Aug 4 2012
In this USA Today article, Carmelo Anthony said that he’s the selfish player people claim him to be because of “the whole Linsanity thing.” He goes on by saying “That’s when it started. That’s when it started to escalate as far as people saying I was selfish.” This I find not to be true on many levels. Prior to Linsanity happening, Melo was being barraged with criticism from really, the lion’s share of Knick fans for having a string of bloodcurdling shooting games. What I never understood was the criticism from certain Knick fans saying that he was a ballhog and a piece of shit (there’s many more things he was called and they weren’t good things). You should of expected what you were gonna get in Melo. I was expecting it to happen because of the following reasons: 1. His hefty usage-rates, 2. Being a purebred shooter (and a high volume scorer), and 3. Making sweet love to the basketball whenever he receives a pass from anyone. Those fans were acting like it was a breaking news story coming from tabloids, TMZ in particular, the headline being “BREAKING: Melo Is A Ballhog Fiend. Knick Fans Are Exasperated” or something like that. They were probably fans that came out of the woodwork for all I know.
Throughout his career, Melo has been a high-usage player. Last season, he was 4th in USG% with 31.8%, only behind LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Kobe Bryant. And in his Denver days, his highest USG% was at least 30% in five (and a half if you want to count his year being traded from Denver to New York) seasons played with the Nuggets. All of that being said, Melo is a usage rate stalwart. He’s certainly not in the upper echelon of defenders, averaging a steal to less than a steal per game, and most importantly, to him at least, he’s essentially branded as a scorer in isolation situations and in any situation. It’s a dead giveaway. Shooters shoot, and…yeah. I don’t have to go any further with stats because by looking at Melo’s stats, you get an elegantly painted picture of what his career has been like statistically.
When Linsanity detonated the fuse (MSG) back in February, Lin was demonstrating fundamental basketball, Red Holzman-like basketball—-passing to the open man and getting almost the whole team involved in the game, developing a synergy with spot-up shooter extraordinaire, Steve Novak, in particular. Melo was sitting out with a groin injury most of the time Linsanity was occurring. There was skepticism about Melo and Lin co-existing in the midst of Melo’s injury because of Melo’s isolation-oriented game and Lin’s let’s-get-the-whole-team-involved game. Melo came back and just couldn’t quite tie the knot with Lin, unfortunately. Lin is back with the Rockets after the Knicks decided to not match a remunerative deal a few weeks ago and Mike Woodson’s offense is going to be fabricated around isolation (or Iso Joe), Melo’s offensive tactic of choice.
Melo, I like you and all, but it’s not a revelation at this point that you’re a selfish player. It’s the way you play the game. You’re a shooter that likes to throw up shots and score. Stuff like this has been surfacing for ages now. But blaming Lin? C’mon man. That’s a bunch of poppycock. It’s a little ridiculous to blame the player who rose from a guy laying down on his brother’s couch to global basketball rock star status boosting the Knicks into the playoffs. Let’s not go further by saying even worse tomfoolery. You went just a bit too far this time *Bob Uecker voice.