NBA small forward Carmelo Anthony, sure to go down in history as one of the greatest players to ever grace the hardwood, has fallen on tough times. Despite his past success with multiple teams across the league, the former All-Star remains unsigned by any franchise. He has bounced around the NBA for the past few years, and there are many speculations as to why that is. One thing is for certain, however, his time in the NBA is coming to an end.
Anthony’s basketball career took off during his college years with Syracuse in 2003. There he led the Syracuse Orange to the NCAA championship and took home the win. After the tournament, he was named the NCAA Tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. After college, he was drafted by the Nuggets as the third overall pick, alongside NBA legends LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in the top five.
Anthony has collected quite the list of achievements in his professional career, being a 10-time NBA All-Star, six-time All-NBA Team member, and three-time Olympic champion out of his record four Olympic appearances. He earned these accolades while also carrying multiple NBA teams to the playoffs, including a Finals appearance in 2009. Despite his high numbers and ability to lead a team, he has struggled, and for good reason.
At 35 years old, Anthony is beyond his prime and is one of the older players in the league. His veteran status hasn’t been much help either, as he continues to play more for himself. His age has slowed him down, especially on defense where he is little to no help. In a league where speed and outside shooting are becoming prominent, it is necessary for players’ reaction time to be the best that it can be. Although he is slower than he was, his offensive abilities are quite good, with him averaging 16.2 points per game with the Oklahoma City Thunder. After being traded to the Houston Rockets, he struggled to find his shot, while also only shooting 68% from the free-throw line during his time in Houston.
Another challenge other than age is his status, Carmelo has made a name for himself in the basketball world. More recently, it is that obsession with status that’s hurting him and his amount of playing time. Teams have admitted to not wanting to sign the player because they can’t see him as part of the starting lineup or the second string. Putting such a big name player as a third-string would be both a waste of money and would receive backlash. Anthony has accepted that he isn’t the player that he once was; however, he struggles to accept coming off of the bench instead of starting the game.
In the end, it just looks like time is closing in on Carmelo. It is still unknown what will happen this season. No teams are jumping on the 35-year-old defensive liability. It may just be time to retire and realize that we are reaching the end of an era. No matter what, Carmelo will be remembered as one of the greats, despite his last few miserable seasons.