I wish Carmelo Anthony could truly realize where he is at this stage in his career.
Listen, when Melo was on, he was one of the best scorers in the NBA.
During his first 14 seasons in the league, he averaged 24.8 PPG, was a 10-time All-Star, and made 6 All-NBA Teams. He also led the league in scoring in 2014.
However, his past 2 seasons have been a whirlwind.
The Knicks were in the midst of starting over in 2017, and eventually traded Melo to the Thunder prior to the 2017-2018 season. This formed a core of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Melo in OKC.
Melo averaged over 16 PPG, but only on 40% shooting in his new role as the third wheel. For a team he should have been taking a sacrifice for (i.e. a bench role), Melo stayed ME70.
If Melo had taken the Vince Carter route, realized he wasn’t prime Melo anymore, and tried to do what his team needed to win, he could have made an impact, but that was not the case.
In the offseason, Melo was traded to the Hawks before being released, and then he signed with the Houston Rockets, joining James Harden and Chris Paul.
But that went even worse.
Melo lasted just 10 games in Houston, in which the team started 1-5 (4-6 overall in games he played).
Melo was soon taken out of the rotation, deemed not worth keeping around, and then was traded to the Bulls months later.
He hasn’t played a game since.
So the question is this: now what?
According to former New York Knicks trainer Chris Brickley, Carmelo Anthony wants a farewell tour.
Yes, a farewell tour.
“He’s easily better with 60%, 70% of NBA players walking around”
– Chris Brinkley on Carmelo Anthony
Similar to what his friend Dwyane Wade received last season, Melo wants to play one more year and be honored across arenas in the league.
I’m sorry, but this is just BS.
It’s peak Melo if we’re being honest.
Melo will go down as one of the best players to never win a championship, and he only has himself to blame for not putting himself in the best situation to win, and this is just another example of that type of attitude.
Now I don’t want to be too harsh. Melo has made over $240 million in his career, and is still set to make another $17 million after being released by the Hawks last summer. He earned it, he was worth it.
However, there were situations were Melo chose the extra penny over winning. I won’t criticize anyone for pursuing to make as much as they can, but I think the tough ending we’re seeing for Carmelo is due to that attitude.
For example, in 2011 when Carmelo pushed to be traded from Denver, he caused a bidding war between the Knicks and Nets, and once the Knicks were able to agree to a deal with Denver, they traded away a lot of pieces that would have helped build a roster around him.
Had Melo simply waited until the offseason to sign with the Knicks (or Nets), as opposed to using his leverage to leave Denver a few months earlier, he would have been in a better situation to win.
As a result, during the next 3 full seasons, the Knicks went 127-103, while the Nuggets went 131-99.
In the 2014 offseason, Melo was a free agent, and considered signing with the Lakers, Bulls, Rockets, Mavericks, and Knicks.
In terms of winning, the Bulls and Rockets looked to present Carmelo with the best opportunities. The Knicks would have been the choice to make the most and stay at home. Dallas wanted to give Dirk a chance to win, and the Lakers were simply in disarray, using their brand as their pitch.
Melo chose to stay with the Knicks, signing a 5-year max contract.
Melo stayed for 3 more seasons, and never won more than 32 games before being traded to OKC.
Had he went to the Bulls, he could have joined a team that had just went 48-34 with a veteran core, and could have been the piece to put them over the top in a re-shaped conference that just saw LeBron James join the Cleveland Cavaliers.
If he went to Houston, he could have formed a Big 3 around a young James Harden and still good Dwight Howard.
Instead, he chose the Knicks.
Now Melo wants a farewell tour.
It’s selfish in my opinion. It’s one of those things where you earn it in the right situation, not openly ask for it.
He didn’t have the full and complete career that others did who had a farewell tour.
Melo can’t even get a spot on an NBA team right now due to his attitude, and now he comes out and says this. It’s further proof why teams would rather have guys like Jared Dudley and Kyle Korver than Carmelo Anthony.
Vince Carter was able to get on teams for years by being a team player and realizing where he was in his career.
Carmelo has failed to do so, and as a result, we probably have seen the last of him in the NBA.
It’s a shame, because he could still be a good scorer off the bench, and become a key veteran helping a team if he embraced that role, but he won’t.
It’s this mindset that made him a great scorer, but also that mindset that prevented him from ever winning a championship, and why he will likely never be able to be on a team that does.
It’s okay, these were his choices, and he had a great career… but it could have been more.
Follow Nick on Twitter (@Nick_Collins14)