Calling a player underrated or overrated is such a subjective statement that it’s almost immediately dismissed once uttered. There are times, though, where we have to examine the statement from an unbiased and empirical standpoint. For instance, any Knickerbocker fan is unable to weigh in on this question without some rise in blood pressure so we should, fairly, recuse ourselves from the debate.
That said, Bucks guard Jared Dudley is perfectly qualified to say that Carmelo Anthony is overrated. As opposed to zealous misinformed watchers of the sport, Dudley has to guard the best wings in the game night after night. He’s done a great job of it, too.
So when he says this, even in the talk radio echo chamber, it sounds sensible:
“I would say Carmelo [Anthony] … Carmelo is viewed as a top-five player … He has the talent to be able to facilitate … He’s gotta get out of the first, second rounds — he’s gotta get his teams to the playoffs. LeBron, with that [Knicks] roster, LeBron would’ve gotten them to the playoffs. They would’ve been at least an eight-seed.”
Well said, Jared. Not just agreeing because that terrible franchise has made nothing but missteps in the last decade and I’m bitter or whatever. Totally not the reason.
As Twitter savagely pointed out a few nights ago, when “Carmelo trash” started trending at the end of the Cavs’ Eastern Conference Finals win, Carmelo is trash.
For the money he’s paid, at least, it’s absurd that Anthony has yet to expand his role or his skills to uplift his teammates or provide a more competitive edge on defense. At $66 million in contracted money, Carmelo is paid like the all-purpose players he can never quite mimic in the results column. That reality has been on full display as LeBron James totes some of the same Knicks players that Carmelo couldn’t align with in New York (J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert).
To be clear, it is not Carmelo’s fault that the owner of the Knicks, James Dolan, pays him too much. It would be a fool’s errand to depend on a pro athlete accepting less money in service of the “team dynamic.” But, it is reasonable to want a player who is receiving the market rate to deliver on the functions that spell out Top Five status. Melo hasn’t done that, and probably never will, with his legs and shoulders breaking down faster than you can say “first round exit.” Out of the Class of 2003 studs, Anthony has the most playoff losses and has accrued back-loaded contracts like he has scored points.
If Dudley really wanted to break the mold, he would have further explained why LeBron is underpaid. A guy who immediately turns lottery teams into conference-winners? Yeah, it’s safe to say James is worth far more than Anthony or any other maxed-out star.
[Via Yard Barker]