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Carmelo Anthony: ‘Nobody should be worried about Carmelo Anthony’

Nov 20, 2013, 2:05 PM EDT

Atlanta Hawks v New York Knicks Getty Images

The Knicks are last in the NBA’s worst division, and though Carmelo Anthony is certainly not the main culprit for his team’s poor early showing, his play has regressed significantly from last season.

He’s going to become a free agent this summer, but in the meantime, James Dolan’s Knicks are crashing an burning around him.

Time to worry about Melo?

Anthony, Aia Adam Zagoria of TheKnicksBlog:

“Nobody should be worried about me. I’m going to be fine,” Anthony told reporters Monday. “I’m not even thinking about contracts or BS like that. I’ll think about that in the offseason. Right now, my duty is to lead this team to win some basketball games, hopefully to win a championship. That’s my duty. Nobody should be worried about Carmelo Anthony.”

Don’t worry, Melo. I’m not worried about you.

Anthony will definitely be fine. He’s going to get a max contract this summer and choose which team gives it to him. Why would anyone worry about someone in that position?

Oh, right, Knicks management and fans.

I supposed they’re in a different boat. Whether professionally or personally, they have a vested interested in the Knicks succeeding. Conventional wisdom says they should fret about keeping Melo, but I don’t buy that.

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Melo makes so much money, it’s difficult, under the NBA’s salary-cap rules, to put a championship team around him. That will become even more true with the raise he’ll get next summer. I’m just not convinced he’s good enough to justify the cap space his contract occupies.

Still, the Knicks would be better off keeping him. He’s an excellent player who will, at minimum, help most teams reach the playoffs (which says something about the stew brewing at Madison Square Garden).

It’s just that losing him wouldn’t be completely detrimental. Sure, the Knicks might have to rebuild – or overpay so-so players in a doomed attempt to stay competitive. But if they choose the former route, their upside is even higher than with Melo.

That’s why there’s no reason to worry about him.

  1. doc305 - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:32 PM

    Melo is hands down one of the best scorers in today’s game.Most people believe that he will stay in NY, but it is insanely obvious that he can’t be the only guy. If he were serious about winning it all, he would make the necessary sacrifice on his next contract and look for a legit star to play along side with. I don’t see that happening though, I think the dude wants the money (can’t fault him for that, 90% of the population would do the same) and recognition more than the hardware. He’s a great player but I don’t think he’s a championship caliber player. The most obvious example of that is that he is NEVER compared with the all time greats… Lebron is daily….Kobe is daily (and excepted as one by many)…shoot, even D Wade was when he was balling in the ’06 finals..
    Melo will one day be on one of the “best that never won” lists…. could be worse

    • sportsfan18 - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:29 PM

      Don’t confuse scoring a lot with being a good scorer or even one of the best scorers in the league.

      Last season, Melo averaged 28.7 points a game, led the league as we all know.

      Well, let’s look at what it took him to lead the league in scoring. He averaged 22.22 shots a game to get his 28.7 pts a game last yr.

      Durant was 2nd in the league in scoring last yr averaging 28.1 pts a game. He only averaged 17.69 shots a game to get his points.

      To put this in even better perspective, let’s compare Melo’s average shot attempts per game from TWO seasons ago, when he averaged 18.6 shots a game (which was still more than Durant averaged per game last season). Just what did Melo average scoring on those 18.6 shots a game two yrs ago? Why 22.6 points a game.

      So Durant averaged 28.1 pts last yr on 17.7 shots a game.

      Melo averaged 22.6 pts 2 yrs ago on 18.6 shots a game.

      Melo is currently in 201st place all time on the NBA true shooting percentage leader board. So there are many who have been much more efficient scorers than Melo in the league including many who are still active in the league today.

      Durant is currently in 25th place and rising.
      LeBron is currently in 55th place and rising.
      Chris Paul is currently in 59th place.
      Dirk Nowitski is currently in 45th place.

      So Melo scores a lot because he SHOOTS a lot. A GREAT scorer scores efficiently, gets many points on fewer shots.

      A game only lasts so long and a team only averages so many FG attempts per game (around 81 to 82 FG attempts per game). Melo takes over one quarter of his teams FG attempts. It wouldn’t be so bad if he wasn’t so inefficient at shooting the ball.

      How one scores and what it takes for that player to score a lot needs to be taken into consideration. Context is important in this regard just as it is in most everything else.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:13 PM

        Great scorers don’t always score efficiently – like Allen Iverson or Rick Barry or Jerry West or Kobe Bryant.

        And Michael Jordan also scored a lot because he shot a lot. Here’s an excerpt from The Jordan Rules, pg. 64:

        “Jordan got into a brief public debate with the Cavaliers after that 69-point game when several Cleveland players said it was no big trick to score a lot of points if you’re taking 37 shots a game, as Jordan did.”

        Melo really isn’t out of line – his career averages of 25.0 ppg on 19.6 shots a game and 45.5% shooting is not outrageous or horrifying. No, he’s not LeBron, but who is?

        PS. About Durant’s scoring – I don’t know what’s worse, shooting a lot, or constantly playing the refs for free throw trips…

      • sportsfan18 - Nov 20, 2013 at 10:05 PM

        OK antistratfordian

        Maybe we don’t agree on what the word great means.

        I don’t think great may be applied to one who simply scores a lot. To me, to be great at something requires more than simply scoring a lot because they shoot a lot.

        The Knicks game tonight with the Pacers is currently in overtime. But I’ll use the numbers from regulation.

        Tonight, Melo had 26 pts at the end of regulation BUT it took him 24 shots to get those points.

        He only shot 8 for 24 in regulation or 33%.

        The Knicks as a team shot a tad over 40% WITHOUT Melos 8 for 24.

        Melo took 27% of the Knicks 88 shots through the end of regulation (24 out of 88).

        I mean when I wrote my comments above, I had no idea how tonight’s game would turn out, except that many games turn out this way with Melo.

        The team shoots a better percentage than Melo does yet Melo takes a quarter of the teams shots.

        I’m sorry as we’ll have to agree to disagree about Melo being a GREAT scorer.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 21, 2013 at 5:59 AM

        Fun! Let’s talk about *great* scorers then…

        Bob Petit was the NBA’s first GREAT scorer. He spent most of his career shooting at or below 43%. Elgin Baylor is obviously one of the greatest scorers of all time – 44% shooting was a really fantastic year for him.

        Mr. Melo is 12th all time in career scoring average at 25.04 ppg. Only 13 players have a career scoring average of at least 25+ points. If we sort those players by career FG% Carmelo Anthony ranks 9th – ahead of GREAT scorers Elgin Baylor (43.1%), Kobe Bryant (45.4%), Bob Petit (43.6%) and Allen Iverson (42.5%).

        If we sort those players by career TS% Carmelo Anthony ranks 10th ahead of Iverson, Petit and Baylor and just a TICK below Wilt Chamberlain (.547 vs .545).

        But wait, there’s more!

        Only 21 players in history have averaged 20+ ppg in at least 10 seasons. That list of 21 is a list of the league’s greatest scorers. Carmelo is one of them. (By the time his career is done we’re going to be able to say, “Only 7 players in history have averaged 20+ ppg in at least 14 seasons. Carmelo is one of them.”)

        Only two players have scored more total points than Melo over the last 10 seasons – LeBron and Kobe (Melo’s FG% is superior to Kobe’s over that span – .455 vs .452). All three of those guys are scoring champions – of which there have only been about 30 in history.

        So there is really no way we can analyze NBA history and Anthony’s place in it and still reach a point where he comes out as anything less than a great scorer. He’s not just good at scoring – he’s objectively great at it. Historically great at it. And he’s doing it in much the same way as many other great scorers of yore.

        Side note: Melo is also only 1 of 7 players in history to have a career average of at least 25/6/3 on 45% or better. 1 of 7. So you’d think production like that would command a high salary – and you’d be right, it does!

  2. zickhead - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:38 PM

    All he cares about is his personal stats, yes he scores alot but yes he’s also selfish.

  3. antistratfordian - Nov 20, 2013 at 2:53 PM

    “his play has regressed significantly from last season.”

    He had a career year last year – he’s not going to have a career year every year. But his play hasn’t regressed to the point where it’s out of step with the rest of his career. He’s still playing like a guy that most teams would give max money to.

    “I’m just not convinced he’s good enough to justify the cap space his contract occupies.”

    He’s making about the same amount of money as Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson, Pau Gasol, etc. How can anyone justify paying him less than those guys?

    The issue isn’t Melo’s contract. A championship team needs to have at least one guy making that much money. The Knicks problem is that they have two guys making that much money and one of them is Amare Stoudemire.

    • sportsfan18 - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:17 PM

      Mr. Feldman,

      Thank you. What you said couldn’t be more correct.

      “Melo makes so much money, it’s difficult, under the NBA’s salary-cap rules, to put a championship team around him. That will become even more true with the raise he’ll get next summer. I’m just not convinced he’s good enough to justify the cap space his contract occupies.”

      While Melo is very good, he is overrated. His raise, should he resign with the Knicks, would be in the neighborhood of $25.8 million per season ($129 million for 5 yrs).

      For that much money, a team should expect an efficient offensive player and not simply a volume scorer. They should also expect for that amount of money for a player to at least be average defensively.

      • antistratfordian - Nov 20, 2013 at 5:56 PM

        There aren’t any efficient offensive players making that much money. So why should that be required of Melo?

        For that much money a team should expect to get Carmelo Anthony, who you said is “very good.” There are players who are not very good who make as much as he does. So I don’t know why you got your panties in a bunch over his salary. You need to focus your concern on more egregious payroll injustices.

  4. valeb2012 - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    I live in NYC and I don’t like the Knicks or Melo. But he’s not THE problem. Amare, JR Smith, Felton’s body, Bargnani trade, Woodson, Shumpert’s shot selection, Dolan — there’s a lot wrong with the Knicks but Melo is not even close to being THE problem.

  5. mackcarrington - Nov 20, 2013 at 3:46 PM

    Money or championships.
    Money or championships.
    When given that choice most players will choose the money every time.
    There are exceptions, but they are in the very small minority.

  6. stephieknicks - Nov 20, 2013 at 4:43 PM

    TRADE MELO. Get something before he leaves for nothing!

  7. eugenesaxe1 - Nov 20, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    Nobody’s worried about him. Few give any sort of crap about him.

  8. kicksave1980 - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Have to love it when guys refer to themselves in the third person…

  9. sampulls - Nov 20, 2013 at 7:38 PM

    Arrogance = referring to yourself in the third person.

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