Carmelo Anthony is a Top 10 player, no matter what SLAM Online says
Just by the title, you already know what this piece is going to be about, but let me prove to you exactly why Carmelo Anthony is still a Top 10 player in the NBA.
Before anything else, there is simple name recognition whose effect on the opposition can’t be denied. If you’re a small forward in the NBA and you hear that you’re going to have to cover Carmelo Anthony in tonight’s game, you know that you’re in for a rough night defensively. Almost always, Anthony is guaranteed to put up 20-25 points in a game, along with 6 or 7 rebounds, a couple of assists and maybe even a steal or a block. That’s something he’s capable of doing EVERY NIGHT. After 13 years in the league (this year makes 14).
This production is unheard of save for the group of Hall of Fame small forwards whose names are synonymous with NBA greatness. He’s averaged at least 21 PPG every year of his career save his sophomore year, where he averaged 20.8 PPG. He’s done virtually everything required of a Hall of Fame player save for being named League MVP and winning an NBA Championship. And that’s where everyone starts detracting from his legacy.
For years, people who don’t like Melo always harp on the fact that he’s never won a title, but that’s not what this article’s about. This article’s about why he’s a Top 10 player. It’s about connecting the dots of why his production looks at SLAM Online’s #15 ranking and says “haha, nice try.”
A good way to see how elite players stack up against each other is to put them on the same team and see which ones stand out. Thankfully for the sake of this argument, the Summer Olympics were this year and Melo played for Team USA. But he didn’t just play. He outshone everyone on the team and became the greatest Olympian in men’s basketball history with 3 gold medals. So, at 32 years old, Melo made every single opponent on the Olympic stage look helpless.
All that considered, there’s still more. He’s a Top 10 player not just because of what he’s done, but because of what he’s capable of doing. Melo is the type of player who’s capable of scoring 30 on any night he feels like it. He’s big enough to size up to bigger opponents while mobile enough to take on smaller ones.
This isn’t me saying that this is finally the year that he wins a championship (I’m realistic), but it is me saying that underestimating Carmelo Anthony is among the worst mistakes you can possibly make.