Fantasy Eulogy: Carmelo Anthony

Legend. But a fantasy star no more.

(Originally published on 11/12/18)

Just like his NBA career, Carmelo Anthony's fantasy career is over. THE LONG RUN drafted Melo with the 5th pick in the 11th Round this year and then dropped him on November 12 for Justice Winslow. That's the end. It's a collosal drop in value considering Melo was drafted in the first round in our league as late as 2015. 

When was Melo picked in our fantasy drafts? 
2011:  Round 1 / 12th Pick 
2012:  2 / 5th 
2013:  2 / 3rd 
2014: 1 / 10th 
2015: 1 / 10th 
2016 - 4 / 8th
2017 - 5 / 5th
2018: 11 / 5th  

Melo averaged over 20 points/game for the first 14 years of his NBA career. I don't need new age stats to declare that elite. Forget "efficiency" or "effective field goal percentage" or where those shots were taken from. Long twos, threes, layups, from the moon -- spare me the details. Bottom line: that's a hella lot of points. He ranks 19th overall all-time with 25,551 points. 

Throughout his career, there was no doubt that Melo was always gonna get his. Melo getting buckets was a given. The question always surrounding him was whether his numbers amounted to anything other than raw totals. In New York, the stats only translated to a survivable number of wins and non-existent playoff memories. In the early years in Denver, Melo and Allen Iverson combined to form the greatest NBA Jam team of all-time but their only accomplishment was inflating Marcus Camby's rebounding and putback numbers because of the sheer volume of shots taken.  

Melo was dubbed a franchise guy coming off a national championship at Syracuse in 2003. However, either because of circumstance or indivdiual ability, Melo has always been a second tier superstar who gets his numbers while his teams hover in mediocrity. He is a member of an  eltie group of "got mine" stars like Chris Paul, Tracy McGrady, Joe Johnson, Kevin Love, Eric Bledsoe, Jerry Stackhouse and Mike James (for one dreamy season on the Raptors). These dudes were great, a joy to watch, but the individual performances didn't amount to much beyond their personal totals. 

We shouldn't feel sorry for Melo because he chose this life. In the post-Iverson era, Denver constructed a team that was perfectly molded around his game. In 2009-10, Denver had Chauncey Billups starting at the point, three bruising bigs in Nene, Kenyon Martin, Chris Anderson; and young Arron Afflalo, sober Ty Lawson and erratic JR Smith coming off the bench. That's a roster beggning Melo to be their star. But he bullied his way off that team just like he's recently done in Oklahoma City and Houston. 

It's sad to see his career end this way. His isolation dribble-dirbble-shake game should've carried him to contracts well into his late 30's. Instead, he's been banished from the league like an enemy of the state because of his failure to age and adapt gracefully. It's fitting that Melo has become the unwanted after he declared a trail of franchises undesirable throughout his career. Teams bet big on Melo but Melo only ever bet big on his touches. It was always the team's fault. Never Melo's. Maybe, he'll have better luck finding a desireable situation in China next season.