Carmelo Anthony shone this season, capturing his first scoring title. Ironically, it was this season that Anthony took steps toward shedding the reason his haters have for despising him.
The word has long been that Anthony is, as Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy put it, an "overrated ball hog."
It's true Anthony does not rack up assists. And he led the league in usage rate (ESPN stats). But much of the reputation for selfishness came from Anthony's attitude toward Jeremy Lin during last year's Linsanity in New York.
Capitalnewyork.com's Howard Megdal compiled a fascinating statistical analysis. Search Google News for "Carmelo Anthony selfish" from February 4, 2011 through February 3, 2012, and you'll get just 33 results. In fact, for the three years prior to February 4, 2012—the start of Linsanity—you'll get just 94 results in Google News.
From February 4, 2012 through August 6, 2012, however, a Google News search for "Carmelo Anthony selfish" turns up 1,380 results.
Megdal makes the case that those 94 results were from such credible sources as The Washington Post, ESPN, NPR and The Denver Post—the major paper covering Anthony's longtime former team, the Denver Nuggets. So the idea that Anthony was selfish was well-known among the media.
But among haters, the idea took hold in the past 15 months.
Is Anthony selfish? Yes. But if you've been watching the New York Knicks' second-round struggle against the Indiana Pacers, you'll probably say it's a good thing Anthony's selfish. Although he's not lighting the court on fire right now, at least he's scoring.
That's more than we can say about J.R. Smith, Kenyon Martin, Iman Shumpert, Jason Kidd or Amar´e Stoudemire.