Carmelo Anthony Said What? Is Melo’s Resume Unique in Basketball History?

kim kardashian

I know I am a day late and perhaps a dollar short but I am still digesting Carmelo Anthony’s comments where he implied that winning three gold medals for Team USA, and becoming the first male player to do so, would help take the sting out of not winning a title in the National Basketball Association. That’s the most ridiculous thing I have heard in a long time from a basketball player, but rather than doing a Stephen A Smith style take down of this nonsense I will examine Team USA basketball and why those medals don’t mean as much as he thinks they do. I will also try to find a historical example comparable to the Knicks forward in terms of individual greatness and team failure.

Since 1989, when the ban on using professional players was lifted, Team USA basketball has won Gold all but once, when Larry Brown bungled his way to a Bronze in Athens 2004. Even before that, though, Team USA men’s basketball was dominant, winning gold in all but two Olympiad’s: 1988 where they won bronze in the last Olympics using only college players, and in 1972 where some of the most controversial refereeing in history allowed the Soviet Union to win gold (my father who was eleven when that game was played still complains to me about it whenever I make the mistake of mentioning Olympic basketball).

That’s nine gold medals, and that number would probably be eleven if the Olympics of 1940 and 1944 were not cancelled due to World War II, in addition to the five won with professionals so winning a gold medal with Team USA Basketball isn’t as illustrious as winning in  fencing, track, swimming, or any other sport you can think of: it’s an aberration not to. Even Carmelo’s scoring record isn’t that shiny of an accomplishment, with 293 points he leads a team which has more often than not been loaded with superstars. Who holds the world record? That would be Brazilian legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Schmidt who had 1,094 points for team Brazil across five Olympiads, Melo has scored his buckets across four and  having more talented teammates may dampen that scoring number enough for a reasonable doubt as to whether he or Schmidt is the better Olympian.

That is only part of the issue at hand, however, as an NBA title is something every great player wants and people like Mr. Smith and myself hold those titles in a higher regard so let’s look at Melo’s NBA Career and for the sake of argument try to find if he is unique or if there is a historical match for his mixed on-court legacy. In the National Basketball Association, Carmelo Anthony has played for the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks for 13 seasons and although there are many great players who retired without a championship ring, many of them at least made a finals appearance whereas Melo has only made it past the second round twice which makes my question concerning his uniqueness as an individual great but a playoff failure a bit difficult to answer. While researching this article I talked to my friend Cory who is also a basketball fanatic and asked him to help me figure out whether Carmelo’s individual success but abject failure in the postseason made him a unique player in NBA History. The first batch of greats  he suggested: Karl Malone, John Stockton (Go Jazz), Charles Barkley, Allen Iverson and Patrick Ewing all don’t work because they all made the finals: Malone three times, Stockton and Ewing a pair each and Barkley and Iverson once each so I consider them on a different tier.

The next suggestion Cory had was Tracy McGrady but that didn’t work for my analysis either, because despite T-Mac’s failures to advance in the playoffs he ranks in a tier below Melo in my mind for one simple reason: Health. McGrady had five seasons where he missed at least thirty games and he was effectively out of the league by the age of thirty-two, Melo has had one season where he missed that many games, and one of the three other times he missed more than ten was because he was in a brawl and got suspended so for all the criticism I heap on the Knicks superstar I have never questioned his durability so McGrady doesn’t work. Chris Webber doesn’t work either because C-Webb had a million injuries like McGrady and he was effectively one clutch shot by Robert Horry away from getting that finals appearance on his resume. The best fit we found based on scoring stardom but team failure in the playoffs was Dominique Wilkins of the Atlanta Hawks. Wilkins had an even bigger postseason hump than Melo because Melo at least lost in the Conference Finals once but Wilkins never made it out of the Conference Semifinals and he only made it there twice.

However, one conference finals appearance doesn’t render the comparison moot as both only got out of round one twice so that lines up, they both have awesome scoring averages (24.8 per game for the Human Highlight Film and 24.9 for Melo), both play(ed) small forward both of them averaged nearly the same number of rebounds (6.6 for Melo and 6.7 for Dominique), both of them average very low assist numbers (2.5 for Wilkins, and 3.2 for Melo). What sold me though was the fact that they both converted about 48% of their two point shots, (Melo takes quite a few more three pointers than Dominique ever did but their percentages on those aren’t too far off either).

A freaky coincidence is that they both were drafted third overall in their respective draft classes. So there we have it, LeBron James is this generation’s answer to His Airness Micheal Jordan as the unquestioned best player on the planet, and Carmelo Anthony is Dominique Wilkins…a phenomenal scorer who can’t win in the playoffs long enough to even get a Finals berth. For the record, I don’t dislike Carmelo Anthony or Dominique Wilkins, their charity work and Melo’s willingness to speak out on social issues make them a pair of winners off the court. But on it? I have a hard time considering them in the same class as guys like Jordan, LeBron, Bill Russell, or Kobe Bryant because as Kobe once said “Banners hang forever” and as nice as three gold medals are it isn’t the same. Hopefully, Melo does win that title so if he ever stumbles on this article, he can laugh and claim he can’t read it because the glint off his championship ring and gold medals is so shiny it is blinding him.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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