New York Knicks

Recently, New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony made the statement he can play at a high level for the next four or five years. No chance.

By Robby Sabo

Now that the entire basketball universe had a chance to witness the oozing raw talent Kristaps Porzingis displayed during the NBA Summer League, the only question fans had was not if, but when the young Latvian would take the “face of the New York Knicks” mantle from one Carmelo Anthony.

How could anybody think otherwise?

Melo is entering his 13th season in The Association to go along with a banged up body. A season ago he could only muster 40 total games due to a bum knee.

He’s now 31-years old. No matter though. Melo still believes he has four or five more top-flight seasons left in him.

This was his response when asked if he still had elite years left in him, via Ian Begley of ESPN New York.

“Without a doubt. Without a doubt,” Anthony said after the Knicks’ final training camp practice on Saturday.

“I wasn’t a guy who would run straight to surgery for anything. But I think now, [taking] care of this really put me in position to perform at a high level for the next four or five years,” he said.

“If I was a guy who kind of played above the rim and played at a fast pace and just running and jumping — that was my game, very athletic — then I’d probably be sitting here singing a different tune,” Anthony said. “But the way that I play, the way that I know how to pace myself, the way I know how to pick my spots out on the basketball court, I’m not a guy who’s playing above the rim every play so it works in my favor.”

“I thought this week was a good test for me, getting through the two-a-days and seeing how my body was going to react to that,” Anthony said. “Playing and scrimmaging before training camp, four or five days a week, spending two, two and a half hours on the court scrimmaging and nothing else, there were a lot of tests I had to get through mentally.”

Now that we get back down to Earth, we proclaim four or five more seasons has no chance to happen.

It’s father-time, and nothing else.

When Porzingis was called at the Barclays Center as the No. 4 overall pick in the NBA Draft, Knicks fans everywhere scratched their heads. They did so believing “Zinger” would need years to develop.

As we get closer to the regular season we know now he won’t. Of course there will be a transition period, but the kid can play in the league immediately.

This alone will shift the focus off Anthony and onto Porzingis for the seasons to come.

If Melo wasn’t breaking down so much, four or five more elite level seasons could be plausible. He just cannot stay healthy enough to get it done.

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  1. As a sports writer, could you be more biased? Carmelo ‘ game has evolved from what it was when he entered the league. I believe Melo is right. He has the style of play, offensively, that gets better with time. One of the purest all around scorers ever. His defense is underrated. On the perimeter he does not close out on shooters at an above average rate, however he does defend the blocks and the paint at an above average rate, forcing opponents to shoot nearly 4% lower in the post than their normal average. As the game on a whole evolves we see more and more of the stretch 4, leading me to believe that Melo will play more of a stretch 4 in the future and his body will take less abuse than today’s 4. Armed with one of the leagues deadliest mid range games and his ever expanding range, I look for Melo to be an elite player into his mid 30’s and maybe beyond. Knowledge of the game alone will continue to enable to him to get his shot off an as the knicks continue to add complimentary players around Melo his efficiency will also increase. Melo is a superstar and will continue that trend into the twilight of his career. Trade him to Miami tomorrow and he’ll be holding the Naismith trophy by the end of 2017. Everyone is so keen on handing LeBron the crown? What did he accomplish that Melo didn’t before pairing with the number 1 player and arguably a top 5 player? Give Melo the same supporting cast and witness the same result. Throughout his career his most dependable teammate has been, smh, J.R. Smith. Don’t let your emotions cloud your objectivity, Melo is a superstar and will be for the majority of his career. Just for the record a torn patellar tendon is not a bum knee. It is a routine injury that even with considerable strain cannot worsen which is why he played as long as he did with it. Save the bias for the editorial. It’s easy to go n on a player that made the all star cut while playing injured. How quickly we forget that just a season prior Melo put up historic numbers averaging upwards of 28 points pet game to go along with 8.5 rebounds. Do the research and tell me the last player to have that type of season, especially playing on a regular team no where near title contention? Answer: Michael Jordan.

    • Dirt McGirt, I’m a Knicks fan. This was a short blurb with very little insight to it at all. It was more of a “news” story to get the word out that he feels he can play 4-5 more years at a high level.

      His defense is terrible. There’s no stat for help defense…and his, it brutal.

      I know you just didn’t put Melo on the same level as LBJ. You’re talking about biases right? …how do you not consider yourself biased for claiming he’s on LBJ’s level?

      LBJ has done things with a weaker supporting cast than Melo’s had.

      He is STILL one of the top 5 pure scorers in the game. As far as the rest of his game is concerned, it’s poor when you think of it on a superstar level.

      How’s he gonna play the stretch 4 with Porzingis in town?

      • I apologize I wasn’t trying to pad his stats, it was supposed to be 6.5 rebounds. It was not a comparison to LBJ it was a jab at how biased writers are against Anthony. The two seasons where Carmelo was surrounded by a reasonable cast translated into a western conference finals berth and a 54 win season. He has never had the type of roster that LeBron has in Cleveland or had in miami. He left his lackluster roster in Cleveland to form a super team in miami then left miami to form a super team back in Cleveland. Find a teammate of Anthony ‘ that went anywhere else and flourished? He’s never been surrounded by players with higher ceilings than they had already reached by the time he was paired with them. So it’s not to say that Melo is comparable to Bron but to say he gets so underrated and labeled as selfish because of the short comings of his team. Melo shoots a “paltry” 44% and outside of the two years mentioned above, has always been the only focus of opposing defenses. His opponents don’t have to watch out for a bosh, wade, Chris Paul or DeAndre Jordan, yet he still shoots at an above average rate. I look forward to Melo proving you wrong and continuing to be an elite player in the NBA for at least another 4-5 years. For the record his defensive stats in the post, for the years that the majority of his on court minutes were played at the 4 spot do not take help defense into consideration and show Melo as an above average defender.

        • You “directly” compared him to LBJ. And called into question my “bias,” when clearly, “your” bias is fully on display.

          I live and die with the Knicks. Just remember that it IS possible for somebody to believe Melo is overrated without “disliking” him.

          Don’t automatically think a sportswriter hates Anthony because he’s saying he’s overrated and/or won’t play another 4-5 years at a “high” level.

          That’s unfair.

          • The comparison was to the supporting cast not the player. What I said was put Melo on those same teams and watch the same result. My bias is on full display because I’m not a sports writer, I’m a fan and I’m not subject to objectivity. To say there’s “no chance” of Melo playing at a high level for the next 4 or 5 is unfair. As an individual player Melo is a superstar, to classify him as anything less because he doesn’t have a championship is unfair. So Malone and Stockton weren’t superstars, Charles Barkley wasn’t a superstar, Reggie miller and Patrick Ewing weren’t superstars? It’s a faulty metric to measure a players status by. Does it affect the players legacy, without question. Does it define a players ability and heart, never.

          • I’ll tell you this…I’ll be rooting hard for him. I pray Porzingis, O’Quinn, Lopez (great fit as a garbage big man, role player) will be enough this season.

            Going back to the Blue Paint at The Garden puts me in a great frame of mind.

          • On that sir, we are completely on the same page. The blue paint took me back to great times at the Garden.

          • Kristaps is a rookie that they want to limit to about 20 – 25 minutes per game. Last I checked NBA games are at least 48 minutes long. He may not play the majority of his minutes at the 4 this season but I was under the impression that we were looking more towards the next 4 or 5 years where the traditional big is slowly being phased out and the stretch 4 is more and more prevalent. Fisher has already said that there will be times where KP plays the 5 and in years to come he will fill out and get stronger. So Melo will play more of a 4 towards the 3rd and 4th year.

        • LBJ: .496 FG%. Steph: .471 FG% (last year close to .500). Paul: .474 FG%.

          Melo’s FG% is on par with Kobe’s (who I also think is extremely overrated in his own right.

          Why do people overlook FG%? Is there any better stat to show how efficient a person is when scoring the ball?

          Please, open up YOUR mind to your bias. It’s very easy to make the excuse of “help around him.” He never makes anybody around him better. And his defense is atrocious. You’d have to PROVE to me it’s “underrated” (as you called it) to get me to not believe my eyes every night).

          Instead of thinking a Bias is at play…it is possible the guy just is who he is? …and everybody is finally catching on?

          He’s a GREAT SCORER. Unbelievable scorer. Doesn’t do much else which hurts his superstar eligibility.

          That’s where NBA fans get confused. They put TOO MUCH emphasis on points alone.

          And I’m still waiting….how will Melo play the stretch 4 with Porzingis in town? (which by the way I agree Melo HAS to play the 4 nowadays). He’s always played better at the 4 as Knick, rather than the 3.

          He can’t guard 3’s.

    • Career .455 FG percentage. Not great. In fact, it pales in comparison to LBJ, Steph, and some of the other true superstars in the league.

      If you watch his game closely, you see a pattern. He routinely screws up the defensive structure on the defensive end. He holds the ball too long when movement could be very beneficial on the offensive end. (Not to say Iso’s shouldn’t happen, but it seems to happen too frequently with him).

      Sometimes the true superstar needs to “lift” his teammates to a higher level of play. He has NEVER done that.

      And again, after 13 years already, and Porzingis taking the 4 over eventually, how exactly is Melo going to continue to play the stretch 4?

      He will be a scoring sixth-man eventually for the Knicks. It’ll be the smartest move for him and the team. Because he’s such a talented Iso, scorer, in a year or two when he loses more of a step he’ll be fit into that sixth-man role, scoring in droves.

      3 assists per game for a career? Come on man. He NEVER averaged 8.5 rebounds per game. In fact, his career average is 6.6.

      You don’t want to bring up stats with this guy. You’ll lose the argument. With the Knicks his FG% is a paltry .447.

      Missed 27 games in 2011-12. Missed 15 games in 2012-13. Missed only 5 in 2013-14. And then missed 42 a season ago.

      His injuries aren’t an accident now…they’re becoming a trend.