ESPN recently released their top 100 player rankings heading into the 2017-18 NBA season. Usually, no one can ever agree on these types of things, and that was certainly the case regarding the position of New York Knicks forward, Carmelo Anthony.
Anthony, a ten-time NBA All-Star, one-time NBA scoring champion, three-time USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year, NCAA champion, and three-time Olympic gold medalist was placed at number 64 in the rankings. Anthony, who was a part of the loaded 2003 draft class which included LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, and himself are all players who all arguably have had Hall of Fame careers.
The notable players ranked ahead of Anthony are Spurs guard Danny Green, who averaged 17 less points, half of the assists and rebounds than Anthony did throughout their careers, Clippers forward Danilo Gallinari, Sixers forward Robert Covington, and Pelicans guard Jrue Holiday. Most notably, the second overall selection in the 2017 NBA Draft Lonzo Ball for the Lakers, was ranked one spot ahead of Anthony, without ever playing a game as he will be a rookie this season.
Of those players listed, they all do not have better statistics in any category throughout their careers, except Holiday who averaged three more assists than Anthony as a point guard. It is no argument that these players do not carry a resumé or statistics that are even in the same vicinity as Anthony.
Social media erupted when the rankings were released, including Anthony who posted a picture on Instagram with a caption that said, “can’t make sense out of nonsense… a certain darkness is needed to see the stars.” Anthony went even further when he tagged ESPN’s Instagram account and said, “don’t be so blatant with the disrespect.”
Anthony’s peers around the league came to his support when Pistons center Andre Drummond posted a picture of Anthony’s ranking on Twitter with a caption that read, “the disrespect.” Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum also took a shot at ESPN when he stated on Twitter, “we need to rank these weak ass journalists with descriptions of their strengths, weaknesses, and ability of makeup sources.” Both Drummond and McCollum were ranked ahead of Anthony in the rankings.
There is no question Anthony is not the player he once was, but just last season he averaged 22.4 points-per-game, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists. It is very understandable to see how furious he, and people around the league were due to these rankings, considering Anthony was ranked one spot behind a player who has yet to play a minute in the NBA.