“In New York there’s a basketball court at every corner. Basketball is all we knew.” –Carmelo Anthony
Born on May 24th 1984 in the Red Hook Projects area of Brooklyn, Anthony has come along way from balling in street corners. Anthony moved to Baltimore when he was eight-years-old and grew up in a hostile outside environment. His father died when he was two-years-old and was raised by a single mom.
Growing up he was a top basketball prospect playing in elite basketball tournaments such as the Jordan Brand Classic and McDonald’s All-American Game. At the McDonald’s All-American game, Anthony played with future teammates Raymond Felton and Amare Stoudemire, scoring 19 points and winning the Sprite Dunk Contest. He was ranked 2nd in the nation by College Basketball News.
Anthony only played one year of college ball and helped Syracuse win their first NCAA Tournament title in 2003. During that season, Anthony averaged 22.1 points and 10 rebounds, not too bad for a freshman. In the championship game when Syracuse played The University of Kentucky he scored 20 points and had 10 rebounds. He then chose to enter the 2003 NBA Draft where he was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets. Darko Milicic was selected second overall and Lebron James was first overall in the same draft class.
In the beginning of his career Anthony established himself as a great player, landing spots in the NBA All-Star game and average 20 or more points a game. He played for the Nuggets from Jan 2003 and then was traded to the Knicks in Feb 2011.
All this information makes for a nice NBA resume, no one can argue that. In an article “Carmelo Anthony Is Overrated: Melo Isn’t Even a Top-10 NBA Player” Analyst Rich Kurtzman goes into depth on why he believes that Anthony is overrated.
“He pump-fakes under the hoop more often than just attempting a dunk the first time and either making the shot or getting fouled in the process. Of course, Melo gets many of his free throw attempts while driving, but his weak finishes could be and-ones instead of misses and two shots from the free throw line,” said Kurtzman.
Kurtzman then goes on to say that Anthony doesn’t grab enough rebounds, doesn’t get a lot of assists, making him bad for the offense, he gives to much energy on the offense and that’s the reason why his defense lacks. He continues to say that Anthony is not a leader and is not the first one in the gym and last one to leave either.
This may all have some merit and Kurtzman makes some valid points. I agree that Anthony needs to make more assists and needs to work on his defense but that does not make Anthony overrated. Anthony is a scoring machine and has one of the most efficient jab and shoot game the NBA has even seen. He’s fast for his size, making it difficult for defenders to guard him on the perimeter, he also goes hard in the paint. He’s also one of the best clutch shooters in the NBA.
On August 2, 2012 Anthony hit 10 out of 12 three-pointers breaking the record for attempted threes and made threes against Nigeria in the London Olympic Games.
Anthony clearly has skills and is no doubt an elite NBA player. There’s only one argument that can be made against him and that is that he has no rings. Lebron James didn’t hear the end of it until he obtained his current NBA title. James has it worse though he has to get some more rings before critics let him rest.
Anthony has a different kind of burden because no one is comparing him to the great Michael Jordan. Anthony must win a ring and if he does not people should then have the right to say he’s overrated. The truth is, Anthony has more time to prove himself and until then he is not overrated.