Say it ain’t so, Melo.
After 10 games with the Rockets, Houston and Carmelo Anthony have decided to part ways.
Carmelo Anthony’s brief stop with the Houston Rockets is over, league sources tell ESPN. Anthony will part ways with team, although there are no immediate plans to place 10-time All-Star on waivers. Team announcement is expected before Rockets play Golden State tonight.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) November 15, 2018
In his 10 games with the Rockets, Anthony averaged 13.4 ppg and 5.4 rpg. The word out of Houston is that Melo did not “fit” with the way the Rockets want to play, which is an extremely fair take. Melo makes a living on the elbow, taking his man one-on-one to the basket. The Rockets want to run up and down the floor and take as many shots as possible. Frankly, most fans are not surprised with the decision.
D'Antoni on the Melo fit: "It’s a puzzle. Pieces are different for every puzzle. This one wasn’t fitting together. It wasn’t from lack of trying. It just didn’t work out. We just had to see how things work out ."
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 15, 2018
D'Antoni continued: "The way we play probably wasn’t conducive to his game. He was trying to make the necessary sacrifices. It wasn’t fair to him as a Hall of Fame player to play in a way that wasn’t good for him, wasn’t good for us."
— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) November 15, 2018
I want to stress the fact that Mike D’Antoni called Melo a Hall of Famer. Carmelo Anthony is going to the Hall of Fame. I don’t care whether you like or hate Melo. That is a stone cold fact. Melo won a title as a freshman at Syracuse. Melo is arguably the greatest Olympian basketball player of all-time with three gold medals and the most points, rebounds, and games played. Over 25,000 points, 10x NBA All-star, and 6x All-NBA player punches Melo’s ticket to the Hall of Fame.
We know the end game for Melo, but what about the present game? What does Melo do now?
For starters, Melo has to play the waiting game. Anthony is not eligible to be traded until after the Dec. 15 trade restriction. In all actuality, waiting is the best thing that Melo can do. The NBA regular season is 82 games. It’s only November. Rosters change, injuries occur, and teams’ wants and needs will alter throughout the course of a season. Melo should not be in a rush to force the Rockets hand nor should the Rockets be quick to trade him. So far, the Lakers, Heat, Blazers, Pelicans, and 76ers have all expressed interest in making a move for Melo. Whether that interest will come to fruition remains to be seen, but there should be a small market for Melo come December.
Although Melo has expressed interest in playing, should he? Former NBA superstar Tracy McGrady believes that Melo should call it a career and retire. McGrady was in a similar situation as Melo. T-mac was a dominant scorer throughout his 20s, but after a few injuries, McGrady was relegated from the starting lineup to the end of the bench. It’s worth noting that Tracy McGrady is in the Hall of Fame. The end of his career, when he was barely dressing for games, did not outweigh his prolific runs with the Raptors, Magic, and Rockets. The same principles should be applied to Melo’s career. His tenure with the Nuggets and Knicks will outweigh his tumultuous seasons with the Thunder and Rockets.
Tracy McGrady says Carmelo Anthony should retire – for his own sake. (Interesting to note that TMac retired at 34, the same age Melo is now & has said that after spending his career as his teams' primary scorer, just hanging around in a player-coach/deep-bench role had no appeal) pic.twitter.com/kew12S9Ift
— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) November 13, 2018
I understand McGrady’s viewpoint because of the similarities between the two, but I still believe that Melo can be an asset to an NBA team. Back in July, I wrote that Carmelo Anthony needed to come off the bench and reinvent himself. If he succeeded, Melo could prolong his career and become an excellent 6th man.
Carmelo Anthony is a first ballot Hall of Famer. There is no debate. That being said, it's time for #Melo to reinvent himself for the final chapter of his career. Melo could become the best 6th man in the NBA if he puts his ego aside and comes off the bench #Rockets
— Dan Girolamo (@Danny_Giro) July 23, 2018
It might have been a stretch when I stated that Melo could become the best 6th man in the NBA. However, the same principles still apply today. There is still a 15 point scorer in Melo if he lands in the right situation. In 2018, the NBA is all about versatility and unfortunately for Melo, he’s a one-trick pony, but that doesn’t mean he’s useless. Melo will have to shoot the 3 at a more consistent level and *attempt* to play defense. Plus, his minutes will probably decrease as well. If Melo wants to continue playing, and all reports claim he does, Anthony will have to reinvent himself even more than before.
Carmelo Anthony can still find success in the NBA, but it’s going to take the perfect situation for that to happen. For now, all Melo can do is wait.
P.S. If you ever feel bad for Melo, remember this tweet.
Carmelo Anthony made $245.9M in his NBA career through today. What each team paid + days he was on their roster.
Nuggets — $58.3M for 2,775 days
Knicks — $135.7M for 2,404 days
Thunder — $26.2M for 297 days
Hawks — $25.5M for 27 days
Rockets — $182,740 for 94 days
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) November 15, 2018