For a guy who has averaged 25.0 points in his career, Carmelo Anthony is perhaps the most underwhelming gifted player of his generation. Anthony has never sniffed the NBA Finals, much less a championship, and has advanced past the first round of the playoffs just twice in his 14-year career.
Might it be time for Anthony, who turns 32 in May, to leave New York?
“Well, I’ve said that for years,” NBA champion Chauncey Billups said on CBS Sports Radio’s Tiki and Tierney. “Unless you’re going to build the right personnel around him, it’s best that he goes somewhere where he’s playing with other great players. You’re not going to win and win big with just Melo as your guy. You got to have some strong leadership on the team, a guy with the ball in his hands that can make plays, that can decipher when it’s time to get to Melo and when it’s time to go elsewhere. But more importantly, that’s got to be a guy that he respects. It’s got to be a guy with a body of work that is comparable. He needs a guy like that, which is why I thought it would have been great for him to go to Chicago two years ago when he had a chance to do it.”
Anthony would have joined forces with Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Joakim Noah, and the Bulls would have been a legit contender for a championship.
“I thought it would have been a great thing for him,” Billups said of Anthony, “but obviously that’s outside looking in. He would have had to give up $30 million. But again, we’re fans in this. That money’s not coming to us.”
Still, as gifted as Anthony is, he – in the eyes of Brandon Tierney – should be able to lead the Knicks to at least a .500 record in a “watered-down” Eastern Conference. As it stands, the Knicks (31-47) have the third-worst record in the conference.
“You are what you are,” Billups said. “The indictment is that the Knicks failed to realize what he is. It’s not him. He is what he is. He’s an unstoppable player. If you get him the ball, you can’t stop him. Is he going to lead your team and hold everybody accountable? That’s not who Carmelo is. I’m not saying that’s a negative thing. You are who you are. You expect that out of him, but that’s never been him. He didn’t do that at Syracuse to win a championship. He’s got a great coach (Jim Boeheim) that’s holding everybody accountable.”