Carmelo Anthony
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

Former New York Knicks star and current Oklahoma City Thunder basketball player, Carmelo Anthony, spits out a quote about coming off the bench that’s beyond comprehension.

Sometimes, it’s just difficult to separate reality from emotion, especially for those who’ve suffered within the fanbase of the New York Knicks.

When the accusation of “hater” is flung about, it’s usually done to mask such current realities—for objectively grading reality shouldn’t involve love or hate one ounce.

I’ve been on the “Carmelo Anthony is overrated” bandwagon for several years now. In full disclosure, this narrative has held true since Elite Sports NY was born back in 2015.

I still believe the man represents—at one point in his career—arguably, the most dangerous one-on-one scorers in NBA history. I still also respect the man for raising his hand and coming to New York when none (save for Amar’e Stoudemire) would. Though he represented a huge part of the negatives littered within the Phil Jackson regime, his loyal ways will never be forgotten.

In any event, Carmelo Anthony is a below average NBA player at this point in time. A recent quote after his team’s first-round playoff ouster via the Utah Jazz complicates his value as an NBA player as a whole, via Royce Young of ESPN.

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“Aye P, they said I gotta come off the bench.”

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“I’m not sacrificing no bench role. So that’s out of the question,” Anthony said in response to possibly coming off the bench.

Honestly, there are no words to describe the above quote—especially coming from a “supposed” leader. The fact that he believes a bench role is a sacrifice proves the man lives in an entirely different world.

Melo finished the season with a stat-line of 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, 1.3 assists, 0.6 blocks and 0.6 steals a game while shooting an extremely embarrassing .404 from the field. In fact, Melo hasn’t finished over .450 from the floor since 2013-14. The last four full regular seasons sport percentages that hardly resemble an NBA All-Star caliber shooter: .404, .433, .434 and .444.

He’s just not a great enough scorer anymore to make up his other offensive deficiencies. Then we get the defensive side of the ball.

At 33-years of age, Anthony’s experienced surgeries and wear-and-tear that has completely rendered him motionless. He just can’t move anymore.

The 4-spot in OKC presented him with a better opportunity to play a little D—as his toughness in and around the basketball, at times, has always been his sole underrated aspect—but he still failed to keep up with the four players around him. When he was still attempting to play the 3 in New York, forget about it. No defense can truly turn solid with that anchor on the floor over 20 minutes a night.

Here’s the part in which it really gets rough … he’s not aware enough to understand what’s best for him.

Forget about thinking what’s best from a team perspective. Sacrificing more attempts per game to get Kristaps Porzingis off the ground earlier and sacrificing his starting spot for a younger, more athletic Jerami Grant would completely transform the look and feel of an entire team for the better. It’s what he’s not aware of from a personal standpoint that’s really turning outlandish.

Taking on a reserve role at 20-24 minutes a game would allow Anthony to extend his NBA career. Being called on as that cutthroat shooter (the one attribute he can still rock it in) off the bench against the opposing team’s second unit would not only help to serve the squad, but Anthony himself.

Is this what leaders do? Turn down obvious coaching decisions that would have occurred several months ago if egos and feelings weren’t involved? Do leaders take to social media and start screaming at ESPN for ranking him in the 60s during their preseason NBA Top 100?

No. leaders do not. This is why I’ve always maintained that Anthony is a likable teammate, but a horrible leader. That silly stuff means nothing in the game of wins and championships.

When Phil Jackson selected KP to the chagrin of the entire Knickerbockers world, it was Melo who blew up and felt “hoodwinked.” When KP needed more shots to develop, it was Melo who continuously finished in the top 10 in field goal attempts in consecutive seasons. When the Thunder needed him to take a reserve role, it was Melo who rapidly shot down the suggestion at first sight.

But more than the evidence and statistics, all it really takes is two basketball eyes that watch Melo on a game-by-game basis to understand the man is spent.

Nobody deserves to be called a “hater” by simply pointing out the obvious. The man isn’t a leader and thinks selfishly over team. If this quote doesn’t lead you to that conclusion, nothing will.

It’s why his presence or lack thereof in New York doesn’t affect New York Knicks win totals one bit. Actually, I take that back. The Knicks were fully on track to surpass regular Melo-Knicks win totals prior to Porzingis’ awful, horrible, no good very bad injury.

Hoodie Melo, cradling the ball during his pre-tip-off routine and dominating JV squads around the world on Team USA—none of it leads to NBA wins and titles. Carmelo Anthony is nothing more than Kyle Korver who doesn’t shoot as well and, sadly, it’s been like this for three years now.

We’ve been telling you this since ESNY started three years ago. Now, finally, the cat’s officially out of the bag as that “horrid Knicks franchise” is no longer there to act as the excuse.

Robby Sabo is a co-founder, CEO and credentialed New York Jets content creator for Jets X-Factor - Jet X, which includes Sabo's Sessions (in-depth film breakdowns) and Sabo with the Jets. Host: Underdog Jets Podcast with Wayne Chrebet and Sabo Radio. Member: Pro Football Writers of America. Coach: Port Jervis (NY) High School. Washed up strong safety and 400M runner. SEO: XL Media. Founder: Elite Sports NY - ESNY (Sold in 2020). SEO: XL Media. Email: robby.sabo[at]