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For now, Carmelo Anthony is known for three things at the NBA level: The Melo-drama, being an annual first-round playoff exit and for being the biggest ball-stopper the game has ever known.
Melo is the most me-first player on this for those reasons.
First, Anthony held the Nuggets hostage. He tried to play the team and tell them he was going to stay in Denver and re-sign with the only professional franchise he had ever suited up for, at least publicly.
Through two-thirds of the 2010-11 season, Carmelo held true to his position, that “all his options were open” when he knew the true answer was that he would play in only one place: New York.
Melo eventually made it known that he would only play for the Knicks, forcing the Nuggets' new front office's hand; Masai Ujiri had to trade him to ensure the future success of his team and receive assets in return for the disgruntled superstar.
Ujiri came away looking like a genius, getting a huge haul of youthful players he hopes will someday develop into a winner, while Melo was left looking supremely selfish.
A kicker to the trade that makes Melo even more me-first was that Chauncey Billups was required to be included for Denver to receive their maximum value. It was due to Anthony that Billups, the Denver native and hometown hero, had to be traded away when he only wished to remain at home.
But he's not just selfish because of the Melo-drama, Anthony is straight-up selfish on the court.
Melo is a “ball-stopper,” when he gets the ball, everyone else on the court might as well be thinking about what they're going to eat for dinner because he's not going to pass.
His offense is all about isolation, getting the ball on the wing, jab-stepping a few times and either pulling up for a contested 18-23-footer or driving to the hoop for a contested lay-up when the defense rotates over.
His offense, and lack of leadership, have proven to be the antithesis of winning in the playoffs, as Anthony's teams have only advanced past the first round of the playoffs once in his nine years as a professional.
That one year was with Billups as the unquestioned on-court leader that would run the offense and deny Melo the ball at times to make sure the rest of the team was happy.
Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. You can follow him on facebook and/or twitter for links to articles, interesting retweets, breaking news and need-to-know sports info.