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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Carmelo Anthony Feels More Like A Hollow Famer Than A Hall of Famer

Illustration for article titled Carmelo Anthony Feels More Like A Hollow Famer Than A Hall of Famer
Photo: Getty

Carmelo Anthony will get into the Basketball Hall of Fame.

After all, Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes is in.

So is Vlade Divac and Calvin Murphy, too. You get the picture. Many people you have never heard of and plenty of head-scratchers have been enshrined in Springfield, Mass.

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So Melo will be a shoo-in, especially when you count his NCAA title at Syracuse and those three gold medals for the U.S. in the Olympics.

But if the NBA had its own Hall of Fame, and it was based solely on his time in the Association, Anthony wouldn’t be in.

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Too many holes, too many questions.

Forever, I have always believed that when it comes to getting into the Hall of Fame, there shouldn’t be a debate.

If there’s a debate about you belonging in the Hall, you just aren’t a Hall of Famer.

Yes, it should be that cut and dry.

As a BBWAA (Baseball Writers Association of America) member and a Baseball Hall of Fame voter, that’s a standard I hold onto. That’s why the Baseball Hall of Fame is harder to get into via the writers’ vote.

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It should be the standard for all Hall of Fames. I’ve covered the NBA since 1987. And rewarding people for longevity, tragedy or just stats, waters down the truly great players who excelled and took their league to new heights.

You didn’t get an argument from anyone when you said the names Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. Without question, they were all HOFers.

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When LeBron James’ time comes up, there won’t be a debate, either. His resume speaks for itself.

Illustration for article titled Carmelo Anthony Feels More Like A Hollow Famer Than A Hall of Famer
Photo: Getty
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The Hall should be a special place for very special players that dominated their era, played at a high level for an extended period of time, changed the game and won big.

Winning championships should count. After all, that’s why they play.

Simply filling up a score sheet — and Anthony has done that as the 19th all-time scorer in the league — isn’t enough to be immortalized forever.

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But that’s what Anthony has done most of his career.

The rest of the cupboard is bare, especially on the defensive end and in the championship column.

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Honestly, when you think of Anthony’s career, it’s mostly filled with disappointment. Despite his talent and good rosters in Denver, Melo wasn’t able to do much damage in the postseason. In fact, the only time his team reached the Western Conference finals was when Chauncey Billups came over in a trade from the Pistons in 2008.

In New York, Anthony’s time in his childhood home left a lot to be desired as well. Granted, Melo didn’t have the best cast to win a Tony, er, championship on Broadway.

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Still, when you are an elite player, an all-time great, you should be able to carry your team the distance, get to a title series.

Allen Iverson did it in Philly. And that roster was thin. Even Dwight Howard’s team in Orlando upset James’ Cavs in the playoffs and got to a championship.

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It’s not just about winning a title. That wouldn’t be fair. There are a lot of things that go into winning a title. We all get that. Charles Barkley was a great player and never won. He did, however, get there. In 1993, Barkley won the NBA MVP and led the Phoenix Suns to The Finals where they lost to the Bulls.

Despite all the buckets Melo has scored, he never was the best player in the league, and never really in the MVP conversation during his career.

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Illustration for article titled Carmelo Anthony Feels More Like A Hollow Famer Than A Hall of Famer
Photo: Getty

Hall of Famers should be the players that win the big awards, make other fans marvel at their ability and win at a clip that makes you respect their game no matter what uniform they are wearing.

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Melo simply wore many uniforms and wore out his welcome in many places, too. Can you say OKC and Houston?

For sure, Anthony — who signed a one-year non-guaranteed contract last November — is finally playing well again for the Portland Trailblazers. In 53 games, Anthony is averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds. In the NBA restart, Portland is still alive and has a shot to make it to the playoffs this season.

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In no way is anyone saying Anthony is a bum. He’s a talented scorer.

It just feels empty, like he’s more suited to be a Hollow Famer.

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