We’re less than 50 days out from the start of the 2019-20 NBA season and, right now, all of our attention is on Carmelo Anthony.
What a world.
The 35-year-old sharpshooter is in the twilight of his career. There is no denying that.
After six-plus seasons with the New York Knicks where he further cemented his status as a future Hall-of-Famer, an unceremonious split with the MSG-based franchise has led to rocky stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.
Anthony averaged a career-worst 16.2 points per game alongside Paul George and Russell Westbrook in Oklahoma City two years ago before he seemingly fell out of favor with the entire NBA.
He lasted just 10 games with the Rockets last season, averaging a measly 13.4 points in a career-low 29.4 minutes per game, before being traded to the Chicago Bulls. However, he didn’t appear in a single game in the Windy City before he was released in February.
Anthony has been the NBA’s most high-profile orphan since then as he’s been unable to find a new home for the past seven months.
Think about that: A player who averaged 24.8 points per game over 16 years can’t find a job.
To say he has nothing left in the tank is foolish, especially for a contender out there looking for a legitimate scoring punch off the bench.
I’m not saying Anthony hasn’t played his part in this scenario because he has in the past. It took him quite some time to realize that he isn’t going to be the main man anymore — a truth that most great players must come to terms with at some point during their careers — and thus, won’t be paid like one.
But this circulating notion that Anthony doesn’t have it anymore is asinine. Especially if he’s brought into the right system and managed correctly.
It looks like he won’t have to go far to find that perfect fit as rumors continue to swirl about him possibly joining Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving, and the Brooklyn Nets this season.
Last week, Frank Isola of The Athletic reported that Durant and Irving are “pushing” the Nets to sign Anthony, who would be “willing to accept any role.”
With Durant out for the season and Wilson Chandler banned for 25 games for violating the league’s drug policy, Anthony could be a godsend this season for the Nets.
Anthony labeled Durant and Irving as “family,” when approached by TMZ, adding that “if something happens, something’s gonna happen.”
Would it be bittersweet for Knicks fans to see Anthony go across town and win a title with the Nets?
The Knicks have suddenly become the little brothers of the New York basketball landscape after Brooklyn’s monster rebuild and offseason.
But Anthony was nothing short of a good soldier during his time with the Knicks, becoming a franchise great despite being surrounded by incompetence on the court and in the front office.
As one of the greatest to play the game and not win a championship, Anthony deserves a shot at a title before his time in the NBA is up.