Carmelo Anthony receives the majority of the blame for the New York Knicks‘ struggles this season, and rightfully so. As the leader of the team, Anthony receives a disproportionate amount of praise for team success, but he also has to shoulder almost all of the blame as well. Unfortunately for Anthony, some of the criticism he has received this season is absolutely ridiculous, and he deserves better for the effort he has given the Knicks this season.
The most damaging criticism of Anthony comes from people who are quick to point out his lack of playoff success throughout his career. The fact that Anthony has only advanced beyond the first round of the playoffs twice in his career is more of an indication of his circumstances than his lack of ability.
There is an idea actually floating around that the Knicks should trade Anthony because he is a player that is incapable of guiding a team to championship glory. Anyone who supports this way of thinking is being flagrantly disrespectful to the unmatched scoring ability that Anthony possess which would be an asset to any organization with the ability to surround him with adequate complementary players.
Obviously, the Knicks have not been able to accomplish this task, and the Denver Nuggets failed miserably in their attempt to build a title contender during Anthony’s time there as well. People forget that the Nuggets won 17 games the year before Anthony arrived and managed to make the playoffs in his rookie season. This reversal of fortunes is a clear example of Anthony’s ability to impact a team’s competitiveness in the NBA, and if he were to switch positions with LeBron James, Anthony would have two rings right now.
If the Knicks plan on trading Anthony for any reason other than the fear of losing him in free agency this offseason then New York is more misguided than everyone already thinks they are. Anthony has tried to carry this mediocre bunch of Knicks in a way that should be commended not condemned, and there is no reason for Anthony to take the criticism he has received. It’s not Anthony’s fault that the Knicks came into this season with inflated expectations, and the organization needs to quickly reevaluate their player acquisition strategies if they seriously want to challenge the Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers in the future.