Carmelo Anthony: The Glass Half-Empty Or Glass Half-Full Career Of An NBA Superstar
It’s fair to call Carmelo Anthony one of the most polarizing NBA superstars in recent memory.
Anthony’s fans will tell you that he’s been named an NBA All-Star in 10 of the last 11 seasons. Anthony’s fans will tell you that he never made an All-NBA first team. Anthony’s fans will tell you that before his arrival in Denver in 2003, the Denver Nuggets missed the playoffs in 11 of their previous 13 seasons, but after drafting Anthony, they made the postseason for ten seasons in a row. Anthony’s critics will point to the fact that he’s only made it to the Conference Finals one time during his 16-year NBA career. Anthony’s detractors will also lead to the fact that he’s never been a part of a team that’s won more than 54 games in a season. While Anthony’s fans will counter with the idea that before this year, his best teammates were guys like Chauncey Billups and a past-his-prime Amar’e Stoudamire. Thus, expecting more than 54 wins with a supporting cast like that is entirely unrealistic.
A Little History
However, regardless of which side of the spectrum you fall upon, it’s hard to argue against the fact that Anthony is almost certainly one of the best scoring small forwards in NBA history.
Anthony has already scored more points over the course of his career than legends like Allen Iverson and Jerry West, and by this time next year, he’ll very likely move ahead of Kevin Garnett, putting him somewhere around 17th all-time in most points scored by an NBA player. Assuming that happens, he’d be behind only John Havlicek, Paul Pierce, Dominique Wilkins, and LeBron James for most points scored by a small forward in NBA history (and it’s possible that he could surpass the first two guys as well if he plays just two more seasons).
Playing For The Denver Nuggets
Even under the reign of “Furious” George Karl, Anthony blossomed into an All-Star as a member of the Nuggets, averaging over 26 points per game in just his third season in the NBA, and bumping that average up to 28.9 points per game during the 2006-2007 season; that remains the second-highest scoring total of his career. However, Anthony’s time in Denver soured, likely as a result of his patience with his always cantankerous wearing thin. In fact, Anthony was suspended for one game by the Nuggets for staying on the court and refusing to leave the game after Karl benched him during a 2009 game against the Indiana Pacers.
Playing For The New York Knicks
When the 2010 season began, it was no secret that Anthony wanted to be traded. Denver eventually acquiesced, sending Anthony to the New York Knicks via trade.
As a member of the Knicks, between 2012 through 2014, Anthony averaged over 27 points per game scoring, including a career-high 28.7 points per game during the 2012-2013 season. Those efforts led to Anthony finishing in third place in the NBA’s Most Valuable Player (MVP) award voting.
Anthony’s time in New York later grew to be acrimonious as well, after a very public feud with former team president Phil Jackson. One of Jackson’s last moves with the Knicks was to ship out Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder, where he currently plays today.
Time and age catch up to all NBA players, including Anthony. Today, he’s no longer what he once was, at the peak of his talents. However, that doesn’t mean that we should let his caliber of play today, or any of the shortcomings he’s had over his career, take away from the brilliance he showed throughout it.