It’s been a long and ignominious descent for Carmelo Anthony this past year. He was scapegoated out of Houston after just 10 games last season and has yet to catch on with another NBA team since. It’s at least party due to his perceived intractability about taking a lesser role in the offense.
This summer, however, several friends and colleagues around the NBA have taken to social media to rally around the former All-Star to try and get him back in the league. Melo himself toured the talk show junket last month to announce his willingness to do whatever it takes for a chance to land a roster spot.
With his prospects still uncertain as the season approaches, his old pal Dwyane Wade took the opportunity to bemoan his buddy’s plight, echoing the widely-held sentiment that he’s somehow receiving treatment unbefitting a future Hall of Famer who’s made enormous impact on the game during his career.
“He’s a brother of mine and a great friend and I’m just very disappointed that he’s not in the NBA because he doesn’t deserve that as a person,” Wade told Arash Markazi of the Los Angeles Times. “Melo is one of the best individual people I know and a lot of people don’t know that because things that have been said about him in the past. Hopefully he gets an opportunity to be with a team this season because he has a lot to still offer the right team in the right role and the right situation. I want him to be able to end his career the way he wants to end it. He deserves that as someone who has carried the torch for this game and done so much for the league and Team USA in the Olympics. He deserves better than this.”
If the latest rumors are to be believed, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant have reportedly been lobbying the Nets to take a flier on Melo, which would bring him back to the city where he spent the bulk of his prime years, albeit never quite turning the Knicks back into a championship contender.
Former teammate Chauncey Billups has been the lone voice of dissent amid all this, saying in no uncertain terms that Melo’s Achilles’ heel has always been the way he prioritizes scoring above all else. It’s that perception that continues to follow him and makes teams wary of bringing him aboard. Whether that will hold true in the coming weeks remains to be seen.