Joe Johnson found his way to the NBA before Carmelo Anthony did. This summer, Johnson dominated The Big3, culminating in a championship winning shot that perhaps earned the seven-time All-Star a spot with the Detroit Pistons.
Meanwhile, Anthony is still without an NBA team. So why is that? According to Ice Cube, Carmelo should have been playing in the Big3 (but let’s chalk that up to self interest).
Instead, it’s clear that Johnson offers something that NBA teams might be able to use. Specifically, 3-point shooting and a willingness to stretch the floor and understand his age and role. It’s not clear yet whether Anthony can do either.
Of course, several players have come out and said that they believe Anthony should be in the NBA. The latest to join these ranks is Dwyane Wade, who said that Anthony “doesn’t deserve” to not be in the league.
Via LA Times:
“He’s a brother of mine and a great friend and I’m just very disappointed that he’s not in the NBA because he doesn’t deserve that as a person,” Wade said. “Melo is one of the best individual people I know and a lot of people don’t know that because things that have been said about him in the past. Hopefully he gets an opportunity to be with a team this season because he has a lot to still offer the right team in the right role and the right situation. I want him to be able to end his career the way he wants to end it. He deserves that as someone who has carried the torch for this game and done so much for the league and Team USA in the Olympics. He deserves better than this.”
Hmm. The word “deserve” is perhaps a bit misplaced here. Nobody deserves to be in the NBA — it’s about work ethic, fit, ability, and context. Those things seem to be lacking in Anthony’s case to join an NBA team at the moment.
But it’s nice that Wade is thinking about his friend, and I still have my doubts about whether Anthony goes entire season without being added to an NBA roster at least on a part-time basis.
Anthony’s management team has tried to ramp up talk around their client, but for now we still have to wait.