The Westfield Voice

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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

When a Star Falls

When a star falls, what are they supposed to do? Most media pundits, sports journalists, and fans of the player will tell you the same thing: appreciate the greatness that was. However, when looking at the reactions of fans across the spectrum of sports, a lot of them join in a chorus of mockery and meme-ing, a reflection of the constant present. If you aren’t good right now, we are not interested.

Carmelo Anthony has spent the better part of the last few seasons getting ripped to shreds from basketball fans on social media. He was a superstar, unanimously praised by fans online during his prime, though he never quite had the personal fanbase to the degree of the Kobe cult to protect him from the online trolls during the brutal twilight of his professional career. A still serviceable player with massive name power, Melo has his options right now as a free agent in league desperately trying to talent-load to take on the Golden State Warriors. So, what is the right move to quell the criticism of the trolls?


I put the “s” in the sub header because there are two valid destinations Melo could go that would constitute a homecoming, and both are equally interesting.The first option here is returning to the team that drafted him, the team he saw his most postseason success with. The Denver Nuggets drafted him back in 2003 and have not gone to the Western Conference Finals since Melo battled withKobe’s Lakers in 2009. After some disappointing seasons, the Nuggets are in a place now where they have the talent and personnel to compete deep into the playoffs.

Withs coring guards in Jamal Murray and Gary Harris, an underrated 4 in Paul Millsap, and superstar Nikola Jokic, Denver is just a little thin at the wing.They have Will Barton and a cast of different bench contributors (along with Isaiah Thomas returning at some point this year), but no reliable, established starting 3. They do have rookie Michael Porter Jr., but I would be surprised if he gets much action this season while recovering from a spinal injury. If Melo can commit to defense and shooting 3s and layups (is this the 3rd year in a row we’ve asked this?), the Nuggets would have an extremely valuable piece that could contribute to them advancing further into the playoffs. He can retire where it started, right past wrongs, and finish his career beloved by a fan base.

He could go to Denver and return to the place his professional career began, or he could join back up with the Knicks in New York, where his life as a hooper has been defined. He was born in Brooklyn, had massive success at Syracuse, and famously forced his way onto the Knicks back in 2010. It has only been a little over a year since New York traded Melo after a turbulent few years, but a lot has changed for the two sides. Well, the Knicks are still losing, but everyone knows who the top dog in New York is now, Kristaps Porzingis, and there won’t be anymore awkward power struggles.

The Knicks main goal this season is to develop their young talent and get a good lottery pick. I have fantastic news for the Knicks in this case, Carmelo can play the 4 next to the young Kevin Knox while Kristaps nurses his ACL tear and not take too many looks away from him, and he will definitely not help you win!It is a classic win-win, Melo gets a hero’s return to the city that will forever be tied to him and gets his Kobe-esque farewell tour, and the Knicks’ pick gets even better along with some great PR.

Join the Warriors

Melo is a legend, let’s not get this twisted, folks. He is one the greatest bucket getters ever, period, point blank. However, his Hall of Fame career has the one giant stain no great has been able wash off, and that’s a ringless hand. All those in the Hall without a championship face scrutiny about it, and some have better excuses then others. I played against the Jordan Bulls or Russell Celtics are completely valid responses, yet Melo’s career has pitted him against some true juggernauts: The Spurs dynasty, the Celtics big3, Kobe’s Lakers, the Heat, and of course the Golden State Warriors.

There was not much of a window to win, and with his career winding down, he may feel some urgency to get some jewelry. He’d be an awkward fit on the ball hopping Warriors, but they’d make it work in Kerr’s system. Melo would also take a little pressure off of Livingston and Iguodala in the second unit. The Warriors are Melo’s best chance to win a title, and they could use the bench scoring.

Hang the Sneakers up

If you watch Melo play now and expect to see what he was doing in his prime, you are in for a rude awakening. No one likes seeing superstars try playing way past their expiration, Joe Montana on the Bucs, Wilkins on the Celtics, Malone on the Lakers, and we should all be spared with seeing it with Carmelo. Melo’s game really does not translate well if he is not at his absolute best, as all the iso moves and jab steps just look so obstinate when he’s clanging everything off the rim.

He is still a big figure in the game, he still has plenty of fans, he could easily go the analyst route. Sign on with ESPN or Fox Sports 1, debate Skip Bayless or Stephen A. Smith, and collect a huge paycheck while still being a part of the game he loves. If Carmelo ditches the court and finds a home in the studio, he should replicate and expand on the success of Paul Pierce and Stephen Jackson.

Become the Hooded Legend of Rucker Park

This is a combination and variation of both retiring and going back to New York, as he would leave the NBA and return to the city where it all began. However, not as Knick, but as a street baller at the legendary Rucker Park in Harlem. He may not be the star in the NBA he once was, but he still has the moves and ability to take it to a bunch of amateur street hoopers. Melo has gained notoriety for his offseason workouts for wearing a hooded sweatshirt, if he were to put that back on and spend the next few years schooling chumps in a public park, well I just think that would be splendid. He would go viral so many times on social media, the public would love him again, and he would go back to what made him such a joy in the first place: being dominant on the basketball court. Do this one, Melo.It would be so cool.

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