Earlier today Stephen A. Smith announced that he has an exclusive interview with Carmelo Anthony on First Take on Friday. The two will discuss what is next for Melo as a professional athlete. Anthony hasn’t played in the NBA since the beginning of last season as a member of the Houston Rockets.
He only participated in ten games before the Rockets and Anthony decided to part ways. The Rockets would trade Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls back in January. After the trade was completed, the Bulls waived Carmelo, and he hasn’t played in the NBA since.
Melo has received mix reaction on if he will ever play in the NBA again. NBA executives, according to reports, are under the impression Carmelo will never play a game in the NBA again. Per former Knicks center Ethan Thomas in his article with Syracuse.com, “It’s almost as if Carmelo has been blackballed.”
Thomas was recently on the Scoop B Radio Podcast with Brandon ‘Scoop B Robinson.’ During the interview, the two discussed Thomas Op-ed article on Carmelo Anthony not starting versus coming off the bench. Robinson asked Thomas if the press conference in Oklahoma City, where Melo was asked if he would be willing to come off the bench helped him or hurt him moving forward. From a former player’s perspective.
” It was a spin move. You know what I mean. So, kind of like Kaepernick said this is why I am taking a knee and everyone said it was another reason. When Carmelo Anthony said does he still fell he can contribute as a starter? He said yeah I have been a starter all my life, no player that I have ever known is going to say Nah I don’t got it no more. Every player, who has ever played thinks they can play more minutes. So, it was kind of blown out of proportion obviously, since he came off the bench in Houston.”
In his Op-ed, Thomas turned his attention to coaches in the NBA. The Rockets struggled at the beginning of last season. Naturally, Carmelo began to receive a lot of the blame in Mike D’Antoni’s system due to their past troubles with the Knicks. Before the Knicks let D’Antoni go, he wanted the team pick between him or Carmelo per Thomas.
“Either Melo goes or I go,” and they chose Melo. Now, did Melo happily accept D’Antoni’s plan to move him to the power forward? No, but it was D’Antoni, who quit on the team, not Melo. (How D’Antoni got another job after that I will never know, but again I digress).”
Another coach that Melo had an issue with was George Karl, but in Melo’s defense Karl has had run-ins with players such as DeMarcus Cousins, Ray Allen, and Andre Iguodala. Someone else that Karl butted heads with is former Seattle Supersonic Stephen Howard. I spoke to Howard last year and he shared with me, that Karl was his least favorite coach.
“As far as George Karl is concern, “My mom always said if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.” He is my least favorite coach, and his ego is bigger than any other coach’s that I played under. He knew how to coach, but for me when you look at a coach in regards to respecting them, do they practice what they preach? You look at how they treat everyone not just the superstars on the team. This is where you gain your respect and in that regard, he was not my most favorite coach.”
So, as it pertains to George Karl where there is smoke there is fire. Outside of the comments of Melo was too concerned with scoring as a member of the Denver Nuggets, by Chancey Billups everyone else has had nothing but positive things to say about Melo.
“I’ll tell you what, it’s so crazy – I feel bad for [Anthony], and here’s why. ‘Melo was like a good teammate, man. ‘Melo practiced every day. He didn’t miss any games. Now the only thing I will say – and I’ve even told ‘Melo this – scoring 30 meant too much to ‘Melo. It meant too much because he could have games where he had 20, 22 [points], we win the game and he’s mad. He might have 36 and he’s in there, you know, we lose the game and he’s in there picking everybody up. Scoring 30 meant too much, but I think now you look, fast forward the tape, and the reason why he’s not in the league because he’s still worthy, is he hasn’t mentally taken that step back to say, ‘OK, I’ll come in and play against back-ups. I’ll try to help the team out. I know I might not be able to close, but I just want to help.’ Well, he’s not there yet.”
For example, Kevin Lover shared with me that Carmelo can still be valuable to a team in the NBA.
“Absolutely! Melo’s game translates, and he is another guy I respect and admired for a really long time. The way he approaches the game and I think it is always tough to see these savvy veterans get a bad name with a 24-hour news cycle. But Melo can still bring a hell of a lot to a team, and if you get him on the right team, there is going to be a lot of firepower for those guys, Love told me.“
Make sure you tune into First Take on Friday to see what Carmelo has to say about his future.