I’ve despised Carmelo Anthony since 2003 when Syracuse defeated my beloved Kansas Jayhawks in the national championship, but after what he did to the Denver Nuggets last year LezBeHonest, the number of ‘Melo haters has significantly increased. It was not enough for him to spit on the Denver Nuggets organization by demanding a trade because Denver wasn’t cool enough for him. He also demanded to be traded to the New York Knicks because of the spotlight that the Big Apple has. There were also reports that Carmelo’s wife, MTV host LaLa, was pushing the move to New York for the both of them.
Leaving an organization, especially one that has paid you tens of millions of dollars and has done everything humanly possible to cater to your every need on and off the court simply because you think Denver is not good enough for a superstar like yourself is absurd. It’s not like the Nuggets were a bad team or anything, in fact they had been very successful throughout most of ‘Melo’s tenure in Denver. From the 1995 season up until when Anthony was drafted in 2003, the Nuggets had not made the playoffs and were one of the NBA’s worst teams for the majority of those eight years. During that team they had a cumulative record of 200-424, however after the drafted ‘Melo they made it to the playoffs all eight years, but only made it past the first round once. It is obvious that he is a superstar in the NBA but he acted like a child throughout most of this ordeal. I understand if you want to leave a team for whatever reason, but his contract was up at the end of the season allowing him that exact same opportunity.
Even after he was traded to the Knicks, it really did not make them a better team. It gave the Knicks two all-stars, an aging, yet effective court leader in Chauncey Billups a couple of average at best NBA players and then seven below average players; guys who would most likely not see more than five minutes per game on most teams. Before the trade the Knicks were 28-26 and after the trade that was supposed to make them an elite team, they posted a 14-14 record. Things aren’t looking much better for New York this year, coming in with basically the same team. There are rumors that Chris Paul will eventually end up with the Knicks and that will definitely make them an elite team, but as we saw with the Miami Heat, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a championship team.
With another batch of superstars in small markets, most notably Chris Paul and Dwight Howard, who play for small market teams and want out it seems that this will be a recurring theme for the foreseeable future. Even though a new clause was put into the new Collective Bargaining Agreement called the “Carmelo Anthony Rule”, there will definitely be loopholes that teams and players will find to get around this. I understand that players want to get together and play with another superstar or two, but that does not mean you will win automatically. More than any other sport, basketball relies on the aspect of team play rather than the talent of one or two players. Sure, a team can do well in the regular season, but give me an example of a team that relies solely on one or two guys and won a championship. Hopefully the superstars in the NBA will stay put and have faith in their teams, but I don’t think that will be the case and it will make the league far less competitive revolving around seven or eight teams.