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The points per game say it all:

2003-2004: 21.0

2004-2005: 20.8

2005-2006: 26.9

2006-2007: 28.5

2007-2008: 25.7

2008-2009: 22.8

2009-2010: 28.2

2010-2011: 25.6

2011-2012: 22.6

2012-2013: 28.7

2013-2014: 27.4

2014-2015: 24.2

2015-2016: 21.4

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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.

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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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A recent incident reminded me of this little "bit" from about 12 years ago.  I guess we could say Carmelo got "schooled"...or Carmelo was playing a lot of defense.....against nothingness...

 

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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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