03-15-2013, 03:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Tokyo from Brooklyn
Re: Blow it up thread....
PORTLAND ó He canít win.
Thatís the best defense Iím going to muster for Carmelo Anthony, and even by saying that I understand what it implies out of context: that he canít win. That he canít get his teams out of the first round of the NBA playoffs. That he is a terrific player, not a winning player. You hear the arguments. Hell, it may well be that you argue that side of the argument. And Iím not going to tell you youíre wrong. But weíll return to the question of Anthony the winner a little later.
Letís look at it the other way: he canít win. He canít catch a break. He canít ever be given the benefit of the doubt by so many because to give him the benefit of the doubt is to offer undue sympathy to a millionaire who knew exactly what he was getting into when he chose New York and all that goes along with the money and the city. So no matter what he does, he gets two sides of a debate both, somehow, aiming their darts and their arrows at him.
Argument I: Carmelo is a selfish player. Just look at what he did Wednesday night in Denver, knowing he had a bum knee, knowing he wasnít 100 percent, knowing that when he isnít 100 percent he doesnít have that gene that allows him to play well in spite of his ailments. That was the gene Michael Jordan had, the one Kobe Bryant and LeBron James have. If Melo were hurting, the argument goes, he owed it to his team to sit out, or to get his knee drained sooner than yesterday, missing the Knicksí 105-90 loss to the Blazers at Rose Garden.
Argument I-A: And this is the problem for Anthony. Letís say he did sit it out. Letís say he said to himself, ďYou know what, much as Iíd like to answer the angry masses here in Colorado, Iím going to wear my suit and tie and watch from the sidelines.Ē Well letís be entirely honest here: how would that have gone over? What would people have said then? That heís soft? That he has no guts? That he has no courage? That heís a selfish player who puts his own health above that of the teamís?
ďIím going to listen to my players,Ē Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. ďHe told me he could play and we accommodated him by playing
So what do you do then?
How do you win?
You donít. He doesnít. He canít. No matter which side he chooses, he loses. Maybe the more prudent course of action would have been the second but only because of this: Melo doesnít play well when heís grinding through pain. He just doesnít. Thatís a fair critique.
But thatís never enough when we judge him, is it?
And before we go, letís take the same approach to the old tired argument of whether Carmelo is a winner or not. That goes back to our first sentence. He canít win. Pundits and wise guys will seize on that: No. He canít. He never has. Thatís the point, just as you typed it: He canít win.
Letís look at that argument:
Argument A: He never makes players around him better.
Rebuttal: What about Syracuse, which he led to a national title in 2003? Look at that team around him: one other pro (Hakim Warrick) and a batch of role players who, excepting Gerry McNamaraís otherworldly run through the Big East Tournament three years later, never came close to approaching without him what they were with him. And kill his Denver years all you like; as a rookie, with Earl Boykins and Voshon Lenard as his running mates, he led the Nuggets from 17 to 43 wins.
Argument B: Heís never won anywhere else.
Rebuttal: Well, except for the Olympics of Beijing and London, in which he was a key contributor to a star-studded lineup who, according to no less than Mike Krzyzewski, ďEnjoyed playing in this kind of format more than any player I ever saw.Ē
Argument C: Well, sure. He didnít have to be The Man.
Rebuttal: And this is where we return to the original premise. In most of Meloís basketball word, his chief flaw is that he wants the ball too much. In the Olympics, heís killed because he doesnít want it enough.
He canít win.