This is a Carmelo Anthony appreciation blog. But it’s not the Carmelo Anthony appreciation blog that you’re expecting. Is he one of the best bucket-getters of all time? Of course. In my book, guy is pretty solidly somewhere in the top 50 to ever do it. But that’s not really what I have to say. My favorite thing about Melo is that he’s the dude in the office who is remarkably competent but puts in the absolute bare minimum in terms of effort.
Let’s start with the offseason training regimen. Some of our guy’s contemporaries put more videos on Instagram of them in the gym than Lana Rhoades puts on PornHub. But not Melo. He spends his summer days trying to track down the Banana Boat fellas and achieving his true dream of becoming a sommelier. We know our man loves to break out the vino. As the days of August wind down, Melo’s offseason truly becomes special, when he breaks out the Hoodie. Every once in a while, a clip pops up with our hooded hero absolutely terrorizing defenses in high-level pick-up games, and it’s absolutely incredible. J.R Smith, former teammate of Melo’s and fellow basketball legend (for maybe some slightly different reasons), once told SportsNet New York that “Hoodie Melo doesn’t play with a conscience. Regular Melo has a guard up, both great but I like Hoodie Melo.” I have the utmost confidence that if the NBA was played in nondescript gyms and hoodies were acceptable attire, there certainly would be no MJ vs. LeBron debate, because our true GOAT would have risen. The best part is, at least in my brain, all Melo does in the offseason in terms of basketball is throw a Hoodie on and hop into a game, like, five times, then he laces them up Game 1 in October and does his thing.
His thing, of course, is to go out every night and play little to no defense while getting an inefficient 22 points. Pretty great stuff. Back in the day of course he was actually a stud, but he still was kinda there just to go get buckets. Who am I to disagree with that list of priorities. What’s great is Melo definitely could’ve been a lockdown dude with his copious athleticism, but he was kinda just like I’m gonna just go score a bunch and maybe play a few playoff games and every once in a while snag a gold medal. What a career.
When we move off the court and check in with his accountant, things only get more remarkable. If you were to make a list of the all-time best bag-getters, at least in sports, I imagine you’d be hard pressed to find a better embodiment of the craft than Carmelo Anthony. Basketball-Ref has his career earnings at just over $232 million. By comparison, LeBron James, fellow 2003 draftee has $237 million. And I’ll tell you something about that LeBron James guy, he’s pretty good. Dwyane Wade is like a peasant by comparison, he of his meager total of $196.5 million. You may ask yourself how this could be. Sure, Melo’s good and has had a pretty nice career, but surely those other two guys have achieved a little more, and so surely, they would have made more in their career salaries. But alas, no, because Melo gets his bags.
That brings me to perhaps the greatest embodiment of Melo’s career, the series of transactions he has gone through this summer. After being a pretty definite negative this past year for OKC with his inefficiency and lack of any real interest, they decided they wanted to move on from the last year of Mr. Anthony’s contract, which had a robust cost of nearly $26 million. So, they dealt him to Atlanta, who promptly bought out the rest of his contract, freeing him to hit free agency this summer. So Atlanta pays him $26 million to not even play for them, and then he goes and signs for the minimum with, at least hypothetically, a championship contender in Houston, where he’ll likely be something like the 8th-most important guy. What a gig. $27.5 million bucks to probably play like 22 minutes a night and just kinda hang out and maybe you might have a chance to beat the Warriors in a game or two. Legendary stuff.