You won’t find any excuses here for ‘Melo’s poor play last night except that even Michael Jordan had a bad game from time to time. And you certainly won’t find any excuses here for ‘Melo’s poor body language in the loss to the lowly Pistons, which including some sulking when the Knicks were on a 17-0 run.
Slouching shoulders, smirks, and head-shaking in perceived aggrievement are disheartening to see after so many miserable years of it. Particularly when this team’s chemistry was so strong for the better part of this season.
No, I’m not going to defend ‘Melo for smirking when Toney Douglas tried hit a teammate for layup on a fast break instead of making a cross court pass to ‘Melo for a corner three. I’m not going to defend him for failing to join the team in a huddle during a timeout and instead sitting “expressionless” on the bench.
I don’t like to see such outward showings of frustration and maybe even selfishness on the court. It’s not pleasant. We’ve had enough of that over the years.
But a lot of the press is up in arms that ‘Melo “ducked” them and refused to sit for an interrogation after his poor performance.
Pardon me if I don’t give a crap because I can completely understand where ‘Melo is coming from. The media loves to create and then drive a story. Already today I’ve read members of the media try to fit the Knicks’ roster into a prepackaged cookie cutter archetype by declaring ‘Melo the Knicks’ A-Rod and Amar’e the Knicks’ Jeter. They do this.
I’ve seen comparisons to Marbury. I’ve seen it suggested that ‘Melo routinely blows end of game opportunities to the detriment of his team because undoubtedly, this is the angle the particular writer is going to want to pursue even if the empirical evidence shows that ‘Melo has the highest success rate at end of game opportunities of all players since 1996. That’s ignored.
If I’m Carmelo Anthony I’ll look to the past. I’ll look to John Starks, to Larry Hughes, to Nate Robinson, to Jordan Hill, to Darko Milicic, to Danilo Gallinari, to Raymond Felton, to Larry Brown, to Mike D’Antoni, to Donnie Walsh, even to some extent, to Isiah Thomas and Stephon Marbury. To varying degrees the media exploited all of these people for their own ends and cared little for the target and less for what it did to team chemistry.
Amar’e Stoudemire took flack earlier in the year for missing a practice in Los Angeles because he stayed behind in Phoenix to tend to family issues. Later, the writer blamed a subsequent losing streak on this event.
Now that ‘Melo is a more convenient boogie-man for the press Amar’e becomes the Knicks’ Jeter. Spare me.
The vast body of the press sulks and whines and pounds the table about the virtues of accountability but they seem not to accept any themselves. Carmelo Anthony is a basketball player and I will assess his performance on the court, not under the harsh, agenda driven interrogator’s lamp.
So while I don’t condone sulking behavior, and while I was disheartened by what his body language on the court, I can understand why ‘Melo would rather not speak to the press. It’s their goal to bury him and he doesn’t feel like picking up a shovel.