Hang Time Podcast (Episode 111) The Carmelo Anthony Debate

HANG TIME HEADQUARTERS — Few players divide the room the way Carmelo Anthony does.

To some, the New York Knicks’ superstar is a scoring marvel to behold in a league that has always cherished guys who could put the ball in the hole at a record pace. Yet to others, Anthony is an elite scorer but little else and needs to expand the boundaries of his game if he wants to be mentioned in the same breath as friends and contemporaries like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant.

Of course, the right answer is probably somewhere between those two extreme views. Anthony is arguably the best scorer in the game today (he certainly looked the part scorching the James and Dwayne Wade-less Heat for 50 points in the Knicks’ win Tuesday night on TNT).

But if he was a better rebounder, set-up man and finally “won the big one” then we wouldn’t have anything to debate on Episode 111 of the Hang Time Podcast,  where we also debate and discuss the Brittney Griner to the NBA (instead of WNBA … she’s all for it, by the way) drama, the Mike Rice-Rutgers basketball flap, Shaquille O’Neal‘s retirement ceremony, our Final Four picks (GO BLUE!) and a whole lot more.


As always, we welcome your feedback. You can follow the entire crew, including the Hang Time Podcast, co-hosts Sekou Smith of NBA.com,  Lang Whitaker of SLAM Magazine and Rick Fox of NBA TV, as well as our new super producer Gregg (just like Popovich) Waigand and the best engineer in the business,  Jarell “I Heart Peyton Manning” Wall.

– To download the podcast, click here. To subscribe via iTunes, click here, or get the xml feed if you want to subscribe some other, less iTunes-y way.


  1. Jul3z says:

    Im sorry i keep reading responses that make no sense to me. So scoring 50 points is showing that you only care about scoring and not winning? WTF? if melo had a dwade and bosh on his team he wouldnt have to score as many points, infact if you watch his post game interviews he says many times he would rather score 20 points and have a balanced team effort, but his team mates dont always give him a consistant effort in scoring so he takes it on himself to score offensively to win games. At the end of the day he manages to get Wins and is the reason why the knicks are sitting second. And comparing last years knicks to this year knicks i believe is different too, we dont have an inexperienced jeremy lin running the team, we have added kmart another huge defensive player and this is partly the reason why the knicks have beaten Miami 3-1 this year. So if they meet in the finals i truly believe the knicks can beat miami what stats tell you otherwise? last years stats? im going off this years stats? two 20+ point blowouts with the big 3 playing, miami won 1 game in a close contest and melo scoring 50 in the last game. so if i were the heat wouldn’t you be more concerned about playing the knicks in the finals than the knicks are about playing the heat? no fan boy responses please

  2. Prince says:

    First off Melo is a beast and has had his ups and downs, but the KD, James, Kobe are the most talked about.. Melo just needs to find away to win it all, if it takes a better big man. A point guard would not be needed do to Melo wanting the ball all the time… He might have to change his game… BUT overall he is a great player and could win it all just inprove Your defense and trust your team THATS ALL

  3. STEVE says:

    This generation is obsessed with individuals. Teams win Championships. LeBron won nothing until he stacked the deck with Wade and Bosh. Wade won with Shaq, Kobe won with Shaq, Gasol and Odom. Duncan, Parker and Ginobli, Jordan, Pippen and Rodman, Kareem, Magic and Worthy; BIrd, McHale, Parish, DJ; Isiah and Dumars, and on and on. Melo has played with one other All-NBA player, Chauncey Billups and they went to the FInals. Amare has played 3 out of 9 Playoff Games in 2 seasons. Give Melo 2 other All-Star Players and we will be having a totally different Conversation.

  4. Terod says:

    Melo is the best scorer on a new up and coming Knicks team. The Team has to potential to win it all but of course they have to want it more than anyone. Melo can lead them. Once he does capture that ultimate title, he can be accepted as the best scorer in the league. He just need help getting there. Lebron has Wade and Bosh, and other players that can possibly start on other teams. Wade had Shaq when he one the first time. Kobe had Shaq the first 3 times, the second he had a amazing collection of talent around him, similar to what the Heat have now. Durant has westbrook, and ibaka…They have yet to capture the title but are so close. Melo has yet to have that until now…or at least now its the best chance he’s had. It still comes with a price, his team has to want it equally as bad and help him. Lebron has probably has the best all around game, Kobe has the best technique, fundamentals and confidence, Durant has amazing length and youth. Melo can score anywhere along the elbow. They all have there strengths, and melo is the same league as these guys. Kobe said Melo is the hardest person to guard, Lebron, Durant will probably say the same. Melo just doesn’t get the respect he deserves….Especially from the Refs.

  5. Aaron says:

    When you see Melo’s name in in the NBA All-Defensive Team (Ok, Second Team is probably good enough for him) several times, then we can start to think about the level of Kobe or LBJ.. I think basketball game is not just about scoring.. People always say scoring is for regular season, defense is for the championship.. I am thinking that maybe, in one year, Melo got average more than 40 points per game but without NBA champion, he may still feel happy and proud …..

  6. as says:

    Melo only know how to shoot. that is all he can do.

  7. caleb says:

    Melo has the right to be mentioned with kobe, lebron, and anybody else, he went far without a big three, allstar cast, and shaq, nobody can truthfully say he didnt do his thing, now he is with the knicks, yes he do have chandler and “amare” and he is going to always be the bully, i dont care who you are wether your world peace, battier, lebron and whom ever else top defender you can think off he just cannot be stopped, you have to pray he has an off day and thats it, all hail KING MELO!!!!

  8. jorge says:

    KOBE IS THE BEST SCORER THAT THE LEAGUE HAVE SEEN! Y’ALL REMEMBER THE 81 POINT GAME(63%FG)..HE CAN EASILY SCORE 50 AND 40 much easier. He has the best offensive skills. He is a tough shot taker and tough shot maker. y’all saw what happened vs TORONTO recently(hitting 3 cluch 3-pointers-with hands all over him at the age of 34yrs). HE is so goood…MELO is also good but I feel like kobe is much better. He is even better scorer or shooter than JORDAN.

  9. Melo is a better scorer than Lebron and always has been. Durant is coming along and even he is a better scorer than Lebron. The best one on one is Kobe Bryant. The best scorer Melo. The best balanced scorer is Durant and The runner up at the end of it is Lebron

  10. Freida says:

    When Melo becomes the leader of the team and shares the ball, then we shall see. Adding Martin has helped the team. If they play like this, they may battle with Miami for eastern conference final.

  11. Merp says:

    Melo’s a fantastic shooter. No denying that. We all know his strengths and weaknesses as does he…but why do we always have to compare Lebron, Kobe, Durant, and Melo? They all have different games, play differently, and have different teams. You could argue that it is very difficult to compare them and find similarities. Loving how Melo has been lately and I gotta give the dude some credit.

  12. KDurantula says:

    how can be your so called ‘best scorer today’ doesn’t lead the league in scoring? Not even once?

  13. Guyabano juice says:

    Melo has taken Syracuse to it’s first and only NCAA title….lebron,durant,Kobe,wade,bosh,Paul,Howard didn’t have that,so at least melo got something those guys don’t have…and I believe he’ll get that NBA championship,the deserves to win it all…he has taken his team to the playoffs every year since he came to the league…

  14. Jack says:

    Kobe has been the best pure scorer for about a decade but at the respective stage of their careers, I agree that Anthony might be the best pure scorer in this league today. However, talking about all around play Anthony has still not reached the same level as Kobe (or Durant and unquestionably LeBron).

  15. torontobluejays says:

    melo won a championship in syracuse, hes married to LaLa, he makes 17m/year, he could care less about you little kids

  16. John says:

    All i can say to you “Melo” lovers and “Knicks” Fans is that the regular season doesn’t mean a thing. Lebron can score 100 a game so can Durant, Kobe, or Melo but if you can’t reach the ultimate goal of getting that ring and that banner up it doesn’t mean anything. Ask Kobe or Lebron which one they care about more winning a meaningless Scoring Tittle or MVP or actually being able to hold that Larry O’Brien Trophy? Which is something that Lebron will not allow Melo to achieve just like Michael didn’t allow Chuck to get one also because the next in line for the throne is Durant, so I’m sorry to say but meaningless stats like scoring 50 against a team is just about all Melo will do for his career!!Because he lacks leadership and he doesn’t have that hunger in him or that will power to do whatever is going to take to take his team not just Melo to the promise land!!!

    • AckWrite says:

      Lol That sounded like a Steven A. Smith smackdown comment >_>

    • Remy says:

      I just don’t understand the hate… Melo’s ballin… has been all season… Give him his credit… It’s crazy that an armchair fan can sit there and criticize a player like Melo when the same players you compare him to do nothing but praise his game… Kobe and Lebron give him the credit… why cant ya’ll?

  17. Nigell Ramsammy says:

    So many haters on Melo….Dam leave that man alone . he never had a team . now he does .

  18. Sara says:

    NOBODY in Denver is mad the Melo is gone!!! As a matter of fact we wouldn’t take him back. We are a much better team without him make no mistake about that.

  19. José Manuel Castillo says:

    Es injusto responsabilizar a un solo jugador por el hecho de no poder llevar a TODO el equipo a los juegos de campeonato. Un jugador no se puede medir por la cantidad de anillos. Es muy bueno hablar de los 6 anillos de JORDAN, pero que hubiese sido de los BULL sin los 21 puntos por juego de PIPPEN, los 20 rebotes de RODMAN o los tiros de tres de PAXON y KUKOC. De igual manera entiendo que MIAMI no podría haber obtenido el campeonato pasado sin los aportes de WADE y BOSH. Un sólo jugador sin la ayuda del resto del equipo es imposible que se ponga un anillo. Si entienden que no es asi pregúntenle a CHAMBERLAINT.

  20. Chad says:

    I am not here to argue melo is bad or anything. Hes a great player though not as good as lebron/kobe/durant in terms of an overall basketball player…

    However I am very curious at why here at nba.com you guys often call him one of the best ‘scorers’.

    ” Anthony is arguably the best scorer in the game today”…but clearly if lebron/durant wanted to shoot more, they would easily be the better ‘scorer’

    I mean whats the definition of ‘best scorer’, in the case of anthony, hes never won a shooting title neither does he shoot at a high%. The only thing is that he likes to and tries to ‘score’ the most…so therefore hes the best scorer? doesn’t make much sense to me.

    • melo the scorer says:

      I believe they say that because he can score in different ways. I know durant is a good scorer but he doesn’t have low post and stregnth around the basket. It’s not about how many points you average but how you get your point is what they consider. read up and it was mentioned there in one comment.

      • JeRyl Christian says:

        I guess people haven’t notice this summer when Melo was going off scoring points in the Olympic Games when Melo should he can score with the best so all you Melo and Knicks fans keep hating because noone in this league can guard Carmelo in this whole NBA hands down he had the best Triple Threat in the game today yeah he can work on his defense a little bit but let the playoffs speak for there self because if the Knicks keep that second spot the heat gotta beat the pacers in the 2nd round

  21. yolo says:

    Allen Iverson is the bestest

  22. José Manuel Castillo says:

    Carmelo es exclusivamente un jugador ofensivo. Le falta mejorar su defensa, captura de rebotes, bolas robadas. Otra face que debe de mejorar es el juego en equipo (las tira todas) y aumentar las asistencias. Cuando mejore en estos aspectos entonces se equiparará a LEBRON, DURANT y KOBE (en ese mismo orden).

  23. Melo can should expend his defense a bit more when i see him guard at a high and consistant pace then i will say his one of the best and trust me am a die hard melo fan he can become great and very elite he needs to mature a bit more yesterday when he doppped 40 i saw him doubled and dishing which was nice to see i wana see that more often.

  24. mavs fan says:

    i think melo is a very good player like lebron kobe and durant
    he’s been out the 1st round and the confrence finals but melo has his experience young and will do better in his following years. he is as good as kobe lebron and durant

  25. bitch please says:

    oh my gawd. Melo is overrated oh well just give melo a credit…. And durant is an underrated player… 😦

  26. Jul3z says:

    People are so easy to criticise players unless there name is lebron james or kobe bryant. All year i have been reading and listening to articles, MVP discussion boards and other forms of media about Carmelo Anthony. At the start of the season he gained large praise due to the teams efforts at holding the number one spot at the East. Players started to get injured around him and he didn’t change his game much at all he was still able to gain 20-30+ points a game managed to win games single handedly, which is a rare feat in todays league where you have not only one but 2 or 3 superstars on a team. Melo put the team on his back and still managed to hold the number 2 spot for most of the season. Yes he still managed to hold the number 2 spot in the east and i watched as all these media outlets instantly pointing out weaknesses and flaws in his game yet half the team was injured. If this happened to the holy king james media attention turns to other teams. So now the team is healthy again, are on a 10 game winning streak and media are back on the bandwagon. If you are a true knicks fan you understand what we think about band wagoners. If you had to lived through the isiah thomas years you can handle the normal criticism that comes with the New York Knicks. Let the Playoffs speak for themselves, let Anthony’s scoring efforts speak for themselves. Let the 3-1 sweep of miami, and 2 of the 4 miami home losses speak for themselves. at the end of the day a win is a win and at the moment the knicks team has the odds on miami and says a lot about how melo’s game has matured.

  27. Mev says:

    Say what you want about melo but he has being playing very well as of late. I wont go as far as to say he’s the best scorer in the league but hes deff top 5. Dropping 50 points on any team is a great accomplishment, especially on the heat (even though James, Wade, & Chalmers didnt play) Melo is “IN THE ZONE” right now and if he continues i can see the knicks making a playoff run. I’ll even go as far to say they can beat the pacers in a series, but i just cant see them beating a healthy HEAT with James, Wade, Chalmers along with the rest off the heat. The heats role players just have 2 much confidence right now any player on the team can step up and drop 15- 24 on any given night (I.e Mike MIller) , but not to make this about the HEAT. Melo is playing great, J.r Smith is as well ,Chandler is still make favorite big man in the game they have key pieces to make a playoff run, but at the end of the day the HEAT are the team to beat to win a championship.

  28. Maybe instead of comparing Melo to Dominique Wilkins they should compare him to Dirk Nowitzki. Dirk won an NBA championship as a scorer, and a leader of his team. Is he considered an all-time great? Kevin Love is a triple double machine and I wouldn’t even consider him as a great player.

    • AckWrite says:

      Kevin Love is a great player but he’s still too young and has been on a rebuilding team that was injured all season. He may end up like KG was before he left Minnesota, a great player on a bad team. That is unless the timberwolves can come back healthy next year and make some noise.

  29. Kabitenyo says:

    Melo next team will be the L.A LAKERS… hes best bud is Kobe and he can lure Melo to LA for sure!!!

  30. JD says:

    I’m a Nuggets fan through and through and witnessed Carmelo from day one. No disputing his talent as a scorer, but he is nothing else but a scorer and does only what benefits himself. With regards to his play this year, all I have to say is it’s pretty easy to score big numbers playing the league’s worst teams located in the Eastern Conference. I mean look at the teams the Knicks play throughout the year. As for the Heat game recently, I mean, come on, neither Wade nor Lebron were even playing. ‘Nuff said.

    • Unknown says:

      Haters gonna hate.

    • Marc says:

      well thats just not true, g

    • BP says:

      So when James and Wade played in the second meeting of the 2 teams how is it that the Heat got their behinds handed to them by 20 IN Miami…WITH the great Lebron and Wade playing. But Melo does what he’s supposed to do and SCORCHES a second rate Miami team and all I hear is “oh but James and Wade didn’t play…FOH!!! And If you are not aware of it those “awful teams” that are in the east that the Knicks always beat, MIAMI is playing those same teams…idiot..

      • Drich says:

        This is actually true. I hate when the heat beat someone by 14 or more they handed it to them. But when they get beat multiple times by 15 or more no one pays attention (ie. Pacers) The heat will not repeat, the Top 4 teams in the east can beat them in a 7 game series.

    • Just saying says:

      Your just mad melo left Denver

      • Sara says:

        Oh Sweetheart…..NO ONE is mad that Melo is gone!!! Matter of fact, we wouldn’t take him back. Denver is a much better team without him. Make no mistake about that.

      • KunJayMaster says:

        Melo and the Knicks team are the same thing, when the jumper and the 3’s are going they are almost unstoppable when is not…is a disaster. I don’t think they can beat the Pacers in 7 games, and even if they do the Heat will be waiting for them on ECF. Chances are you are falling short like every year.

      • Just saying says:

        What up with all the boos when he came back to Denver then?

    • Moses says:

      Lebron/Kobe/Durant…..three People I can respect and have a convo about…But Melo has been very interesting this season,love to see him in the playoffs.

    • Jay says:

      If I remember corectly, knicks beat heat the two first game by over 20 points. And Melo scored about 15 points alone in the first. So please dont tell me that Wade or Lebron was not playing.

      Can you imagine Melo teaming up with another superstar like Durant or anyone else.

      F Wade and Lebron

    • Havesome says:

      Its funny u talk and no nothing. Last time I checked okc had a top 5 pg on there team named westbrook and another top 8 pf with harden off da bench. There goes yo statement of durant gettin out da 1st round and him winning back to back scoring titles not 2 mention melo gets hurt alot. Melo is a better scorer period

  31. jonas says:

    carmelo is the best scorer in the league, whether its a jumper or in the post, he can bully any one in the league, he just need to control his patience and improve his leadership.

  32. Bobby says:

    Anthony may not have earned his reputation from scoring titles in the past or scoring 50+ a lot of times, but he constantly puts up anywhere from 20 to 40 points a night. And the way he scores is a marvel to behold, Melo can put it in the basket any which way you want.

    I say Carmelo Anthony has the best scoring arsenal in the game.

    • LakersWillWin says:

      In the game? lol ok. That title belongs to Kobe or Durant. Melo plays bully ball and he is good at it, and is a tough cover. But the best in the game? Come on now

      • ChuckyB says:

        Melo is the best scorer… He has the best aresenal. He can play bully ball, he can post with finess, he can shoot the 3, he can hit the inside jumper, off the dribble, spot up, and he has the highest percentage of clutch shots made, final minute and final 10 secs, since he came in the league… Durant nor Kobe can get it every way I just named for Melo

      • Marc says:

        maybe Kobe, not Durant. Durant shoots jumpers or drive to the bucket. He cant play with his back to the basket, at least ive yet to see it.

  33. realtalkdude88 says:

    I would love to see carmelo in a spurs uniform…i think pop would form into a champion and win a couple of rings. his game would be best suited for pop’s coaching as well.

    • Dont ever click AHOLE says:

      Would love that…probably a good future face of the franchise besides tony parker and leonard. But lets face it the Knicks won’t let that happen. Just look at how much investment they made for him…

    • KunJayMaster says:

      That’s the best comment i’ve read so far, you are correct. Just thinking about it what wouldn’t Pop do with a scorer like this.
      BTW i hate the Knicks..just thought i’d throw that in there lol.

      • snook says:

        You Knicks haters are either Lakers, Celtic, Bulls or Heat fans (Which makes up most of the NBA fans). Laker fans are like Cowboy fans who jumped on the bandwagon when they bought their teams and were winning. All the players wanted to go to hollywood! You guys can say whatever you wish. Its the NBA management and Officials that really keep the Knicks down. We have as many or more fans than the rest of the NBA. Just one example of how the Knicks have all the calls going against them is the televised Hawks game last night. There were at least ten invisible rediculous calls againts the Knicks. The announcers were too embarrased even to show them and were mumbling incoherently. The NBA is like a childs popularity contest. Labron James is the biggest hacker and gets all the calls. I’m not saying he isn;’t a great player and probably one of the best in the NBA, but everyone lets him run the lane. They are afraid to touch him or get a foul call. I was so glad the Bull’s stepped up to him during that winning streak where they really only played like four good teams (Even though I’m not a Bull’s fan). AND he even complained about the calls. Melo gets his headband knocked around every night and never gets the calls and doesnt complain about them either

  34. realtalkdude88 says:

    Carmelo is a good offensive player who can create his own shots. He has the talent to win a championship…but I don’t know if he has that hunger or urgency. LeBron is hands down the best overall player in the league today…there is no argument there. Durant is comparable to Anthony in that he is also a pure scorer but Durant just has more fire in his game than Anthony. There just seems to be lacking in Anthony’s game to be mentioned in the same breath James, Durant, and Bryant.

  35. Hello says:

    what is this Durant should not be compared to bryant or lebron and carmelo Even if he wins a champion ship will never Be better than james or kobe

    • angelo says:

      durant already is better than carmelo what are talking about. last time i checked durants has led the league in scoring multiple times and scores at a higher percentage, and has takin his team team past the first round of the playoffs. melo has done none of that….

      • glen says:

        i agree that melo should not be mentioned in the same rank as kobe, lebron or durant, but he has been out of the first round! he was in the conference finals only to be beaten by the lakers!

      • Marc says:

        sounds like hate

      • MJ says:

        Actually, melo and the nuggets went to the western conference finals in 2009. P.S. – Kobe is the best lol

      • Link says:

        Angelo, carmelo anthony took the nuggets past the first round and to the finals. you should do your research before putting up a meaningless post. Carmelo is the best scorer in the league hands down and he has been for a while. If we are talking an overall game, Lebron owns that. Durant is a beast but he still has some years to play to be considered in the same regard as a kobe, lebron or melo. Durant and Melo need that championship. Dont be surprised if westbrook goes to lets say the lakers and the thunder starts to rebuild under durant or maybe durant parts ways in search of a title they can see each year but not grab

      • Someone says:

        So who led the denver nuggets to the western conference finals in 2009?

      • two says:

        melo took his team to the western conference finals

      • atl finest says:

        well said sngelo. what in the world is hello talking about

      • E.C. says:

        lol western conference finals is melos biggest milestone and you want to compare him to nba champions and in durants case nba finalist. Melo is a good player but in no way is he a better scorer than kevin durant or kobe bryant.

      • All will be GREATS! says:

        Melo has too done that apparently you didnt watch him at the denver when he led his team to the final four? Melo can and will be compared to Lebron, Kobe, and Durant. These four guys have made this time of basketball. All four of them are rediculous Athletes and they will be NBA for many more years. And yall have to remember Durant is still alot younger then all the others. He will be way better Then any of them. He has the young enough team that is really good. In 4 to 5 years that team will be compaired to the old bulls (back when they had MJ, Pippin, and Rodman!

      • Havesome says:

        Its funny u talk and no nothing. Last time I checked okc had a top 5 pg on there team named westbrook and another top 8 pf with harden off da bench. There goes yo statement of durant gettin out da 1st round and him winning back to back scoring titles not 2 mention melo gets hurt alot. Melo is a better scorer period

    • john says:

      this is not true durant is way better than lebron , lebron is just a player just like carmelo anthony and lebron james and durant is not better than kobe nobody in the nba today is better than kobe

      • kenny bell says:

        LOL you sound like a Kobe fan. Lebron is better than any and everyoneelse in the world and thats the end of the discussion. Durant vs Melo is different however, i think i would take Carmelo because he has the strength to score in the low post but Durant has better speed and ballhandling. Kobe is still playing great but no way is he better than lebron durant or melo… Look at where they’re teams are and look at where kobe’s team is.

    • Karl says:

      Melo wayyy better than durant. Give my boy Melo his credit and he should be acknowledge with the great like kobe lebron etc
      he took the nuggets to to the western finals ..soonly but surely he will get his ring(s)

  36. Benjamin Trottier says:

    It was the third time only in his career that Anthony was scoring 50 points… Bryant did it 25 times… Lebron 9…