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Mike D’Antoni says Carmelo Anthony is having an MVP season

Dec 26, 2012, 8:00 AM EDT

mike d'antoni carmelo

LOS ANGELES — Mike D’Antoni coached Carmelo Anthony for parts of each of the last two seasons while owning the head coaching job with the New York Knicks, so he knows as well as anyone how much Anthony can dominate a game at times.

Part of the reason D’Antoni ended up resigning as Knicks head coach, however, was due to an inability to coexist with one of his star players, and find a way to properly utilize his skill set within the team’s offensive system.

Anthony has made a leap in his abilities this season, and has helped lead the Knicks to a record that now stands at 20-8, just percentage points back of the Miami Heat for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.

Before the Lakers faced the Knicks on Christmas Day, D’Antoni was asked to give his thoughts on Anthony this year, and the Lakers head coach said he believed his former player was having an MVP season.

“Yeah, I think so,” he said, when asked if Anthony should be in the MVP conversation. “They’re one of the top teams, and he’s definitely a big reason why they’re there so yeah, you’d have to talk about him.”

When asked who else he thought should be considered, D’Antoni went with some other obvious choices.

“Durant’s always there, LeBron’s always there,” he said. “I think you have to be one of the top three or four records. Right now somebody’s probably slipping by, but I would say those are the names.”

The name that was “slipping by,” obviously, was that of his own star player, Kobe Bryant.

Bryant leads the league in scoring at 29.9 points per game, but D’Antoni knows that his team would have to show measurable improvement for Bryant to even be considered this season.

“Well, if we can get up to where we need to get up to,” he said, referring to the Lakers slow 14-14 start after being reminded that Bryant’s name was noticeably absent from his list. “But we’ve got to get up there. I don’t think you can put anybody [as] MVP when you’re below .500. That just doesn’t work.”

L.A. is now exactly at .500, after a 34-point performance from Bryant helped lead the Lakers to a 100-94 win over Anthony’s Knicks on Christmas Day.

  1. omniusprime - Dec 26, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    It’s no wonder that the Lakers have such poor coaching when Dumbtoni is more interested in making Carmelo an MVP instead of Kobe Bryant. That moron Dumbtoni tried to help out Melo by putting Morris on him to start the game. That afforded Melo a few easy baskets as Morris is a guard trying to guard a forward. Once MWP started guarding Melo then Melo had to work for his points. If the Lakers are going to win another championship then they need to fire this monumentally stupid coach, the sooner the better.

    Fire Dumbtoni!!! We Want Phil!!! Go Kobe!!!

    • thomaskouns - Dec 26, 2012 at 9:19 AM

      Totally disagree.

      MVP players raise the level of their team far beyond .500. Lebron got 50 plus wins out of those horrible Cleveland teams each year and they didn’t have a third of the talent of this Lakers team with four future Hall of Famers. There were also years between his Shaq championship run and the Gasol, Odom, Bynum run where he only got the team a few games above .500.

      A lot of scouts around the league have said ‘off the record’ that Kobe has never been anywhere near as good at making people better around him as his reputation would suggest. He’s ranked 14th all-time in player effeciency metrics with Jordan first.

      But the league markets the hell out of him as does Nike as his ‘cutthroat, stud’ image is good for league coffers.

      Personally, I think Kobe plays for himself a lot of times and is more focused on getting the all-time scoring record than winning championships at this point in his career. He also has never really listened to any of his coaches other than Phil.

      This is actually a smart tough love way to motivate someone because Mike D. knows that Kobe’s scoring title will be meaningless if the team doesn’t even make the playoffs. It’s about wins not individual stats.

      • football58 - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:29 AM

        How do you think Kobe is only concerned with the all time scoring record when he has said he might only play two more years? Do the math genius, he can’t get the scoring record if he only plays two more years. Interesting how you have insight to what Kobe and scouts off the record are thinking. Some random blogger has the inside scoop in the scouting community…hilarious.

        Then you talk about Kobe only getting the Lakers to barely above .500 a few times in his career. I think I will take that if I get five championships along with that. Look at who this article is actually about, Carmelo Anthony, who has led his team out of the first round of the playoffs once in his career. This is truly a guy who only cares about scoring and doesn’t make players around him better. I don’t need to rely on any metrics or what other people say to form my own conclusions about a player like yourself. Melo is no different of a player then he was five years ago, he just has a different supporting cast that blends in more with what he does on a basketball court. Melo being an MVP is a joke.

    • football58 - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:20 AM

      “Dumbtoni”? I feel like I just read an excerpt from a first grader.

  2. seanb20124 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:00 PM


  3. truwarier90 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    melo is too fat win mvp, dude has a barkley beer belly, the knicks need more production from shumpert and his flat top.

  4. spartan822 - Dec 26, 2012 at 2:28 PM

    It’s way too early to be talking about MVP candidates. At least wait until after the all-star break.

  5. Chris Ross - Dec 26, 2012 at 5:10 PM

    With Lebron around i don’t know if we can talk about MVP but he is having a great season and deserves the credit he is getting. Good for the Knicks

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