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The Blue & Gray Press | August 22, 2019

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ESPN power ranking cause more melodrama in New York

ESPN power ranking cause more melodrama in New York


Staff writer

Carmelo Anthony has had a rollercoaster of a summer. On April 17 of this year, it was reported that Melo and his wife of seven years, LaLa, would be separating. Twitter proceeded to rip into Anthony, calling him a cheater and a terrible father. The Melo hate doesn’t start or end here. In fact, Anthony has been talked down by fans since he was put on the trading block in January.

Anthony has been at odds with the New York Knicks President, Phil Jackson, for much of Jackson’s time with the team. At first, Jackson’s hiring seemed like a positive move for the team as Jackson earned 11 championship rings. He’s coached the likes of Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O’Neal and Scottie Pippen. Phil Jackson could be called one of the greatest basketball minds of all time, but, for some reason, he failed to make a superstar out of Anthony.

Now, this would not be so much of a hot ticket news story for any other team. However, being in New York, every single event in the saga was publicized, this has been a huge disadvantage for a struggling Knicks squad. On June 28, Jackson had a press conference where he said he wished Anthony would leave New York. This sparked up many teams interest, as Anthony is a deadly scorer who has no problem scoring 20 points or more a night.

With Jackson determined to move Anthony this summer, it seemed as if this would be one of the most exciting offseasons in recent years for many basketball fans. The only problem with this plan is that Jackson gave Anthony a no trade clause in his last contract, which means that Jackson is unable to trade Anthony without his approval on the destination and overall trade.

On the same day Jackson had his press conference. Future Hall of Famer, Chris Paul was traded to the Houston Rockets. Foreign to casual NBA fans, Paul and Anthony have a deep friendship along with superstars Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, in which the four spend much of their summers training together. Their group has been dubbed the ‘Banana Boat Squad’ by many fans. The Paul trade reignited the Anthony trade talks that initially started in February. A team of Anthony, Paul and current Rockets guard James Harden could possibly contend with the Golden State Warriors if everyone was able to stay healthy. This type of blockbuster trade would turn the NBA upside down. The Knicks could finally begin a proper rebuilding stage and now the world can witness Anthony playing playoff caliber basketball.

​Phil Jackson and Carmelo Anthony

If the cheating scandal or the constant trade talks were not enough, on Sept. 12, ESPN released the 51-75 portion of its Top 100 NBA players for the 2017-2018 season and put Anthony at the sixty-fourth spot. Anthony put up a statline of 22.4 points, 2.9 assists, and 5.9 rebounds per game on 43 percent shooting and 36 percent 3 point shooting last year.

To put his stats into perspective, Anthony was a top 10 player in scoring for small forwards and top 12 in rebounding at the position. The system he entered in New York, the triangle offense that Jackson implemented, would place him on the wing in a majority of his time on the court. This explains why he grabbed two less rebounds than usual, on a per game basis. Players all across the league have come out bashing ESPN on their outrageous rating for Anthony.

Going into this new season, without any sort of trades, Melo’s situation is looking much better for his individual stats. The second leading scorer for last year, Derrick Rose, is now playing in Cleveland. After firing Phil Jackson, the Knicks will be moving on from the out-dated triangle offense. There are many teams in the league on Anthony’s radar in terms of a trade. Cleveland, Portland, Milwaukee and Houston are some of the big name destinations Anthony’s name has been tied to. Throughout this entire summer of trade talks, infidelity, disrespect from the media, one thing is for sure, the melodrama is still in full force.