriors Passing Game Leaves You Dazed and Confused" on espn.com

 

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22 hours ago, DaveO said:

Admittedly I don't enjoy Carmelo Anthony's game. 

I don't think we really disagree on anything *except* the reason Anthony does this. Maybe by now his 20+ points-per-game streak is important to him as his legacy (it is darned-near unprecedented), but I suspect he would have rather had some help and won championships in the past.

"Hey Phil Jackson, SHUT UP!" by Mike Cortez on hardwoodandhollywood.com :)

BTW, I'm just busting your balls - I agree with you about teamwork in basketball, and that Anthony plays "selfish." Still, part of me wonders *why* he plays selfish, and I can't help thinking it went back to him not being drafted #2 and going to Detroit (which I discussed in great detail here), and having to sit and watch three of his classmates team up for championships in Miami. Still, I began this thread by calling Anthony a "scoring machine" - which he is - and I never made any claims about him being any sort of unselfish player, or benefit to his team (although, there is that incredible Denver Nuggets turnaround pre-Anthony and post-Anthony (which I discussed in great detail here - anyone who thinks Anthony didn't help the Nuggets *tremendously* needs to read, re-read, and keep re-reading that post until it sinks in); somehow, this thread got derailed, but it is what it is - I've re-read every single thing I've written here, and stand by it all.

On 2/16/2016 at 4:50 PM, DonRocks said:

There have been three other players in the history of the NBA - LeBron JamesMichael JordanKareem Abdul-Jabbar - who averaged 20+ ppg in each of their first 13 years in the league.

Interesting statistic: Michael Jordan is the only player ever to retire averaging at least 20 points-per-game in every season he played. His final season, with the Wizards, he played in all 82 games, and scored 1,640 points, or *exactly* 20 per game. Had he scored *one less point* in ANY game that season, there would still be nobody who has ever accomplished this. 

An amazing thing about Jordan is that he played 15 seasons, and missed 4 seasons in the middle of his career: he took one year off to play minor-league baseball (93-94), and then retired for *three years* (98-01) before coming back to play two more seasons for the Wizards, where he *still* scored 20 points-per-game - that is incredible. Here are his statistics - it is not at all unreasonable to guess that if he hadn't missed those four seasons, he'd be the only player in NBA history to have scored 40,000 points. It's not a given (he would have needed to average 1,927 points-per-year during those four seasons, and to have remained injury-free, but given his track record, those are certainly not impossible or even unlikely). For the rest of our lives, we'll be asking, "What if?" and if Jordan had put up 40,000 points, I believe he'd be considered the consensus Greatest of All-Time, whereas right now, he's merely in the conversation along with Abdul-Jabbar, Chamberlain, and a few others.

Both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are on track to be the first players in NBA history to average *over* 20 points-per-game in each season of their careers - we'll see what happens in their final years. Abdul-Jabbar, for example, averaged in the "teens" his last few seasons (I guess this is what happens when you play into your early 40s).

Speaking of unselfish statistics, look at Wilt Chamberlain's 1967-1968 points, rebounds, and assists

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I was pondering Carmelo Anthony.  He's simply a player I neither enjoy watching and simultaneously don't see as improving his team significantly or ultimately capable of making his team a big winner. 

And then BAM--it hit me.  I was chatting with an old friend, one with whom I've shared a "basketball jones" for over 40 years.  We played together, watched it together, played with and against one another, jived about it...actually flew around the country to spend time together and get in some basketball, and then in our doddering years continue to speak about it.  AND HE LIVES IN DENVER--he's been there since the '90's (maybe the late 80's).  I thought he was still a Nuggets fan till a recent conversation wherein he said he stopped watching and rooting for them once they fired/ didn't renew their old coach, George Karl.   Son of a gun...he watched Carmelo Anthony during his entire career with the Nuggets; went to games, watched him on TV.

So I called and asked.  For he and I...its an important (not atypical) type of conversation (intermixed with conversations about real life ;) )

His gut reactions:

  • Didn't like him
  • Black hole
  • Effective
  • Nuggets best player
  • No fun to watch
  • Couldn't raise the team to a better level

And that was it from someone who watched Anthony a lot, infinitely more than did I, or I suppose anyone else here.   My friend added that following the Anthony trade to NY, the Nuggets remained good under Karl, and for a year became the most exciting team in the NBA.   They had roughly the same results as they did with Anthony before that trade for the next two years...then fired Karl and have gone downhill.  My friend liked Karl as a coach quite a bit.

Anthony is a shooter.  I think that's it.  His MO is to get the ball, hold it, do his "dance" and ultimately shoot.  In the pro's he was doing it in year one and he continues to do it in his 14th year, as his GM, Phil Jackson recently noted.   In that interview Jackson noted Anthony could play the Michael Jordan/Kobe Bryant role, tended to hold the ball too long, and he had habits that were difficult to break. 

I've seen no evidence that he's made players better, or pushed his teams into the elite.  At the start of his career there is evidence that Denver had tanked in the most previous years to attract a high draft choice.  Getting Anthony made them better and they improved a lot from the results of tanking, but they had other "better players also".  At their best with Anthony, they had Karl as coach and in their last few years with Anthony with 50 win seasons they had HOF guards that played with him.   After trading Anthony, and still with Karl as coach they had a 50 win season, and a winning season in a strike shortened year (might have been 50 wins in a full season).  

Lastly in the realm of creating new statistics...ie Anthony is one of only 2 players who has averaged over 20 pts per game in every season....well its a fact so far....but what does it mean?   Jabbar averaged over 20 pts a game for his first 17 years and was an old player in his last 3 years..playing less minutes, shooting less.  Karl Malone averaged over 20 pts a game for 17 of 19 years.  In his first season he joined the Utah Jazz who had the then massive scorer, Adrian Dantley, a guy who averaged about 30 pts/game during his time with Utah.  In year 1 Malone shot less, averaged less than 20 and was a 2nd or 3rd alternative to the main shooter, Dantley.  The Jazz traded Dantley and thereafter Malone was the main shooter at Utah.  (sort of a quirk on "scoring averages" dependent on who drafted him and who else was on the team).  In Malone's final year he joined the Lakers with a prime Kobe, an "almost prime" Shaq, and was not the main target for shots.   Beyond those two there are many stars over the years that simply extended their careers for years after their primes and subsequently played less, scored less, etc.  (who can blame them, its a game for a job and the pay can't be beat).

Now:  a couple of things in Anthony's favor.  He has A LOT of last second game winning shots.  2ndly, in many ways his offensive game has powerful attributes in some ways similar to Lebron James, and in some ways better.  He is a bull driving to the basket, similar to Lebron, slightly different in style, but with similar bull like effectiveness if not as great at converting under the basket.  OTOH, over the years he has been a better long distance shooter than Lebron. 

Finally speaking of pay and Lebron James, its a little astonishing but in their equally long careers, both reaping the benefits, Carmelo Anthony has had a higher NBA aggregate salary than Lebron James.  Now that is nutty.

And after all is said and done...there is the ball hog part....and how it affects his play with teammates:

 

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8 hours ago, DaveO said:

I was pondering Carmelo Anthony.  He's simply a player I neither enjoy watching and simultaneously don't see as improving his team significantly or ultimately capable of making his team a big winner. 
...
And after all is said and done...there is the ball hog part....and how it affects his play with teammates:

I could have sworn you had written positive things about Allen Iverson in the past, but I can't find much.

How would you compare Carmelo Anthony with Allen Iverson?

You've obviously put a great deal of thought into this, and I'm interested in your perspective.

To make your life easier, here are their stats: Carmelo Anthony / Allen Iverson.

---

Another interesting thing I thought of is that baseball is considered to be very much of a team sport; yet, there's no such thing as a "ball hog" in baseball - just great, individual players. I guess it's because people's roles are so well-defined that each of them must do their utmost to produce, both offensively and defensively, and the game isn't set up to produce "selfishness." (I suppose if someone ignored a "bunt" signal and swung for the fences, that would be selfish, but they wouldn't last very long if they did that.) 

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16 hours ago, DonRocks said:

I could have sworn you had written positive things about Allen Iverson in the past, but I can't find much.

How would you compare Carmelo Anthony with Allen Iverson?

---

Another interesting thing I thought of is that baseball is considered to be very much of a team sport; yet, there's no such thing as a "ball hog" in baseball - just great, individual players. I guess it's because people's roles are so well-defined that each of them must do their utmost to produce, both offensively and defensively, and the game isn't set up to produce "selfishness." (I suppose if someone ignored a "bunt" signal and swung for the fences, that would be selfish, but they wouldn't last very long if they did that.) 

On the one hand both Iverson and Anthony are described as ball hogs.  The descriptions were derived from watching them game after game, they didn't come out of thin air.  Totally different roles, Iverson being a guard, a small guard, sometimes the ball handler with the definite role of being a distributor..but in his case primarily a shooter.  Anthony could play between big and small forward, able to shoot from the outside and similarly able to score down low, more as a bull than as the tallest guy in the paint.   Different roles.

Neither got to a championship, but that is true of endless players and for much of his career at Philly Iverson didn't have first/first rate teammates.  He carried the burden.  Well for much of the time in Denver it was true of Anthony as well...although, coincidentally the two played together for one full season and 1/2 of another.  Both seemingly looked forward to it.  Iverson was pushing the end of his best days...Anthony was entering his prime.  From what little I know of that period Anthony was willing to take on second billing; he was young...Iverson very established.   It sort of worked it sort of didn't.  Again or for the first time they won 50 games, but they lost in the first round of the playoffs--once again..  Frankly I didn't watch them much or at all, and would need to speak with my friend from Denver to get any first hand impressions. 

But to compare:   Both are shooters, both are ball hogs.  different positions.  Over time my opinion of Iverson changed and evolved.  At first I didn't like his "ghetto" style.  Over time I became a fan.  Nobody played with Iverson's ferociousness.  Nobody got close.  Iverson would take his measly little body and go into the paint with drives all the time.  He got slammed...got up...did it again.  Iverson challenged everyone all the time.  Clearly the quickest guy in the game at that time.  His speed and quickness over others' height and length.

Who did I prefer:  Iverson or Anthony?  Iverson.    Who is better imho.  I don't know.

As to "teamness".  I don't think the "teamness in baseball is remotely close to that in basketball, hockey, soccer, football.  Not even close.  Iverson and Anthony are sterling skill players that emphasized their individual skills over the team aspect.  I marvel at sterling skills.  Iverson's quickness has to be among the very tip top of all of basketball history.  I ultimately enjoyed watching him.  Come to think of it, I wish I had watched the Anthony/Iverson tandom for the Nuggets.  Missed it though.  On pure team records/ and "success" the Nuggets were better when they traded Iverson for Chauncey Billups....a multi talented guard who did a better job of mixing passing and team skills with shooting than did Iverson.

Let me put it this way in sports terminology or literary reference:   "There is no joy in Mudville, in watching Carmelo Anthony"

And from a different perspective:   Iverson over 6' 11" Camby.   Spectacular:

 

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How do you like this: Its Carmelo Anthony Piling-On Time:

"George Karl Rips 'User' Carmelo Anthony in Upcoming Book" by Marc Berman on nypost.com

His former coach at Denver, George Karl, describes his frustrations with Anthony during their run together.  Karl describes Anthony as the most talented offensive player he ever coached, but also one who put virtually no effort into the defensive side of things and subsequently, while Anthony wanted to be a team leader, he just couldn't take the role.  Karl felt Denver "won the trade" wherein Anthony forced his way to the NY Knicks.  In the years since Karl has praised Anthony, prior to this book.

Just your basic sporty/newsy gossip.   Reminds one of the Phil Jackson Kobe Bryant relationship.  Jackson coached Bryant, Jackson retired and wrote about what a PITA Kobe was, Jackson unretired to coach the Lakers and Kobe Bryant again, and the two made peace and moved on.   I guess that is what is meant when they say humans aren't perfect!!! :D

 

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3 hours ago, DaveO said:

How do you like this: Its Carmelo Anthony Piling-On Time:

Well, I guess you won't be going to his Hall of Fame induction.

Try as I might, I simply cannot get past this one statistic:

On 3/24/2016 at 0:09 PM, DonRocks said:

I think it's *really* dubious to ignore the fact that in the 8 years before Anthony, playoffs 0 times; in the 10 years after Anthony, playoffs all 10 times. That is huge, and there is *no way* his teammates were responsible for a 153% increase in wins his first year - that's two-and-a-half times as many victories: 17 vs. 43. That, too, is huge.

Once again:

In Anthony's 1st season, the Nuggets went from 17-65 (.209) to 43-39 (.524)

In the 8 years pre-Anthony, the Nuggets went to the playoffs 0 times.
In the 10 years after drafting Anthony, the Nuggets went to the playoffs 10 times
In the 4 years since then, the Nuggets have been to the playoffs 0 times.

There's more:

In the 6 years pre-Anthony, the Knicks went to the playoffs 0 times.
In the 3 years after acquiring Anthony, the Knicks went to the playoffs 3 times.

How many players in NBA history have taken their teams to the playoffs in their first 12 seasons?

Not Wilt Chamberlain
Not Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Not Oscar Robertson
Not Kobe Bryant
Not Lebron James
Not Tim Duncan 
Not Jerry West
Not John Havlicek
Not Shaquille O'Neal
Not Hakeem Olajuwon
Not Moses Malone
Not Charles Barkley
Not Dirk Nowitzki
Not Pete Maravich

Here are your answers: 

The flukes:

Robert Horry, who somehow made the playoffs in all 16 of his seasons, with career averages of 7.0 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 2.1 assists - there may well be others like Horry that I haven't found, but this is nothing more than "being in the right place at the right time with the right people." 

The dynamic duos:

Karl Malone and John Stockton, Larry Bird and Kevin McHale

The consummate team players:

Bill Russell (who had John Havlicek) and Magic Johnson (who had Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)

And then three of the biggest guns ever to walk the face of the Earth, two of whom led their teams in scoring in 11 out of those 12 seasons: 

Julius Erving (21.4 ppg) was outscored by Moses Malone (24.5 ppg) in the 1982-1983 season
Carmelo Anthony (25.7 ppg) was outscored by Allen Iverson (26.4 ppg) in the 2007-2008 season 

And the only player ever to make the playoffs *and* lead his team in scoring in all 12 of his first seasons: Michael Jordan, perhaps the greatest player of all time, but who also had Hall of Famer Scottie Pippen, as well as other substantial help such as Horace Grant, Toni Kukoc, and John Paxson.

Technically, George McGinnis (6 All-Star Games) and Doug Collins (4 All-Star Games) aren't in the Hall of Fame, but they were excellent players, and Julius Erving had their help for most of his NBA career - I'm also including his ABA career in this, which certainly doesn't hurt his cause.

That is some rarefied company, and from what I see, Carmelo Anthony, with the brief exception of Allen Iverson, is the only person ever to do it without Hall of Fame-level help - remove Iverson from the equation, and the average fan couldn't name any of Anthony's teammates - Marcus Camby was great in college; he was merely adequate as a pro (less than 10 points, less than 10 rebounds, less than 2 assists).

Look at what's happening to the Knicks this year with the maturation of Kristaps Porzingis and the addition of Derrick Rose: *Finally*, Anthony has some quality help, and the Knicks are 15-13. Look at the Knicks roster from last year - they had *nobody* with the exception of a rookie Porzingis who was very much in a developmental stage (keep your eyes on this guy, because he has "star" written all over him). And people are bitching that Anthony was shooting too much?! I think he should have taken every single shot.

Screenshot 2016-12-22 at 14.36.37.png

Carmelo Anthony is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

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2 hours ago, DonRocks said:

Well, I guess you won't be going to his Hall of Fame induction.

Carmelo Anthony is a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

Yep.  I won't be at his hall of fame induction.  I do indeed like the basketball HOF, but on last count I've missed EVERY HOF induction.  I suppose I'll miss his.  :D

I really dislike his game.  JUST D.I.S.L.I.K.E it.  I'm not alone on that, but I certainly didn't rely on others to formulate that perspective.  Just watch him over a slew of games.  He gets the ball, holds it, slows down the game, etc etc.  Its ugly.  Over the long term it doesn't lead to being a great team, or one that will be a powerhouse.

Man, if I were "good enough" to play with that dude, and if I ran up and down the court a bunch of times and kept seeing the ball land in his hands and dying there as he does his little offensive "dance" or shoots, I'd get disgusted.  Experience.  It turns out lots of observers feel the same, and now one of his coaches just complained about it...as did his current GM.  Its no secret.   He likes to shoot.  According to his old coach he didn't try on defense.  Very frustrating over one season let alone 6.  I find its rare to hear teammates complain about another player, but when you've played like that it simply stinks.  If you win all the time, people suck it up.  If you don't the frustration sits in. 

I suspect he'll get in the HOF.  I hope its not first ballot. 

Don:  You did a lot of research.  Just to be a wee bit nitty picky, Duncan's Spurs went to the playoffs every one of his 19 years.  And won some championships to boot.  Also Anthony played for Denver 8 years.  So they made the playoffs for 10 years following Anthony's drafting...but they traded him....and the two subsequent years they got into the playoffs without anything close to a dominant scorer...in fact they had the opposite. 

Lastly, because of the news about Anthony/and Karl's book, plus the news about a dukie basketball player that just got suspended I went to my friend in Denver and asked his reactions.  On the Anthony point he simply said "Anthony makes the game boring". 

 

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1 hour ago, DaveO said:

Don:  You did a lot of research.  Just to be a wee bit nitty picky, Duncan's Spurs went to the playoffs every one of his 19 years. 

You're right. My original list (and my post took over an hour to write) was of the players who went their first 12 years, either without making the playoffs all 12 years, or who didn't lead their team in scoring all 12 years - and it was shaping up to be one hell of a list of players (every player in history except Jordan), which included Duncan (because he didn't lead his team in scoring all 12 years). This was all done while thinking that Anthony did both.

But then, right as I was finishing, I discovered the one year that Iverson outscored Anthony, so the entire premise became invalid. You didn't nitpick; you found the remnants of a mistaken assumption that wasn't completely undone.

In my research, I was shocked to find that Erving made the playoffs every year, and led his team in scoring 11 out of 12 years. I was even shocked at Jordan having done both. And I was shocked at just how many points Olajuwon scored: That last item forced me to go back and adjust this post to reflect a previously undiscovered fact.

Related: The reason I'm so cock-sure about Anthony being in the Hall of Fame is that I'm equally sure that Mike Mussina will be in the Hall of Fame. Why? Because in the history of MLB, every single pitcher with 100 more wins than losses is in, without exception.

And if you haven't been to the Basketball Hall of Fame, you should go - they have a big room with a bunch of regulation baskets where you can shoot all you want (for free), from about 20-feet out, and the balls roll back down towards you in a net. You can go in, and take 1,000 shots if you want to, and there are enough balls that you don't have to wait between shots - it's fun as hell. I went shortly after Wilt Chamberlain died, and they had placed a black ribbon on his plaque.

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As to players of quality with whom Anthony teamed one was Chauncey Billups.  I'm sure Billups will get into the HOF.

The only time Anthony got to a division championship was coincidentally w/ Billups.  Billups got to 6 or 7 division championships, 2 NBA championships, won 1 and lost one in 7 games.  Hard to think of 2 guys with such different skill sets.  Billups made teammates better including Anthony.  

I believe  at the beginning of this thread you referenced how Anthony should have been drafted by the Pistons.  He would have been much better as a player if he had been drafted by Detroit.  They would have kicked the shit out of him if his attitude didn't evolve from shooting to winning

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If Anthony can get traded to the Cavaliers straight-up for Kevin Love, he should take the offer, and so should the Cavs. That is the *only* path to another potential championship in Cleveland, and probably the only path for a first-and-only potential championship for Carmelo Anthony.

Kyrie Irving vs. Stephen Curry

LeBron James vs. Kevin Durant

Carmelo Anthony vs. Klay Thompson

The Warriors will still have greater depth, but this would make for one hell of an interesting series.

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As someone who greatly respects Melo's talent but thinks that he's a detriment to the Knicks, I'd love to see him play with LeBron & watch them take on the Warriors.  Frankly, it may be a couple of years too late for his offense to be effective even with LeBron & his lack of defense may well be a bigger problem.  And, does anyone think that JR Smith, who had a pretty good run in Cleveland, misses Melo?  I don't.

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21 hours ago, Steve R. said:

Bye bye Melo.  I dont think that the Knicks got enough in return but he had to go.  Best wishes in Oklahoma (seriously).  He just wasn't right for the Knicks.

My first thought when I heard he'd be playing with Westbrook was: 'Is Anthony willing to give up his 20 ppg average (now 14-years running). and be the second-best offensive player on his team?' He might not dip under 20 the first year, but it's eventually going to become a reality unless he retires - I'm glad this happened for no other reason than that this will put any questions about his character to rest, one way or the other, and I don't know which way it's going to go.

This article says it all:

"Trade Grades: Carmelo Anthony Deal Yet Another Steal for Thunder" by Rohan Nadkarni on si.com

If Anthony is willing to accept that he's aging, and that he's going to be their #2, possibly #3 scorer, and that his role will be to relieve Russell Westbrook and Paul George with some catch-and-shoots (another issue: Will they dish to him?), then this trade could really help Oklahoma City; if he's really so selfish that he needs to get his points with Westbrook and George next to him, then this trade could blow up in their faces. Even though Anthony has played for 14 years, I honestly don't know which way this will resolve itself.

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21 hours ago, Steve R. said:

Bye bye Melo.  I dont think that the Knicks got enough in return but he had to go.  Best wishes in Oklahoma (seriously).  He just wasn't right for the Knicks.

Good for you, @Steve R. good for many Knicks fans. 

I hate his game.  I consider it a mixture of unwatchable at its worst, painful to watch when not at its worst, ugly to the flow of the game, and not ultimately conducive to winning.  Over his long career the Denver and Knicks teams he played for probably averaged in the low to mid 40's wins/season.  Good enough to get to the playoffs but mostly being a low seed.  That is a little better than a 500 record.  The playoffs involve 8 of 15 teams per conference these days.  Its not an extraordinary bar.  A bar; yes.  But a not brutal bar to pass.

He has been a great scorer but he is well recognized as an offensive ball hog.  On the rebounding, defensive and passing side of things he is mediocre at best and is often guilty of visibly not putting out effort in those areas.  His game is one dimensional and the dimension in which he has always starred is a tough mixture of stardom/talent and selfishness. 

He has been a lightening rod of controversy mixed with some notable and responsible acts. 

You can't dispute his scoring stats.  OTOH the advanced stats geeks provide data that his entire game is less than the best and less than super stardom.

From the data driven geeks encyclopedia of minute detail:  His overall Similarity Scores, which is a record of Win Share puts him in company with a group of notable players who would mostly comprise a "Hall of Very Good", not a Hall of Fame.  The exception in that group is Alex English, also a notable scorer, but I suppose played a one dimensional game.  (yes I used to watch him, but no I don't recall much about his game). English is in the HOF.

Another esoteric advanced  geek stat is career Box/Plus Minus.  An effort to analyze how many extra points over the opposition a player is worth during his time on the court.  Anthony is ranked 186 in the NBA.  Not star value.  An additional Geek Stat is Career VORP (value over a replacement player).  Anthony ranks 106.  Not blow you out of the box high.

But he has been a great scorer.  Two of his former coaches had serious problems with him and publicly voiced it.  One of those two, Mike D'Antoni also either wanted or agreed to want him for the current Houston Rockets.  (can anyone really know his value, or that of most players???--its always guess work  How will the whole team mesh?  How the heck do 3 scorers mesh??)

Whether he plays for the Knicks or plays for Oklahoma he is not a guy I enjoy watching and mostly won't, but for you Knicks fans,  bravo.  You'll get to live and die with other ball players.

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I admittedly don't think highly of Carmelo Anthony's game.  But he has been on my brain ever since this thread went up.

He is a prolific scorer and a very significant shot taker.  Most of his career he has been the go to shot taker and scorer for his team; with the possible exception being when he shared that role briefly with Allan Iverson in Denver and possibly briefly with Amare Stoudemire for about a year for the Knicks.  Even in those years Anthony might well have been option 1A with Iverson and Stoudemire being option 1B.  Anthony has racked up prolific scoring totals.  I am sure he will make the NBA HOF.  Scorers at his level get into the HOF.

But I don't think he merits some of the other accolades.  In his rookie year I know a strong case can be made for Denver's tremendous improvement being based on the improvements and health of his teammates.  Anthony, for all his scoring prowess has never been a consistent "value" player at the highest rung.  Value being measured by advanced NBA stats, by geeks geekier than me.  Chief among them would be VORP (value over replacement placer), PER (player efficiency rating) and WS (win share).  In fact if you look at all his seasons, he has only been in the top 10 in the league 2 times for any of those stats.  That is 2 out of a possibility of 42 times. (3 different ratings//14 seasons).

Now I could go on and on, but I found one description that I think is remarkably complimentary of his game and one geeky kind of detail that describes the evolution of his game and somewhat relates to the compliment.

Over 2 years ago Paul Pierce, another player with a very long history and similar accolades, described the five players he faced that were most difficult to defend.  Carmelo Anthony rated #1

Well that is impressive.  Even more impressive considering the other four offensive wizards:  Lebron James, Kobe Bryant, Vince Carter, and Tracy McGrady.   Those 4 are known offensive monsters.  Ranking Anthony above all of them is quite a statement; at least IMHO.  It speaks to Carmelo Anthony's offensive skills.  Pierce said this about Carmelo's skills:

Quote

If I had to single one guy out who is the most difficult player to guard in the league, it would have to be Carmelo. He’s a unique blend of being big, strong, and athletic while also having a world-class shooting touch and a natural ability to get to the rim.

Carmelo is a great offensive talent.  He can get off shots from outside, and per Pierce he could drive effectively.   Well maybe he could drive, but does he still?

Admittedly here is a very geeky look at Anthony's shooting and shot taking game.  If you go to the basketball-reference page for Anthony and focus on the ultra geeky Shooting graph, it gives very detailed descriptions of the types of shots players take over the season and specifically the distance from the basket.  In Anthony's case, when he started his career his average distance for a shot was very similar to that of Lebron James.

Early in their careers, Anthony seemed to drive, shoot from up close and dunk at a rate not dissimilar from James.  As time has moved on, James seems to drive as much, maybe more, but Anthony drives far less frequently, he shoots from further out and simply doesn't drive on opponents as he once did.  

Not necessarily bad or good or any kind of judgement call from me on that evolution of his game.  Simply in light of Paul Pierce's very laudatory description of Anthony's offensive skills, I found it interesting to see that over time Anthony has slowly but surely shut down that driving aspect of his game. 

Now Anthony has been traded and he is playing on a team completely different than any regular season team he's played on before.  He is one of 3 clear offensive weapons; all three being OPTION 1A to take the shot.  It will be interesting to see how the Oklahoma team does this season.

 

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2 hours ago, DaveO said:

Now Anthony has been traded and he is playing on a team completely different than any regular season team he's played on before.  He is one of 3 clear offensive weapons; all three being OPTION 1A to take the shot.  It will be interesting to see how the Oklahoma team does this season.

I think this will be the season that will "make or break" Anthony in the eyes of his detractors. (I'm neither a supporter, nor a detractor; I just think he's been placed in rough situations, and has been paid a *lot* of money - I suspect he's worth $100 million). I already mentioned that his consecutive-year streak of 20+ ppg may be more important to him than anything else, at this point, especially since Golden State (despite being 1-2 right now) should waltz to the NBA Championship this year.

Will he relinquish being Scoring King in order to have a better team? We'll see in a few months - it's quite possible he can't do much else *but* score, in which case he's really a "role" player, like Dennis Rodman in reverse, or (if you don't mind me co-mingling sports) Reggie Jackson.

On only a marginally related subject, I once heard an elite defender (I can't remember who) say that it was easier to guard Michael Jordan than Larry Bird, because with Jordan, it was "just basketball," but with Bird, it was also chess, and you couldn't turn your mind off for even a moment.

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Put me in the detractor category.  I don't doubt his offensive(just shooting/scoring) capabilities.  I don't believe he has ever put out in any of the other elements of the game.  The teams he has played on were at best and very infrequently at the very good level;  mostly at the above average level, and the last couple of years in NY, at the lousy level.  I never saw Anthony being the star that elevated the team.  When the teams he played on were at their best other players were more responsible for elevating the team.  That is admittedly a judgement call.  It would get a lot of support.

He went for the $$ in NY, and he stayed for the $$ in NY.  And he landed the $$ without elevating the team.

Having said that, he has shown other admirable and maturity levels as he has evolved in the league and as an adult.

This year in Oklahoma would have to be unbelievably different to erase that judgement.  Doesn't seem to be starting out that way.  Westbrook remains the straw that stirs the drink.  Westbrook remains the ball handler and the distributor.  The team will have to figure it out over time.

I've never really watched Paul George.  His statistics look similar to those of Anthony on the rebounding/assist level.  If George and Anthony were getting passes on the perimeter and whipping them around for even easier shots, such as happens in San Antonio and some other teams that would be a very different team. 

But easier said than done.  Neither Anthony or Paul have ever been those type players or played on those type teams. 

Anyway good luck to Anthony in this new setting.  Good bad or indifferent its a provocative team with 3 star scorers plus two starters that are defense minded and weak on scoring and then probably a weak bench.

Its a long season.

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One fourth of the season over and Carmelo Anthony’s current team has serious problems.

All the focus is on Anthony and the two other stars Westbrook and George.  The team is 8-12.  At the same point in the season, Boston with as much personnel turnover is 18-4.  One team figuring it out so far, one team not. 

There is time to change but as the article in the link points out this team is playing way more isolation ball than other teams in the league. One of those three stars needs to seriously change his game.  I think it should be Anthony and I doubt he can based on past performance.  60 or so games to go.  We’ll see.

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"Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, and the Rule for Aging Superstars" by Andrew Sharp on si.com

I still posit that Anthony, given that he won't win a championship, is more concerned with his 20 ppg streak than anything else. Selfish? Very much so, but if I were in his shoes right now, I probably would be, too.

That said, for him to get his scoring average up to 20 ppg after 22 games, he's going to have to drop 54 points.

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In that there is a  thread on Carmelo Anthony here is a long descriptive article on the change in Carmelo Anthony's game in Oklahoma City. 

Following a poor start to the season (8-12) Anthony went to the coach to discuss the situation and changes, heard from Coach Donovan, agreed with him, spoke with his teammates and did in fact make changes.  Since that start The Thunder have posted a winning record and Anthony's shots and points are down.  Big change. 

Frankly I think the writer is generous to Anthony, but I'm not a fan of his long time  game.  Anthony is now the 3rd or 4th option on offense.  He has moved to a spread position far more often thus opening up the court for others.  I don't watch them much so I can't speak to whether he is working more on the defensive or rebounding aspect of his game.  It has been working to date, although the Thunder lost their very effective starting defensive star and that could put a crimp on their prospects going forward

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On 2/15/2016 at 12:27 AM, Steve R. said:

Why, yes I do. Although I like him & would really like him to lead the team to victory, his being a "scoring machine" comes with a hefty price tag, as he needs the ball to do his thing... more so, I think, than other prolific scorers. It's hard for even a good team to resist standing around while he keeps the ball. I wish he was more of a catch & shoot scorer, but he's not.

Two years later and he has morphed into a catch and shoot shooter/scorer for the Thunder.

He has not had a great year.  After a miserable start to the season by the team Anthony agreed to become the third option and emphasized 3 pt shooting on the catch and shoot.

His 3 or shooting is decent- about average for the league.  His go to 2 pt shooting has deteriorated.  It’s weak.  He is not adding much elsewhere on the court 

He still has that big salary.  He is not “an answer” for Oklahoma City.  I think the Knicks were fortunate to move him

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Carmelo Anthony is a controversial player who draws press and writer attention for many reasons both pro and con.  Admittedly I’ve followed him for a relatively long time—becaus he irks me.  I agreed with a friend in Denver who watched him in the earlier half of his pro career and hated his game.

Here an article made for the Carmelo followers of all stripes that questions his value

Not in the article but I looked up the Thunder’s record this year vs previous years.  They are playing at the same pace this year as last year, which was a year without Durant and only one Superstar.  This year they got the “stars” but have shown no improvement. To get those stars they gave up/traded valuable players.  Previously when Durant and Westbrook were both healthy they competed at the most elite level.

Not now and statistically and watching wise Carmelo is the weak link among the stars.

Good topical article at a timely basis for a guy that vacuums press and attention

 

...and son of a gun another similarly themed but more severe article published the next day

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Oklahoma City lost in the first round of the playoffs and Carmelo Anthony ended his most dismal season.

He did not lift the Thunder this season.  They started poorly and he morphed into a definitive 3rd option rather than an equal 1/3 of three stars.  That aided the Thunder over the regular season, but his game went backwards.  By the end of the season and into the playoffs he was sitting more and more.

Going back over comments on this thread:

1 Yes he’ll make the Hall of Fame:  His career point total is among the top 20 in the NBA.  

2. I doubt he made players around him better or improved teams, subject only to teams that had other strong elements and needed a shooter/scorer.  You merely had to watch him play to see that.  

3. He never significantly broadened or adjusted his game.  At this point his defense is a liability 

4. One has to wonder what would have occurred if he had been drafted by Detroit, a strong willed team, with strong personalities, dominating coach, excellent skills, and a focus on defense.  We’ll never know.

5. His ball hoggishness diminished this year as he shot a high percentage of catch and shoot 3’s.  He was not that great of a 3 point shooter to be an effective weapon this season.  Regardless he demonstrated that trait for about 15 years.

6.  I must admit between the style of his game, his high salary, his unwillingness or inability to change and broaden his game he might be my least favorite NBA player of this era.   With that I’ll say CYA Carmelo, the playoffs won’t miss you.

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2 hours ago, DaveO said:

He did not lift the Thunder this season.  They started poorly and he morphed into a definitive 3rd option rather than an equal 1/3 of three stars.  That aided the Thunder over the regular season, but his game went backwards.  By the end of the season and into the playoffs he was sitting more and more.

Anthony had one strength: He was a mid-range scorer. And he was a great mid-range scorer, but I agree that in today's game (or possibly in any era's game), that isn't enough. I'm reminded of Elvin Hayes, and the way he banked it in from the side of the key, at about 15 feet ... but Hayes also averaged 12.5 rebounds-per-game over his career; Anthony's scoring wasn't enough, at least not enough to justify his Hall of Fame status (and I agree he'll be in the Hall of Fame). He was a niche player, and his niche happened to be mid-range scoring.

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On 2/16/2016 at 4:50 PM, DonRocks said:

The 8 seasons before drafting Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets:

* never made the playoffs

* never finished above .500

* averaged 25 wins per season

* won a total of 63 games - combined - in 4 of those seasons

* were tied for the 4th-worst record in NBA history one season, going 11-71

The 10 seasons after drafting Carmelo Anthony, the Nuggets:

* made the playoffs every year (yes, 10 seasons in a row)

* never finished below .524

* averaged 48.3 wins per season

There has always been something bothering me about the anti-Anthony sentiment here, and I think it's entirely related to the statistics up above. If someone can explain how these alone don't make Anthony a legitimate superstar, please do. Add the Syracuse NCAA Championship Anthony's first-and-only year in college, and the Oak Hill High School win over (a LeBron James-led) SVSM for a theoretical national championship, and you have a first-ballot Hall of Fame player who played at the absolute top level for 12 years.

Read those statistics, over-and-over, until you realize that the how, what, or why almost don't matter (unless Denver drafted God the same year they drafted Anthony).

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