Carmelo Anthony is an underrated NBA player. Let me just clear that up right now. Maybe I should just end the article there. I should, but I won't.
I don't know what he has to do. I just don't know. I don't know why he has never made All-NBA first team (or second). I don't know why he has only made two All-Star games. One of those time (the year he averaged 28.9), he was only selected after a reserve got injured. I don't know why.
The numbers are there. Carmelo has career averages of 24 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. He has a total of over 10,000 points; over 2700 rebounds; and over 1200 assists. That's more points and rebounds than Dwyane Wade.
During the 2007 FIBA Americas Tournament, Carmelo led a team with NBA superstars (Wade, James, Bryant) in scoring en route to a Gold Medal.
Why is he not considered a top player?
Let's look at the things that make Anthony a solid player.
Has he turned around a franchise? Check. Before the Nuggets drafted Carmelo Anthony, they were in a nine year drought in which they didn't make playoffs. The year before Carmelo joined the Nuggets, they were 17-65. The year after he joined, they made it to the playoffs and went 43-39.
Marketability? Check. Carmelo Anthony is the only athlete to feature on three basketball EA franchises: NCAA Basketball, NBA Live, and NBA Street. Carmelo signed a $75 million deal with Nike and Air Jordan right out of college. Carmelo also earns over $15 million a year with his contract with the Nuggets.
Amazing Performances? Check. That's all I can say about that.
Clutch? Double Check. In this past season alone, only Lebron and Kobe have more points in crunch time (Last five minutes of fourth quarter or overtime).
So what does he have to do? I don't know. It's seem obvious to me that Carmelo is in the conversation. He is one of the best.
I'm not saying he's the best. I'm just saying give credit where it's due.
As you watch Carmelo, Chauncey, and the Nuggets blitz their ways to the NBA Western Conference Finals, pay attention. Watch him and tell me he's not a special player. Watch him and tell me, he isn't one of the best in the league.
Give Carmelo his respect.