The Many Hats of Melo Anthony

“Carmelo “Melo” Anthony — NBA All-Star. Olympic gold medalist. Father. And designer?

Anthony has teamed with Macy’s and Nickelodeon on an active line of boys’ apparel and accessories inspired by what he loves as much as a winning three-point swish — the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”

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David Moin unintentionally gave us valuable insight into the mind of Melo: in all likelihood, he does love TMNT as much as he loves a winning three-point swish.  That could explain why it happens so infrequently.

He also starts off by rattling off a few of the things that make Melo, Melo.

NBA All-Star.

Olympic Gold Metalist.

Father.

Designer.

I’m going to start this article with another vital insight into Carmelo Anthony’s head:

Those are just my personal favorites.  Google “Carmelo Hats” for more.

This is what we’re dealing with here, f0lks: cut him a little slack.

 

“Right now it’s kind of a rough patch for me. I’m trying to figure out a way to get out of it.”

  • Carmelo Anthony,
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 16: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks sits on the baseline during the final minutes of the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Madison Square Garden on November 16, 2013 in New York City. The Hawks defeat the Knicks 110-90. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

The Melo story is a sad one to be sure, but that’s just it: it’s a story.  A fiction.  Carmelo is a supremely talented basketball player – he could have gone to any team at any point.  In fact, he did once, and he chose the shitty-ass Knicks.

Carmelo is pushing a narrative as if he doesn’t understand what he did wrong; but regardless of whether or not he recognizes it, the reality of the situation is that he signed to the Knicks after a 30 win season as opposed to a Bulls team with a legitimate contending roster, or a Rockets team with two super-stars, or a Mavs team with a proven head coach.

In fact, Carmelo has actively undermined his own (basketball) success: when he left Denver, he demanded a trade that ultimately sucked the Knicks roster clean of assets that could be used to build a successful team around his talents.  One might argue that Danillo Gallinari and Carmelo most likely could not have coexisted with one another, but to that I would retort that

  • a. There’s a reason why that question must be asked, and that reason is that Danillo was traded away
  • b. If they hadn’t fit together (which admittedly they probably would not have), then Danillo could have been traded

It’s not like he had 5 years left on his contract, either.  He had exactly one year left.  If he had waited another 40ish games, (50ish if they made a deep playoff run – lol, just kidding) he could have signed out-right with the Knicks as an unrestricted free-agent and signed the same 3-year contract he signed at the end of the season.

Then after that contract was up, what did he do?

He paraded about during free-agency, traveling from Houston to Dallas to Chicago, swaggin’ out with his entourage and poppin’ bottles and doing blow with Chandler Parsons – probably.  Now, don’t get me wrong; he had every right to entertain offers from other teams after enduring a 37-45 season coached by Mike “No One’s First Choice to Invite to Prom/to Coach their NBA Team” Woodson.  That’s the whole point of this piece – let Melo be Melo; but since he is Melo, he took a course of action that was the equivalent of going on Ellen and waving a burning Knicks flag back and forth, screaming “HEY GUYS DON’T SIGN WITH THE KNICKS, I MIGHT LEAVE.  ALSO: WE SUCK EITHER WAY, HONESTLY.”

And suck they did.  They sucked to historically proportions: we’re talking 17-65.  Here’s some perspective on that: the 2015-2016 Lakers are currently 16-59.

And while the Knicks sucked, Carmelo sat on his $22,458,000 that year.  And he made more this year.  And he’ll make more the next.  and the next.  and the next.

 

The Knicks aren’t obligated to give anything to Carmelo except for $124 million, which, i assure you, he is receiving.  Nor are the Knicks obligated to create a winning team for their fans, which I assure you, they aren’t.

So why is Carmelo obligated to win championship rings?

Answer: he isn’t.

LeBron opted to leave Cleveland, a team in which Larry Hughes could actually be called the second most talented player – unless you would call Zydrunas Ilgauskus (SP) the second most talented player on said team, which is equally, if not more so, depressing to consider.  He left the a shitty team in a shitty situation in a shitty city and went to an amazing team in an amazing situation in an amazing city.

And he got reamed for it.  By everyone.

carmelo-anthony-window-closingCarmelo is a Brooklyn native and not only did he demand a trade away from a city that was not NYC (aka Denver), he signed a contract with a no-trade clause.  Carmelo has made it clear that he would rather lose in the NYC than win in, say, Cleveland.

So let Carmelo have his shitty team and wear his dorky hats in his amazing city.

Everyone projects onto Melo: if he smiles when the Knicks lose, he doesn’t care about winning.  If he’s pouty when they lose, he’s a baby.  It doesn’t matter if he storms to the locker-room and yells or if he hangs out and takes selfies with B-List Celebs – fans are going to crap all over him regardless.

It’s hard being Carmelo Anthony ‘the basketball player.’

If you’re an NBA reporter and you ask Carmelo how he feels about the Knick’s performance, Carmelo ‘the basketball player’ is going to answer you:

“Regardless of the record, just losing, accepting that… it’s hard to accept that. You can’t be accepting that. I hope that’s not the case with the guys. You don’t want to get used to losing.”

But it’s not hard being Carmelo Anthony ‘the guy.’  He’s fine.  Trust me.

It’s easy to forget that Carmelo is only a suited up in orange and blue for a couple hours for 82 games a year (not counting post-season games for obvious reasons); but after Melo pulls his Maybach out of the private parking garage under Madison Square garden, he is in the Big Apple – a media Mecca of the world and a city that loves him – even when it’s tough love.

The NBA community needs to collectively approach Carmelo from a new perspective.  To all the people out there who insist that Carmelo’s lack of rings are a damning stain on his character – let’s take a couple of steps back.

Melo was never going to be the greatest basketball player of all time.  That’s not his destiny: and that’s okay.  He’s still out there ballin’: he’s just doing it in his dorky, never-going-to-win-a-championship way.

When Carmelo goes to sleep every night next to his wife “La-La,” he is wearing his Carmelo ‘the husband’ hat.  When he strolls the streets of Manhattan looking like a total dork in his dorky hats, he wears any of a number of Carmelo ‘the Dork’ hats.  When he’s awake at night watching TMNT on Netflix even though his kids fell asleep hours ago, he’s wearing his ‘Donatello’ head-band/hat/…thing.

At any given moment, we each wear different hats.  As I write this, I’m wearing my “The Prophet” hat, but once I’m done and I go order some pizza, I won’t be.

Who knows what’s going on in Melo’s head?

No one.  But at least we know what’s going on on top of it.

By Chris Axmann