To put it simply the Houston Rockets should be embarrassed by the way they handled Carmelo Anthony.
To sign this man to a veteran’s minimum contract and cut him just 10 games into the season is straight up disrespectful to a player of his caliber. Hell even most G-League players get at least two 10-day contracts.
Melo was drafted third overall in 2003, the same draft that featured Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James. He been selected to an All-NBA team six times in his career, won the 2013 NBA Scoring title, is a 10-time NBA All-Star and a three-time Olympic gold medalist. Despite all the accolades over the past few years Melo has been belittled to viral memes by the mumble rap pioneer generation known as NBA Twitter.
But let’s forget all the accolades for a second, the fact is that Melo can still hoop. He’s had scoring outputs of 22, 24 and 28 points this season. I can think of a lot of teams this season that could use a player who can put up these numbers.
The real issue here is that players are only as good as the situations that they are in. Look at Victor Oladipo in Indiana, most people thought that he was a wash after his one year stint in OKC after he was traded from Orlando the previous year. Melo has been in horrible situations in the last three years. His last year in New York Phil Jackson didn’t believe in him and in OKC and Houston he was asked to do things that are just way out of his skill set.
You can’t insert a traditional half court forward into a run and gun offense and expect it to pan out differently just because someone else is passing him the ball. That’s not how basketball works. Adjustments needed to be made and Mike D’Antoni and Daryl Morey failed him in that regard. He was brought to Houston and asked to play the same kind of basketball that cost them a trip to the NBA Finals this past postseason. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Now let me get to Daryl Morey.
Morey has made quite a name for himself as far as front office headlines are concerned since he joined the Rockets in 2007. Since his arrival, he acquired last year’s MVP James Harden in a blockbuster trade with the Thunder in 2012 and landed Chris Paul in free agency two summers ago. He’s also landed other talent such as PJ Tucker, Clint Capela and Eric Gordon. He’s been great at his job there’s no denying that.
However, as of late it seems as if he’s more concerned with making headlines instead of making the right moves for the team . He was so concerned with landing a big name free agent this past summer that he completely aborted re-signing Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute, a big part of that defensive core that had them 48 minutes from dethroning the defending champs, and advancing to their first NBA Finals since 1995.
I also don’t find it coincidental that the news of Carmelo Anthony being cut came from him, just mere hours before the Rockets tipped off a national television game against the defending NBA Champions, especially since he’s been denying the reports for the last week. It seems as if Morey’s infatuation with the spotlight had to come at Melo’s expense which is completely unfair.
Same fight, different round Melo #KeepFighting pic.twitter.com/020pwOWe7a
— Allen Iverson (@alleniverson) November 13, 2018
The fact is you can’t name 25 basketball players who are better than Carmelo Anthony right now. It’s all about the situation and being put around the right pieces which the Houston Rockets organization failed to do. A contender like the San Antonio Spurs or the Portland Trail Blazers who still play half court basketball could definitely use his services to take their team to the next level.
As for the Houston Rockets, I don’t see how the situation improves from here on out. The team overall this season seems like a liability on defense and the offense isn’t much better. On top of that with how they handled Melo, I don’t envision it being easier to lure big name free agents to H-Town, which is bad news with the summer of 2019 free agent class featuring big names like Klay Thompson, KD and DeMarcus Cousins. Not to mention Carmelo is one of Chris Paul’s best friends.
There’s no need for a pity party and quit with the retirement talks while you’re at it. Melo’s not done and if he signs with a contender with the right pieces around him, things could get real interesting come playoff time.