When you saw Carmelo Anthony‘s stat line from last night (62 points, 23-for-35 shooting, 6-for-11 three-point shooting, 13 rebounds, zero assists and zero turnovers) and the thing that stood out to you most was the zero assists you are a fool. Anthony did have zero assists, but 62 points is insane. You might not like Melo’s game, but to act childish enough to degrade a 62-point performance because there was a lack of assists is stupid. I saw Anthony’s big game last night and expected to see everyone praising his performance this morning, but that is not what happened. Instead, Twitter has been all abuzz over how he didn’t have any assists. Really? That is what you get from that game? If you are one of those people please know that everyone who knows anything about basketball thinks you are an idiot.
One of the biggest culprits of the all-about-me media circus is Colin Cowherd, so of course he decided to give us all his great insight about basketball. It is funny because Cowherd only talks about basketball when there is a scandal, a big event or if he is talking about one of the superstars that attracts listeners. I understand his job is to get listeners and talking about LeBron James, Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard makes listeners swoon, but he never talks about real basketball. Cowherd is very knowledgeable about football and baseball — both of which he will talk about in-depth on his show — but when it comes to basketball the only thing you hear from Cowherd are stories that sizzle and make listeners’ ears perk up.
I really don’t understand the hate of Carmelo Anthony. I really do not like to use the word “hate” when describing someone’s dislike of a player. I believe that word is used far too often in today’s sporting world. If you think LeBron flops you are considered a “hater” even if you think he is the greatest player in the world. But “hate” is the only way to describe the way people are acting towards Melo. This morning the following tweet was sent out by Cowherd:
Melo goes off and it’s “Whaddya say now?” Same thing. I know he can score. Can he lead? Defend? Pass? Commit to things that win titles ?
— Colin Cowherd (@ESPN_Colin) January 25, 2014
Since 1985-86 there have only been seven men to register 60-plus points and shoot over 60 percent from the field; Anthony, Bryant (twice), Michael Jordan, Karl Malone, Shaquille O’Neal, David Robinson and Tom Chambers. All of those men are either in the Hall of Fame or will be with the exception of Chambers. I’d say that is pretty good company to be in if you are Anthony, but for some reason people want to focus on zero assists.
Some players just don’t rack up assists; it’s just not their game. Anthony has averaged 3.1 assists per game for his career which is only 0.2 per game behind Kevin Durant. Granted last season and this season Durant has improved as a passer and playmaker, but no one was calling Durant a ball-hog three years ago yet for some reason it makes Anthony a ball-hog. Dominique Wilkins averaged 2.6 assists for his career, George Gervin averaged 2.5 assists for his career and Reggie Miller averaged 3.0 for his career; all of these men are in the Hall of Fame, and no one downgrades their greatness because they didn’t average a lot of assists. So why is Anthony questioned so often?
I am not a big fan of Melo’s game. I prefer ball-movement, great passing and open shots as opposed to the one-on-one game that Melo likes to play. So my disturbance with the reaction of people isn’t because of some undying love I have for Melo. I enjoy basketball but I also enjoy history, and that is what happened last night at Madison Square Garden. Carmelo Anthony had a historic night that should be remembered for its greatness, not what some narcissistic media personalities are trying to make it out to be.