Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony have something in common besides Olympic Gold: Neither one thinks much of ESPN’s NBA rankings.
Draymond Green has never been one to mince words. So it should come as no surprise that he was vocal when ESPN’s Chris Haynes asked him about Carmelo Anthony’s response to the worldwide leader ranking him as the NBA’s 64th-best player.
I think when you look at Melo, Melo has been a great player in this league for some time now. Obviously, I think no one thinks that he’s the Melo he was five years ago, and that happens to everyone. That’s just the nature of the career that we’ve all chosen. At some point, you start to slow down and you’re not who you once were. So, I’m not going to sit here and lie and act like he is the Melo he was five years ago, but the 64th-best player in the NBA? All right, five years ago he was maybe sixth. He ain’t f—ing 64 [now].
As for the “disrespect” that Anthony Tweeted about, Green agrees with his East Coast counterpart.
“I’m a firm believer in guys earning what they get, and I know he’s earned more than a 64. And when you see rookies coming in who haven’t played a game, that’s just clear-cut disrespect. You’ve got guys who have given everything they had into this game and has proved s— year in and year out and then people just walk in and are ranked higher than someone? Let them get out there and prove something first.”
That’s a not-so-subtle shot at Lonzo Ball, who the Los Angeles Lakers took second overall in the 2017 NBA Draft and whose father, LaVar, has become one of the most polarizing figures in all of sports.
While this is all nothing but noise, Anthony can at least feel somewhat vindicated that Green, who ESPN ranked as the NBA’s 10th-best player, agrees with his assessment of ESPN’s ranking abilities.