This is not entirely unexpected. Anthony has been rated highly in the past and has a history of being overrated since his entrance to the league in 2003. Anthony was rated 91 overall last year, which set a precedent for him being overrated again in NBA 2K13.
The surprising part is that his rating went up rather than down: 92 overall.
Just to give that number some perspective, that puts him ahead of Rajon Rondo (90) and Kevin Love (89), two players who received MVP votes this past season.
In his nine years so far in the NBA, Anthony has always had celebrity status. He earned that to some degree with his incredible year in college at Syracuse, one of the most successful college seasons ever by a Freshman.
However, his performance in the NBA has left an awful lot wanting. Despite his obvious physical talents, a few aspects of his game prevent him from being one of the 20 or so most valuable players in the NBA today.
Often star players will be criticized if their defense does not live up to their offense. A great example is small forward Kevin Durant. His above average defense is not as outstanding as his offense and thus draws criticism.
However, most of these star players are at least average or above average on defense. Carmelo stands out in that he is actually a below average defender in the NBA. His defensive rating in the regular season is notoriously low. What is worse is how bad it is in the playoffs.
Anthony ranks No. 215 all-time in playoffs defensive rating among qualifying players. To provide some perspective, that ranks him below Peja Stojakovic. In order for Melo's level of defense to mesh with a 92 overall rating, he would have to be the best offensive player in the game.
Unfortunately, he is not.
Anthony continues to be regarded as one of the best pure scorers in the league. While "pure scorer" is an admittedly vague term, one can assume it has something to do with scoring a lot and scoring efficiently.
While Melo takes a lot of shots, he has never been one of the best scorers and has never been even much above average in overall efficiency. The average PER (player efficiency rating) in the NBA is 15. Carmelo's PER for his career is right around 20, a shade behind power forward Carlos Boozer. This is above average, but not by all that much.
In the 2011-12 season, Anthony scored only 22.6 points per game at a measly 43.0 percent shooting. Kevin Love—who rates as worse than Anthony in NBA 2K13—scored 26.0 points per game on 44.8 percent shooting while playing better defensively and grabbing more rebounds.
The proposal that Carmelo Anthony is a better player than Kevin Love is confusing at best.
It is not clear to what extent intangibles are meaningful or long-lasting in the NBA. However, it is clear that to whatever extent intangibles matter, they are a negative for Anthony. The 28 year old small forward has a history of making players around him worse and being on teams that cannot win in the playoffs.
Anthony has lost in the first round of the playoffs in an incredible eight out of his nine years in the NBA. His playoff winning percentage is the worst in NBA history among qualifying players.
Carmelo Anthony will continue to be a celebrity for the foreseeable future. However, his presence on the New York Knicks should not serve as much comfort to New Yorkers. The thinking that he is an elite NBA player is out-of-date and has been essentially disproved.
For completeness, here is a list of the players who in my opinion deserve to be rated better overall than Carmelo. Obviously given his 92 overall rating, most of them will not be.
Center: Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, Marc Gasol, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tyson Chandler, Roy Hibbert
Small Forward: LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce, Luol Deng, Rudy Gay, Andre Iguodala
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