Let's all kick the New York Knicks while they're down.
Coach George Karl on Carmelo Anthony: "He's an individual that produces individual success but doesn't produce Championships". @ESPNNBA— Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) December 5, 2013
If anyone is an authority on what it takes to "produce championships," that would be Karl. You know, the coach who has...oh wait, he hasn't adorned any of his fingers with even a single ring. He has to buy his jewelry rather than win it.
Plus, last I checked, 'Melo has actually won a title before.
It may not have come during his NBA career, but he and the rest of his Syracuse squad won an NCAA championship before he was drafted by the Denver Nuggets. And he was unquestionably the leader of that team.
I get questioning Anthony's leadership abilities. At this point, he doesn't exactly have a stellar track record in the Association—even if he's put up fantastic numbers throughout the regular season.
But why pick on him now?
There are bigger issues in New York than 'Melo.
Mike Woodson has been doing an awful job putting all the—admittedly limited—pieces together into a quality product. The word "defense" ceases to exist as soon as you enter Madison Square Garden. J.R. Smith hasn't been able to do anything positive.
Above all else, the Knicks' front office has done a terrible job of assembling a basketball team that can actually win a championship. That's Anthony's fault because...?
Also, it apparently isn't "always" anymore:
Karl on Carmelo: "I've always said that Melo is going to win a championship some day." #Knicks— Barbara Barker (@meanbarb) December 10, 2012
If you're looking for the definition of an about-face, there you have it.
Do you blame Carmelo Anthony for the Knicks' struggles?
We've gone from virtually guaranteeing a championship to questioning his ability to win one, all in the span of less than a calendar year—a calendar year in which 'Melo has started to play the most unselfish basketball of his career, even if that hasn't shown up in the stat sheet.
He can't control whether his teammates make shots when he passes them the ball. He can't help being surrounded by lackluster talent, injured players and incompetent coaching/general managing. He can't prevent his teammates from passing him the ball right at the end of the shot clock.
Ultimately, he can't control whether or not he's on a championship roster.
Karl, if anyone, should understand that.