A lot has been said about Carmelo Anthony this offseason, as the future Hall of Famer is still trying to get another chance in the NBA, stating he doesn’t mind what role he gets as long as he can show his skills and value on the court.
Melo admitted that he approached several teams around the association, including the Los Angeles Lakers, where his long-time friend LeBron James plays since last season. While some claim that Anthony won’t fit in the Lakers system, others have stated that he can and LeBron has to help him come back to the league.
Former NBA player Royce White recently called out LeBron and the Lakers for signing Jared Dudley over Carmelo Anthony, and now ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith made echo of White’s words, backing some of the things the forward said during Thursday’s edition of First Take, but also explaining why Carmelo hasn’t signed a new contract yet.
“There is 450 players in the National Basketball Association. You can’t find 450 players on the planet better than Carmelo Anthony, I don’t give a damn what anybody says or what point he’s at right now. There are not 450 players better than Carmelo Anthony, so I appreciate him (White) making that point.
“… It’s not like LeBron has an obligation to anything, let’s be clear about that, he’s a player, he’s not an executive, but Royce makes a valid point in this regard: that’s your man, and LeBron James does have clout and cachet. Now I happen to know that on several occasions LeBron James has spoken on behalf of Carmelo Anthony; I happen to know on at least one or two occasions the subject has been brought between LeBron and Carmelo Anthony… I think what we have to appreciate is that LeBron James is the iconic brand in the basketball world.”
Smith went to explain why LeBron is so influential in this league given all the things he made for his teammates, especially in Cleveland, but differentiating that Melo is not a role player, but a star, which makes coaches and executives doubt about bringing him on board.
“For the most part he’s been a No. 1 option with the exception of the Olympic play, and to ask him to go from being a start to coming off the bench is bad enough. To ask him to go from being a start to ultimately play 10 games last year, having his ego crashed and then after that bring him back and to ask him to be and 11th to 15th man, I think everyone has to consider that’s what an executive is looking at. It’s not whether or not Melo can play on a team because anybody would say he deserves to be on one of 15 slots. The problem is your asking him potentially not to be a part of that nine-man rotation and to be even lower. And there is no coach, not any executive that wants the caliber of player that Carmelo Anthony once was, you don’t want to be in the position when you’re looking down the sideline and that dude is right on the bench. You don’t want to go through that with somebody like him. You do rather not have him on your team than have him on the end of the bench.”
The Melo saga continues with no team looking to sign him. Everybody has tried to make the case for him, but so far that’s been useless.