NBA’s All Star Weekend is a time of jubilation and excitement. The festivities that surrounded NYC seemed too good to be true. An exceptional job done by the NBA and cooperating partners made this weekend a weekend to remember. All that was left was the game itself.
The early headline surrounding the All Star game involved the barrage of injuries that had plagued the stars that were elected in. Replacements were quickly found for those who dropped out of the game and then all eyes shifted towards one player: Carmelo Anthony.
Would Carmelo Anthony play in the All Star Game?
Anthony has been battling a lingering knee injury that has sidelined him for 13-games throughout the season. For the very few that have been watching the Knicks play this season (God bless your soul), it has become evident that this knee issue is taking its toll on Anthony.
The bounce in his step isn’t there, not like it used to. He is shooting the ball with aim, not flow. Don’t forget about the lack of talent surrounding the rest of the roster. The result? A 10-43 record, the worst record in the league with a potential top-five pick in their sights.
It was 17 years since the last All Star Game was played in Madison Square Garden. Anthony was just a mere teenager at the time. Being a Brooklyn-born native, this game had significant meaning to Anthony. Being voted in as a starter, Anthony had the opportunity to pay his respects to his fans by playing for a miniscule amount of time, giving Knicks fans something to cheer for in what has been a disastrous season.
Instead, Melo came up short. Way short.
In an interview on ESPN Radio, Anthony told Marc Stein, Marc Kestecher and P.J. Carlesimo that “it’s very likely,” he shuts it down after the All Star Game. “Even if I come out and just play a couple minutes and just wave. I don’t think the fans deserve seeing me miss the game. They voted me in for a reason.”
His tone indicated limited minutes in this over-glorified, but that was far from the case.
Anthony was out on the court for 30:16, second in minutes played to LeBron James (31:45). Anthony was out there longer than any Western Conference All Star. Not something you would expect from someone who is planning on shutting down his season after this EXHIBITION.
Fine, let’s look past the minutes played. It still does not justify his performance. It was abysmal shooting by Anthony as he shot 6-20 from the field and 2-13 from long-range… in an exhibition. It was excruciatingly painful to watch Anthony as he threw up brick-after-brick. Even in a game where the defense is lackadaisical at best, Anthony still managed to shoot only 30% from the field.
The Knicks now face a dire issue regarding Anthony. Is he the superstar player that can propel the Knicks to a championship? If you are a future free agent, you have to ask yourself: “Can I realistically see myself succeeding playing alongside Carmelo Anthony in New York?”
Anthony had no business playing in this game and has continued to make a mockery of himself throughout the season. Should we go back to Carmelo Anthony taking “less money” to come back to New York and saw winning as a priority?
Anthony has left New York in a curious predicament where the supposed savior of the franchise has more interest in playing extended minutes in an exhibition game than rest his body for the remainder of the season. Knicks fans should be utterly disappointed.
For someone who has expressed that winning is a priority, Anthony fell short–in the All Star Game and in the season.