Carmelo Anthony was terrible during the 2017-18 regular season.
He was, somehow, even worse in the playoffs.
Then the Thunder surrendered a first-round pick and took on a bad, long contract to get rid of him.
The Hawks, who won just 24 games a season ago, didn’t want him either, paying the entirety of his 2018-19 salary so he’d stay away.
Surely this experience has humbled the 10-time All-Star?
“I know how to play this game of basketball. I’ve been playing it for a long time. When I feel like I’m ready to take that role, then I’ll take that role,” Anthony told The Undefeated of coming off the bench with his next team. “Only I know when it’s best for me to take that role. I’m not going to do that in a situation where I still know my capabilities and what I can do. And at the end of the day, the people who really matter know my capabilities and what I can still do. You start getting to the media and debates, it’s going to always be kind of back-and-forth.”
One thing Anthony apparently doesn’t know about “this game of basketball”: It takes individual sacrifice to win.
If Anthony is to join the Rockets, as is expected, he’ll be part of the team with the best chance to unseat the Warriors.
Golden State has their own aging former star forward in Andre Iguodala. He sacrificed by taking a backseat to Harrison Barnes in 2014-15, when the Warriors won their first title since 1975. While Iguodala was probably the better player at the time, the team’s second unit needed his defense and creation.
That same year, two-time All-Star David Lee willingly stepped aside as Draymond Green’s versatility became central to the Warriors’ success.
Of course, both Green and Iguodala are elite defenders and passers. Two things Anthony’s unable and/or unwilling to do. You can debate whether Anthony is better than Rockets forwards P.J. Tucker and James Ennis, but the pair’s defense and corner three-point shooting inarguably fit better alongside James Harden and Chris Paul in the Rockets’ starting lineup.
The Warriors have dominated the league for four years now, and Anthony hasn’t learned a thing from the team he should be gunning for.
For someone who’s “been playing [basketball] for a long time,” Anthony apparently doesn’t watch a whole lot of it.