The NBA's Summer of 2012 was highlighted by a handful of high-profile star relocation. From Dwight Howard and Steve Nash finding a new home in Los Angeles to Joe Johnson moving to Brooklyn, there was hardly any time to breathe between the constant remodeling of the league.
Then a quiet but key moment came when the New York Knicks addressed their lack of a veteran point guard.
James Dolan and company opted to sign Jason Kidd, who ranks second all-time in both assists and steals. Kidd trails just John Stockton in both categories, which offers insight into how dominant a force he has been throughout his illustrious career.
An 18-year career which saw it's worst statistical season in 2012, thus suggesting that the 39-year-old is on his way out. Though shortcomings have proven to mean nothing to J-Kidd, as the former California Bear is overwhelmed by confidence.
According to Adam Zagoria of SNY.com, Jason Kidd is particularly encouraged by the abilities of his teammates. The specific Knickerbocker that Kidd has placed his faith in is superstar small forward Carmelo Anthony.
In what can only be described as a mix of high-praise and questionable reasoning, Kidd compared 'Melo to one of his former teammates: 2011 NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki.
“Oh, yes, very similar, very talented,” [Jason] Kidd said. “Demand a lot of attention, so hopefully what I’ve helped with Dirk [Nowitzki] and Dirk is now one of the top players in this league, hopefully I can do the same with Melo.”
While Carmelo Anthony has to be intrigued by this praise, there is reason to question such acclaim. Anthony and Nowitzki are of a completely different makeup, which in turn suggests that Anthony will fall short of Nowitzki's legacy.
Regardless of what Jason Kidd has to say.
Where is 'Melo Elite?
Even if Carmelo Anthony were to make a full-time move to the post, there's no true comparison between he and Dirk Nowitzki. The number one reason Dirk is so difficult to defend is his mixture of size and a lethal fadeaway jump shot.
Unless Carmelo Anthony plans on growing another four inches, even an overwhelming amount of upper body strength can't change this fact.
As for those who ponder why this dictates 'Melo's ability to be the "next Dirk," one must acknowledge the difference between the two players. Dirk Nowitzki's bread-and-butter is scoring out of the post, while 'Melo isn't necessarily dominant in any one facet of his game.
Anthony can shoot the lights out from anywhere on the floor but lacks a true hot spot. Until Jason Kidd helps him develop a go-to scoring form, 'Melo will remain the player he's been all along.
Great, but not elite.
One of the things that makes Dirk Nowitzki so dangerous is the fact that he can step back and knock down a three-point field goal with consistency. Although 'Melo can light it up from beyond the arc, he's not a prolific three-point shooter.
In fact, he's shot a career 32.2 percent from long distance. In nine years in the league, Anthony has only shot above 35 percent on three occasions.
This is not to discredit Carmelo Anthony's ability to knock down a three-pointer, as he's more than capable. Specifically with the game on the line, Anthony has proven to be borderline magnificent with the shot.
He simply isn't consistent enough to lead a team to a title. Which transitions perfectly into the next point.
Streaky Shooting, Inconsistent Motor
Say what you will about Dirk Nowitzki on defense, but there has never been a question about his effort. Through all of his shortcomings as a shot blocker and true interior enforcer, Nowitzki has proven to be a leader on both ends due to his vocal nature and constant motor.
On the polar end of this, Carmelo Anthony has a long history of displaying inconsistent effort on both ends of the floor. Although it appeared as if 'Melo had overcome such deficiencies during the final month of the 2011-12 regular season, we've yet to see a full year of evidence.
The arrival of Jason Kidd hardly guarantees a change in that area, as Kidd is at a stage in which his energy isn't very high, either.
'Melo has long been a streaky shooter and it's all a product of his on-court frustration. When the shots aren't falling, Carmelo Anthony doesn't look for easy, close-to-the-basket scoring opportunities to redevelop a rhythm.
Instead, he goes into isolation mode and dribbles his way to nowhere before firing up a shot. If that's the way 'Melo continues to play, a title is out of the question.
For that reason, a comparison to Dirk Nowitzki is blasphemous.
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