‘Melo Needs To Bridge London To N.Y.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Everyone knows that, certainly the NBA players who frequent Sin City — and the hopefuls whose Summer League exploits so often fail to translate to the league’s 29 official cities.

A more pressing question for Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks is this one: Will what happens in London stay in London?

The hunch here is, yep, probably will.

How well Anthony manages to turn the success and image-polishing he’s experiencing in the 2012 London Olympics into a reboot of his NBA career and reputation was analyzed in full Wednesday by Ken Berger, lead NBA scribe for CBSSports.com. Berger lays out all the evidence, makes some fair (some might say too kind) assessments of Anthony’s first nine NBA seasons and presents it all as a challenge to the Knicks’ ball-stopping scoring star to find another gear and fit himself more into a team concept from this 2012-13 season forward.

By emphasizing what’s next for ‘Melo, Berger is able to have his cake and eat it too. That’s appropriate — this is, after all, the media guy who sent a message during the lockout from a Manhattan bakery up to the luxury hotel suite where owners and players were haggling over their millions and billions. Berger points out most of the flaws in Anthony’s play and career to this point, yet sidesteps the juvenile, ad hominen response that he might be what too easily is labeled a “hater” of this player:

Before you fly off and call me a Melo hater and whatnot, understand this is a hopelessly optimistic perspective that I harbor about Anthony. A hater would say we already do know who and what Melo is — a selfish, one-dimensional scoring machine who doesn’t have the leadership ability, work ethic or commitment to an all-around game to be recognized among the truly elite players in his sport. So by saying we don’t know this about Anthony yet, I am presenting a hopeful scenario in which he still has time to figure it out.

It is beyond dispute, however, that he is running out of time.

Let’s take it a step further and suggest that it is perfectly acceptable to “hate” Anthony’s game without “hating” the man. Frankly, though, it’s such an ugly, lazy, hyperbolic word that we’re done with it now; we’ll stay in the realm of criticizing, disliking and not being a fan of, because that’s really all this is.

To this point — nine seasons in — Anthony has shown himself to be self-absorbed as a basketball player with delusions of grandeur about his place in the league’s galaxy of stars; no, he is not on the same level as LeBron James or Dwyane Wade, with whom he was drafted in 2003, and surely not Kobe Bryant, to whom Melo relates as a conscienceless scorer.

He has been and is very much what Berger laid out: A one-dimensional player whose dimension is very valuable but also one that doesn’t blend easily into a team concept. He is a great end-of-quarter, end-of-game shooter — I want him in any HTB pool, whether the game’s in London or Los Angeles — but his diva tendencies are real. To me, he is much more Tracy McGrady or Vince Carter.

He has gone to the playoffs nine times (to his and his teams’ credit) yet advanced past the first round only once. He ranks sixth all-time in usage rate (31.25), an estimated percentage of team plays he “uses,” but 55th in player efficiency rating (PER). Anthony never has appeared to be completely in shape — as Berger notes, he lost 12 pounds for Team USA, apparently carrying them through the Knicks season – and his off-court narcissism and trade drama made the Denver Nuggets happier without him.

As recently as this season, Anthony — in fighting the phenomenon of Jeremy Lin, to the point that both Lin and the coach who inspired it, Mike D’Antoni, are gone — essentially put his individual good before his team’s. Our guy John Schuhmann, with his briefcase full of decimal points and geometric logic, recently exposed the Knicks’ X&O woes as a disjointed bunch.

And by the way, much of the rest of the nation finds great amusement in the allegedly sophisticated New York hoops fan base drools so over this double-edged pseudo-star. It’s like a theater full of film critics who should know better clamoring for more Adam Sandler flicks. Berger gives Anthony benefit of the doubt, spreading some blame to his New York co-stars, director and producer before issuing the challenge:

Whatever the case, Anthony has reached a crossroads in his career at these London Games, a time when his star must finally shine and not be extinguished when he boards the plane back to the states after Sunday’s gold medal game. He must venture into the post and dominate there, the way James finally has learned to do. He must defend at an elite level, every possession, the way an athlete of his caliber and conditioning should be able to. He must do this for 82 nights next season with the Knicks, and must do it in the springtime for more than one round.

And rather than simply deflect the criticism and ridicule the uninformed opinions of his detractors, Anthony must embrace this turning point in his basketball life. He must react to this moment the way he responded to that shot below the belt Monday, clenching his fists and barking toward the heavens in defiance.

How ’bout this? All Carmelo Anthony has to do is play up to the reputation he’s crafted in his head and produce the results whose absence he typically explains away with excuses.

45 Comments

  1. ShAdy says:

    The Denver Nuggets with Carmelo, nene, Billups, k mart, jr smith, ty lawson as a rookie, and the rest had what it takes to be the champs! they went to the conf finals in 09, should’ve kept that team together. with George karl coaching them

    n sea pea, u naming the top players is just your opinion
    you didnt even include Rose and Howard, clearly what u stated is just an opinion
    Melo is one of the best scoreres in the league which makes him one of the best players.
    Agreed with Brio: Melo is great, everyone needs help, james needs help, now kobe got help with howard. Dirk had a full out team when he wont after more then a Decade. Last year in the play offs first round, it was Miami heat vs Carmelo for the most part.

  2. Ted says:

    Probably the most accurate comparison. Melo = Tracy or Vince. He’s nothing more than a scorer. I doubt he’d get better. He’s 29. He probably has a couple more years left before he starts to decline. You really gotta question his work ethic especially on defense. He has been criticized for 9 years for his defense. And yet he’s the same as he was 9 years ago.

  3. andre says:

    how is he overrated? he gave lebron 40 points in the playoffs wit yall doubling him imagine if melo had actual help not a broken stoudemire and sometimey jr smith. stop hating on the man he doesnt have to be an all around player no one in the league is a great all around player besides lebron but kobe durant and wade dont get criticized for it. lebron would have never one a ring wit out wade and bosh and thats facts so stop acting like he is a basketball god.

  4. 123 says:

    ill believe it when i see it. melo’s game needs to change dramatically and i honestly dont think he can change. hes too set in his ways. the way the league plays now, its more about spreading the ball to the open man and having great team defense. which by the way, melo does not have.

  5. KB24 says:

    Melo is a good player. He just isn’t one of the top five in this generation..like you said @ed he got picked for a reason. He is a great player but not a leader and he’ll have a better season with Kidd on the team, but the Knicks still aren’t championship contenders…

  6. ed says:

    Melo got PICKED to play for the USA Olympic team. If there was an Olympic team for writers, would this deftly written piece of hater-content get out of pool play? Don’t think so . . . Go Melo!

  7. ed says:

    If you paid me 100 million dollars, came out to cheer for me night in and night out I think my confidence level would be pretty high. Maybe this is all the guy can do and if so, then be happy. Love to have him in a Wizard uniform anytime the NY Press/ General Managers of the Universe get tired of him and need someone else to criticize. Of course, this is just my opinion – Go Melo!

  8. mleeblog says:

    he’s the best scorer in the NBA

  9. ilove NBA says:

    maybe the usa vs nigeria version!

  10. knickfan212 says:

    Guys act like the man had a failed career. The only people that will be disappointed about Melo not winning a championship are fans. Of course he wants to win but to call it a disappointment is crazy.Carmelo isn’t the only good player that hasn’t won a ring nor is he the only good player to not consistently advance in the playoffs. Something must be right in his play, he keeps getting contracts. He’s been in the league for years and is still relevant enough for people to discuss if he’s a great player or not with both sides of the coin getting equal votes. Of course he’d be a better all around player if he picked up his defense, to me, he has picked up his defense since being in new york.He’s a scoring machine. He’s not a defensive juggernaut.That doesn’t make him less of a star, it just makes him a little flawed in that area of the game. Everyone is not a force in every part of a game. Rodman made himself a star and all he did was get rebounds. For a person to say Carmelo Anthony is not a star is as stupid as saying an astronaut that traveled into space is a failure because he didn’t walk on the moon like others did.The man made a career out of something many can’t or ever will.There are many guys in the league now and for years to come that will never reach the level he’s reached.Every player that has ever played in the NBA or even college dreams of and wants a championship but if they don’t ever get one doesn’t mean they failed. He may have failed fans expectations but that’s about it.

    • Melo Fan # 1 says:

      I love your statement and that’s the thing these KIDS need to learn. But when people hate you know you doing something right.

  11. rich says:

    Wait till everyone see the ‘Kidd effect’ on the Knicks this year. Kidd’s offensive and physical play have diminished over the years but he still has the best basketball point guard IQ in the league. He still also defends well, even against taller and more athletic guards. Kidd will lead the Knicks, he’s a difference maker.

  12. 360 says:

    ppl want melo to be lbj but they are two different players. ask lbj who is his toughest challenge to play against he will say melo. fromhigh school till now he has been sayin that. everybody love lbj now that he won the chip and everybody wants to swear by what he says and does now but melo haters seem to forget that small snippet. i agree melo can do things to change his game and make it better but when he comes home to nyk hes not gonna have an olympic squad creating space for him like that on the knicks. also why is it that he is puttin these numbers up in london? because cp3, lbj, and dwill keep giving him the ball to shoot! they trust him and they know what he is built like. i think alot of u guys just like to c urself type!HATERS!

  13. BRIO says:

    Ohh men..carmelo is great…but he needs help….like james…players needss help..

  14. mikedukes says:

    please don’t put Tmac in this he is a beast

  15. Ferb says:

    I see Melo as a 3 point player. 3 point players do not handle the ball. If he can play like he is playing in the Olympics, he can bring the Knicks to a whole different level. Now have a seasoned point guard who is going to make sure, he has the ball, Carmelo is not going to be able to bounce the ball up the court.

    The olympic game, Lebron had a triple double. I don’t ever think Carmelo could be as great as LeBron. You see I am a Miami Heat fan, really a LeBron fan.

    I live on the East Coast and watch the Knicks and the Nets on MSG. I have to say I love what the Nets did over the summer. Derron Williams is my favorite point guard.

    I guess we will see if Melo changes because if he doesn’t the Net will be the basketball team in NY

  16. Ball hog says:

    Carmelo is simply put a great talent, but far from a great player and I don’t think he will ever reach that level. He’s a ball hog, always claims that whatever team he is on it’s his team and he will always be the one who takes the last shot. He doesn’t create motivation for his teamates and this is the same clown who was worried about Lin’s contract with the Knicks about because he thouth Lin didn’t deserve it, who cares dude.

    I will admit, he is gifted offensively and probably one the best if not the best complete offensive player in the league. He can do things I wish Durant would take advantage of like post you up and make a quick move to the basket, his offensive skills are elite, but his game as a whole is just suspect, doesn’t play any defense, hardly ever recognizes double teams so that another teammate can hit an open shot instead he rather force the issue and complains about a mediocre point guards contract, who does that as even a good player?? Melo is dumbster fire awaiting to happen and will never lead any team to a championship. Simply put Melo is Fools gold another Glen Robinson and T-Mac in the making.

  17. markymark says:

    man! he’s one of most overrated players in the nba of course he can score 20 points per game, because he has at least 30 attempts per game one of the most ballhugger player in the nba , with the addition of couple good players( kidd and felton ) they’re still not gonna past first round of the playoffs (if they will make it to the playoffs) if the NY still basing on carmelo ‘s play ,

  18. jcrazy says:

    Melo still is top 5 clutch active players in the nab. even though he may of had some shocking games last season it doesn’t take it away from his previous 7 seasons. robbed of rookie of the year (made the playoffs lbj didn’t). it will be a real disappointment if he doesn’t win a ring. this is coming from a boston fan swell. one of my favourite players. Stop hating!!!

  19. Andrew Millis says:

    I agree 100%. The Carmelo Anthony of the USA Olympic team is exactly what the Knicks need to take the next step towards a NBA Championship. B/c face it, the Knicks can’t win a championship w/o him & probably won’t even make the playoods w/o him so the better he plays the better the team plays. Now that Lin is out of NYC & in Houston the Knicks are going to rely on ‘Melo much more than they did last yr. With Tyson Chandler & A’Mare Stoudemire helping ‘Melo lead the way for the Knicks I see 5 or 6 seed for the 2012-13 NBA season.

  20. mleeblog says:

    I THINK CARMELO WILL GET A RING IF HE BECOME’S MORE OF A TEAM PLAYER/ AND SHARPEN UP ON DEFENSE A LITTLE BIT!, BUT COME ON GIVE CARMELO HIS CREDIT HE’S DEF TOP 5 IN THIS GENERATION CHECK OUT HIS SCORING AVERAGE’S THROUGHOUT HIS CAREER (HE’S A VERY GOOD SCORER), HE’S WITH OUT QUESTION ONE OF THE BEST CLUTCH PERFORMERS. AND HE’S A GOOD REBOUNDER. SO STOP LOOKING AT THE NEGATE AND LOOK AT THE POSITIVE

  21. joe says:

    making melo the focus now that they can’t talk smack about lebron. in saying that, if you want him ‘clenching his fists and barking toward the heavens in defiance’ i have a rather elegant solution – have amare or tyson bunch him in the balls before every game. this will help to build team chemistry and bring them closer together as a unit.

  22. mleeblog says:

    Melo has time to add to his game, he is one of the best score’s, he performs well under pressure there’s only a few players in the nba that are as clutch as he is. HE IS DEF TOP 5, AND TO ME A BIT TOO MUCH HATED ON AND A LITTLE UNDERRATED

  23. extremedriver says:

    Melo just needs to find himself, And once he does he will be the star we know he can be! Some of you guys seem to forget the fact that the Knicks just added great leadership on the team now with Camby, Kurt, Kid and Pablo. It’s that leadership that can only help Melo become the best star he is capable of. And please don’t bring up Kid’s DUI either! We all fall short (MISS THE MARK).

  24. Patrick Harry says:

    I despise the use of the word “Hater” to describe someone who is providing constructive criticism of a player (or anyone in any sort of field). Its not hating, its called looking and examining facts, history, tendencies, and accolades. No one here is “hating” on what Melo’s talents are, everyone recognizes that he can put up points.

    Carmelo is a great scorer, but no scoring champ. What else has he really done for a team? Top 5, maybe he has the potential to be, but he sure has not exercised that ability yet. Players like Wade, James, Bryant and even Howard can bring it on both ends of the floor. Having a scorer who can go off can definitely be important, but that person is not going to carry a team to a championship, or go down as one of the grestest players of his generation.

  25. Krishawn-MIA says:

    Melo does have the talent to give more than previous years..Many times i watched Melo and he looked out of shape and his defense from the moment we knew his has been beyond —>”Horrible”<—…@Lol i saw some of those games and wondered where was the effort from Melo seeing that probably on Miami out of those mentioned are a ELITE Defensive team…BUT I must say i watched a few knick games where he looked as if he had brought some effort on the defensive end..i dnt see anything "Hater-like" with the article more like"Factual" to me…but in London Melo does seem to reach a new feat so lets jus wait to see what happens when the season starts i believe he'll be much better and more improved[he looks really great on the offensive end and he seems to be in good condition]

  26. Milz says:

    Lets just say for the sake of convo…if Melo did win the chip this year…would we still be talking about this or what?

  27. Don't do the Dong says:

    ‘Melo , in my opinion is not a leader in nature. He is more of a mercenary-type of player wherein all he need to do is to score and defend (I hope he will). He needs a Chauncey Billups type of player that will lead him.

  28. VMX says:

    I think VC and Tracy had significantly more talent than Melo. TMac averaged over thirty before and Vince never cared and still delivered spectacular play.

  29. aaron says:

    steve ur a hater enough said. if u ever become as good as melo, then talk trash about him

  30. Mental1981 says:

    Man you guys need to lay off the man. Now is not the time to remind a man of his flaws. Why is it that whenever an American accomplishes some phenomenal feat in London there is immediately a smear piece written about them by some opportunist hack sportswriter? Gabby takes London by storm and all we hear about is her hair, Serena demolishes at Wimbledon and all we hear about is a stupid dance, Melo breaks records at the Olympics after being the athlete with the most Olympic games under his belt representing his country and in scoring, then there is this vulture to point out his flaws rather than his strengths and to give kudos. Steve all you needed to write was “Thank You Carmelo”.

  31. Sea Pea says:

    Lebron, Kobe, Dirk, Duncan, Wade, Chris Paul, Rondo, Durant…How is he top 5 of his generation? He’s got a whole team of All-Stars pandering to him since the Olympics started just to boost his ego. He is this he is this generations, Dominique Wilkins, George Gervin. A modern day Mitch Richmond.. He is McGrady without the inuries. He’s Vince without the vertical. There are so many people I’d rather have on my team from his generation.

  32. newyorksteelo says:

    Putting aside the fact that I am a Knicks fan for a moment, I agree with some of the statements in this article. Melo has his faults, and is likely one of the most hated players in the game today. But let’s be realistic here for a moment and look at the brighter side of things.

    Melo is undeniably one of the greatest basketball players to play this game. I say this with confidence because after all, he is a great scorer, puts up the numbers night in and night out, and has the qualities of an elite player. The talent is undeniably there. He also ranks in the top 5 of this generation, if not higher in my opinion.

    Melo is still young and like many other superstars before him, he can learn to alter his game for the better of the team and winning a championship. Ever since he became a Knick, I have witnessed a change in his game. His defense has increased and it is apparent that he is sharing the ball more so than he did while playing in Denver. It’s as if he is trying to find that formula to reach success.

    I believe in him and know that like many superstars before him, he will find that formula for success. Come on Melo. You can do it. You can become that superstar that makes his team mates better. You are still young and in your prime. Now is the time to become the leader that you can be and make your teammates better. You have a great supporting cast full of potential. Make it happen!

    • Beans says:

      I totally agree, I am a basketball head, and Its funny how people criticize but they don’t see the full picture….

    • Lol says:

      I stopped reading your statement after: “he is a great scorer, puts up the numbers night in and night out”

      ‘Did you forgot the game vs Bobcats(yup! the one and only Bobcats) on 1/24/12 wherein he played 30mins and only scored 1 point? How about the game vs Nets on 2/4/12 wherein he played 35mins but only scored 11pts. Other games were:

      VS Nets, on 2/20/12 played 37mins, scored 11pts
      VS Mavs, on 3/6/12 played 31mins, scored 6pts
      VS 6ers, on 3/21/12 played 34mins, scored 10pts
      VS Rap, on 3/23/12 played 30mins, scored 12pts
      VS Cle, on 4/21/12 played 29mins, scored 12pts
      VS Heat, on 4/28/12 played 34mins, scored 11pts

      So where’s that are you talking about great scorer night in night out?!??? Would you kind to explain?

      • Milz says:

        So a string of games in a 66 game schedule with Melo combined with injury prone season out of his 9 NBA seasons has you thinking the man can’t score…maybe you didnt have cable or NBA TV when the man was roasting in April this past season 2 take them into the playoffs. I mean…let me know homie

      • mleeblog says:

        He had issue’s working with amare and linn. He was injured that part of the year that’s why he scored low in those games, but as he started to heal towards the end of the season he started to score more, look at him on the USA team he’s breaking scoring records. look at the scoring average’s thought Carmelo’s career.

      • El Drake Shell says:

        6 games define a man’s scoring ability? That stretch when he just came back from injury…Erased by the crazy scoring tear he went on in April/May. He’s legit! And clutch! He rebounds much better than people give him credit for, and he’s shown a commitment to defense in the new/get tough mentality that Mike Woodson brought back to NY. Time will tell. Let’s go Knicks!!!

      • QuestionMark says:

        So out of 82 games, you take about 8 where he played bad? Melo is averaging 24.7 ppg so far in his career and averaged 28 ppg this year in the Playoffs, he has the ability to score 50 if he wants, I can go ahead and say he isn’t as good a scorer as Durant, but he is good. Every single player in the history of league had atleast 10 bad games in their career. Melo was also injured through the season, plus he led the league in scoring in April averaging around 30 ppg, out of which he had terrific games, he scored 43 points against the Bulls along with a game tying three and a game winning three, he had 35 points against the Celtics along with a triple double and he scored 39 against the Hawks.
        There are a few things I disagree with like Melo being in the top 5 of the generation, he isn’t even in the top 5 over the last 5 years, Kobe, Lebron, Durant, Wade, Howard. Melo however is a great scorer there is no debate in that.

    • GJ says:

      What are you smoking man? Melo is one of the GREATEST to play the game? Yeah you’re on something. That’s like saying Tracy McGrady is one of the greatest. Melo isn’t a great. Melo has survived and put up high numbers playing on mediocre teams for the most part, where he was essentially the only scoring option. Melo has not been a significant “game changer” in his career thus far, and at age 28 I believe his time is running out, because the shelf life of a basketball player is usually 34/35, though some last longer. Melo’s time is running out his prime will be over soon, 30 is usually the back end of a player’s career. Melo is not on Lebron, Wade, Kobe, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Ginobili, Chris Paul, DRose or any of those player’s level. The only thing Melo could do is outscore 3 to 4 of those names I just mentioned. Those guys are team players, champions (except Paul and Rose), and game changers. You Knicks fans are delusional just like James Dolan, and thats why none of the real stars want to play in New York because of the losing culture and the weather. Smh. And Im from New York.

      • PORONG says:

        Your almost RIGHT! The ONLY reasons why melo breaking scoring records from USA TEAMS is because he ALWAYS wants the BALL in his hands like what he did in new york..

      • DR says:

        The only one’s you named better than Melo are Kobe, maybe Lebron, and maybe Chris Paul. Ginobili, parker, and D Rose have not proven to be elite players of any caliber whether it be their play or their stats, and neither has D Wade tbh. Dwayne Wade had a few years when he had good stats, but his team was so hopelessly bad that it really doesn’t matter. Melo always had a decent playoff team and actually had a chance to win a ring in ’08. when Kobe knocked him out at the WCF.

        Duncan is just not athletic or game changing enough and even Lebron lacks the shooting ability, scoring ability, clutch, driving ability, and is slightly worse at rebounding.

        And being a team player does not make you better at all, it might make you worse hence why people rate Jordan so high. And being a champion when not a superstar is useless as well unless Robert Horry is some great HOF player.

  33. caloyski says:

    Melo could improve tremendously if he becomes more of a servant leader to his Knicks team mates– he should know the real strengths of his team mates and use them to complement him and the entire team. He shpuld realize the simple truth that you need 10 hands to shoot the ball and ultimately win as amny games as they can.