SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — After a long wait, Bernard King will be officially enshrined into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Sunday afternoon at Springfield’s Symphony Hall.
King was a four-time NBA All-Star, a two time NBA first team selection and was a scoring champion in 1985, averaging 32.9 points per game for the New York Knicks. However, towards the end of the 1984-85 season King torn his ACL in his right knee, which became a problem that plagued the career of the gifted scorer.
Based on recent events, it’s easy to compare King to a player like Tracy McGrady, who officially retired on Aug. 27. McGrady, a talented scorer in his own right saw the prime of his career cut short due to injuries. McGrady will likely, and should be inducted into the Hall of Fame one day, but in the eyes of King, battling through injuries and having a spot in the Hall of Fame are the only similarities the two former scoring champions share.
“Unfortunately a lot of guys have had injuries, but in terms of our games, the way we played the game on the court is totally opposite … no similarities there,” King told reporters at Saturday’s press conference at the Hall of Fame.
“He was more like [George] Gervin.”
King doesn’t have to look far when looking for a current NBA star that resembles his game.
“I would say the one player would be Carmelo Anthony. The great Carmelo Anthony,” King reiterated after a reporter asked him to repeat the answer.
King and Anthony had an odd controversy pop up during the playoffs in May, regarding tweets King did or didn’t send from his now-deleted Twitter account, but the two Knick small forwards have great respect for one another.
Anthony has said publicly, and has told King personally, that he would watch King’s tapes growing up, trying to replicate King’s moves.
“I see the similarities in there when I watch him play, particularly when he raises the ball over his head,” King noted. “That’s something I did every night.”
Another large parallel between the two Brooklyn-born ballers is playing in the spotlight that is Madison Square Garden.
“I don’t think a lot of people really comprehend what it takes to perform every single night in a place like New York,” King said. “To do it in a place like New York City, in my mind at least, is unlike doing it anywhere else in the NBA circle because of the pressure that exists in a city like New York.
“The fans know the game, and the expectations are so high. And Carmelo is able to do it every single night; night in and night out.”
While Carmelo gears up for another season trying to live up to the pressures in NYC inside the World’s Most Famous Arena, King gets to enjoy watching Anthony emulate his old moves as a newly enshrined member of the Basketball Hall of Fame.