5 Reasons Why Carmelo Anthony Will Never Lead an NBA Team to a Championship
Carmelo Anthony Will Never Lead An NBA Team To A Championship: 5 Reasons Why
Carmelo Anthony, star of the New York Knicks, has been in the NBA for 12 seasons -- the first seven and a half was spent with the Denver Nuggets before he demanded a trade to the Knicks in the middle of the 2010-11 season.
In Denver, Anthony played under one of the best coaches in the game in George Karl, and despite leading the Nuggets to the playoff's every year from 2004-2010 and two division titles, he was only able to lead the Nuggets past the second round of the playoffs once.
With the Knicks, he has done more of the same. Three straight playoff appearances, two of which were first-round exits before last year's trip to the second round.
His time with the Knicks has already hit a countdown for some, as many expect him to leave via free agency this offseason when he can opt out of the final year of his contract. Some even believe the Knicks may trade Anthony to not be left empty-handed next season.
He is considered to be one of the game's best overall players, and has been given the title of best pure scorer in the NBA. At age 29, he has yet to lead a team to even an NBA Finals appearance, and there is reason to believe he will never be able to accomplish anything more than minor playoff success.
Wherever Anthony plays next, be it in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago or any other place, it will be interesting to see the team that is built around him – for he simply cannot do it on his own. Here are the top five reasons why.
Whether you’re an Anthony fan or not, there is no denying that when he is on a hot streak, offensively speaking, there is almost no stopping him from scoring. But even the biggest Anthony fans can tell you that what Carmelo has in offensive skills, he lacks significantly in defensive skills. At the forward position, Anthony is matched up with not only several of the games best players like LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Paul George – who all play the same position as Anthony – but he often is having to guard power forwards like Blake Griffin and David West, who are simply too big for Anthony to guard. He simply isn’t a difference-maker on the defensive end of the court, and defense wins in the playoffs.
Inability To Play Off The Ball
Anthony has always been the main ball-handler in his career, which is a problem. He is not as gifted of a playmaker as he needs to be to be able to play the point-forward position like the aforementioned James, Durant and George. And that is fine. Some of the game's best players are not playmakers, but they don’t pretend to be. But Anthony isn’t good at giving up the ball, and when he does, he doesn’t move well off the ball to get open looks. His play of choice is to set up near the free-throw line, post-up his defender and call for the ball with his back to the basket. This play then features several jab steps toward his defender, either causing the defender to fall back in which Anthony takes a jumpshot, or the defender closes in and Anthony drives to the hoop. While this often results in a basket, teammates are left with no options, but to stare and watch.
Say what you will about LeBron James’ decision to leave the Cleveland Cavaliers and join the Miami Heat, but he waited until he was a free agent and took less money to play with two other All-Stars. Anthony did the opposite. He forced his way onto the Knicks, and in the process left the Knicks with no talent around him and no first-round draft picks for the foreseeable future. On top of that, he signed an extension that has made him one of the game's highest-paid players. Taking less money to help the Knicks bring in help likely never crossed Anthony’s mind. And money will likely dictate where Anthony heads next.
Questionable Basketball IQ At Times
For all that Anthony is a wizard with the basketball at times, scoring almost at will, there are times when he doesn’t accept that his game isn’t on. In those times, he isn’t capable of knowing that he needs to stop shooting and look elsewhere to help his team win. While nowhere near the level of someone like his teammate J.R. Smith, Anthony will take questionable shots that aren’t within the flow of the team’s offense – which makes it very hard for teammates to stay involved.
The League Around Him
He is 29 years old and has only a handful of prime years ahead of him to win a championship. That’s plenty of time to start with an entirely new roster, either with the Knicks or elsewhere, but it won’t change the fact that there are several other NBA players better than Anthony, who are the same age or younger and are also already on better teams. James and the Heat could be the modern day equivalent of Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls. Patrick Ewing and the Knicks were prevented from winning one ring for this very reason, and now Anthony has that problem, too, but with a few different players.