What if I told you that there was a man who has career averages of 24 Points Per Game, 6.5 Rebounds and 3 Assists, and a higher career field goal percentage than Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady and Pete Maravich? What if I told you with the likes of an aging A.I. and neck-tat Kenyon Martin, this man went to the Western Conference Finals, before running into prime Kobe? What if I told you that this man carried the Knicks – THE KNICKS – to a playoff series win this side of the decade? That this man had SEVEN season over 25.0 a game, in a 9 year stretch? That this man was one of the most entertaining players to watch on a basketball court every single night?
My next question: why would you not like this man? I can not and will not understand the level of disrespect that Carmelo Anthony gets from NBA twitter and NBA fans. The man did nothing but score night in night out for our viewing pleasure. He had the cool hair and good basketball name. There was nothing not to like! It doesn’t. Make. Sense. that this man was so constantly vilified through his prime, and even more egregiously in the past few seasons. You’re gonna cut this man, Houston? Really? James Harden was shooting UNDER 40% when they released Carmelo, but #7 was the problem? Go play with matches.
There are a few reasons why I think Carmelo Anthony receives so much disrespect.
Theory 1: LeBron stans
LeBron and his fans ruin everything, and I think Carmelo is a prime example. You see.. YOU SEE.. LeBron stans cannot accept any potential threat to LeBron’s status as the best player on earth. They start to malfunction and yell. They do not like it. It’s the reason they all seem to hate Steph Curry, the reason they rag on Durant, the reason why they reeeeaaaaalllllyyyy hated Kobe. Dwyane Wade is the exception because, of course, he welcomed LeBron to Miami with open arms. So, LeBron-stans accept D-Wade. But not the others.
This is true, and you all know it, but it’s so incredibly stupid. No one with one iota of basketball intelligence would ever, at any point, say Carmelo was a superior player to LeBron. So, why so defensive LBJ mob? We could’ve just enjoyed Carmelo as a 3rd-7th ranked superstar and been fine! But you all had to ruin it. I hope your happy.
Theory 2: The Compensation Effect
If everybody in the world loves a movie, and you only kind of liked said movie, you’re going to largely talk negatively of that movie to your peers. As is the same, if you really liked a film that no one has heard of, you’re going to really ram it down people’s throats, probably overrating it in the process. How does this relate to walking bucket Carmelo Anthony? Allow me:
As I mentioned before, Carmelo was comfortably in the 3-7 range during his prime years. But, here’s what happens. Fans compare him (and others- this isn’t exclusively a Melo problem) to the number 1 guy. So just like the movie situation, they only highlight the negatives. Then when they compare these players to the second tier, people start to rationalize that these second tier players (our underrated movies) could be as good as the 3-7 crew if only given the chance to let the reigns go. So, you’re left with players in a basketball purgatory of being dismissed compared to the best, and unfairly compared to players far beneath their ability. This is exactly what happened to Carmelo Anthony in his career.
I’ve tried to stop tying my emotional well being to professional athletes. They have more tens of millions than I have thousands. They don’t know I am. The hate probably doesn’t affect them. But, man it’s time to start appreciating Carmelo Anthony and quit with the revisionist history. After all, Final Four MVPs, 3 time gold medalists, NBA scoring champions and FIRST-BALLOT Hall of Famers don’t come around every day.