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Thursday, October 20th, 2011 at 12:03 pm  |  143 responses

Top 50: Carmelo Anthony, no. 9

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.

by Sam Rubenstein (and Ramshar and Nasir)

Carmelo Anthony is not only a top-10 NBA player and arguably the best pure scorer in the NBA today, but he is the best thing to happen to the Knicks in years. Amar’e is the pioneer of the return of Knicks’ pride movement, pulling the team back into relevancy again, but it was Melo who made them a team that people actually would turn on their TVs to watch again.

Back when I was in ninth grade at a public high school in NYC, the city was crazy about the Knicks. I remember the day after the infamous Charles Smith game, kids in my school wearing Bulls hats were viciously beaten. My Global Studies teacher, Mr. Harris, was so upset about the game, he went around the room and demanded we all give a reason why the Knicks lost. People really, REALLY cared about the Knicks back when I was in ninth grade, and on through the Van Gundy era. People stopped caring as the ’00s were a lost decade.

I mention all of this because I now teach Ninth Grade English Language Arts at a public school in Canarsie, Brooklyn. Like the No. 1 movie at the box office recently, The Lion King (!!!!), it’s the Circle of Life. (And yes, The Lion King being No. 1 at the box office in 2011 is an example of the Circle of Life in itself.) I’ve been working with adolescents and teens in Manhattan, the Bronx and Brooklyn over the past four years, and when I have talked to them about basketball, maybe 1 percent of them would admit that they were Knicks fans. I did notice that a lot of kids from NYC were Carmelo fans, even when he was with Denver.

Why?

Is it because, like Michael Jordan, he is technically from Brooklyn, even if it was just for the early years of his childhood? Is it because of the laid back, easy style of his game that masks flawless technique? Is it as simple as that he has a good personality?

All I know is that in my experience, today’s NYC High School kids have become NY Knicks fans because of Carmelo, and for that I thank him. Now the students I teach get to experience the same joy and pain I once felt back in the day. I chose to share this assignment with two of my ninth graders from last year, currently in the 10th grade.

For the official SLAMonline piece on Carmelo, we came up with the idea of recording some audio at lunch time one day. Think of it as SLAM Radio—all about Melo.

Enough pregame, this is Nasir, Ramshar and Ernie Johnsonstein on Carmelo Anthony.

I think we covered everything that matters. I promised them I would run their top-50 list:

They said Carmelo is better than the Golden Boy MVP! That will not go over well with the public. But as far as our mini radio show (podcast?) went, excellent work fellas.

SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2011
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Luol Deng Bulls SF 8
49 Andrew Bogut Bucks C 7
48 Ray Allen Celtics SG 9
47 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 6
46 David West Hornets PF 15
45 Kevin Martin Rockets SG 8
44 Andrew Bynum Lakers C 5
43 Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 11
42 Lamar Odom Lakers PF 14
41 Gerald Wallace Blazers SF 7
40 Brook Lopez Nets C 4
39 Joakim Noah Bulls C 3
38 Carlos Boozer Bulls PF 13
37 Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 12
36 Eric Gordon Clippers SG 7
35 Tony Parker Spurs PG 10
34 Andre Iguodala 76ers SG 6
33 Al Jefferson Jazz PF 11
32 Al Horford Hawks C 2
31 Stephen Curry Warriors PG 9
30 Tim Duncan Spurs PF 10
29 Josh Smith Hawks PF 9
28 Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 5
27 Tyreke Evans Kings PG 8
26 Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 6
25 John Wall Wizards PG 7
24 Danny Granger Pacers SF 5
23 Monta Ellis Warriors SG 4
22 Joe Johnson Hawks SG 3
21 Paul Pierce Celtics SF 4
20 Steve Nash Suns PG 6
19 Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 8
18 LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 7
17 Chris Bosh Heat PF 6
16 Kevin Love TWolves PF 5
15 Rajon Rondo Celtics PG 5
14 Blake Griffin Clippers PF 4
13 Pau Gasol Lakers PF 3
12 Russell Westbrook Thunder PG 4
11 Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 2
10 Deron Williams Nets PG 3
9 Carmelo Anthony Knicks SF 3

Notes
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’11-12 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Maurice Bobb, Shannon Booher, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Sandy Dover, Adam Figman, Jon Jaques, Eldon Khorshidi, Ryne Nelson, Doobie Okon, Ben Osborne, Quinn Peterson, Dave Schnur, Abe Schwadron, Dan Shapiro, Irv Soonachan, Todd Spehr, Tzvi Twersky, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Ben York.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • http://my.hoopchina.com/CP3sfan lucialanlan

    Melo at 9?shouldn’t that low!

  • jarrett

    good spot i called this yesterday

  • BlackStar

    Dang … it’s crazy that Melo dropped 3 spots since last year. Definitely a top 10 player and has the best midrange game in the league. Now if he could only play some D …

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    where he suppose to be

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ryne Nelson

    Thought he was too high last year. Hopefully Melo has a banner season coming, though.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    When healthy, DWill is the better player but since he hasn’t been healthy in a while, Melo deserves to be above him.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    With D’Antoni I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have a career year. I think his dimes will pick up. Maybe 5 dimes a game.(I’d be surprised but at the same time not at all because of the type of offense.) I expect his rebounds to be over 8. He and Amare’ will each need to score over 25 a game. I see Amare at 25 and Melo with 28 or so. The Knicks are going to win allot of games during the regular season, 50+, but as we all know their Defense will be their downfall in the playoffs.

  • http://www.slamonline.com UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER

    GEBUS CHRISTOS! LOOK AT THAT LIST! NO WONDER CHINA IS WINNING. CANT EVEN SPELL DWYANE. IT LOOKS LIKE A 5 YEAR OLD WROTE THAT. BILLIONS FOR WARS AND BANKS, PENNIES FOR SCHOOLS. THAT IS NOT AN ACCIDENT.

  • http://shinefluid@aol.com yada

    AYE lets stop with this “when healthy” stuff. if a player aint been healthy for a year or 2, he get a pass?? every player out there taking the same risk. melo is 9 dwill is 10

  • StraightFlexxin

    Carmelo da Gawd!!! Melo is def a Top 10 player, me being bias would say Top 5. He catches A LOT of flack for his defense but its only because his offense far exceeds it. Dirk or Durant don’t play D but they’re Top 5 to you guys so why not Melo? Best pure scorer, most clutch player in the L.

  • greg

    Nice to see the enthusiasm and effort from the kids on this piece. Good job.

  • MUBWAR

    this should be rose spot not Melo

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Lake, if Melo never avg. 4apg in a similar offense while in DEN, what makes you think he could avg. 5apg in NYK with another ball-dominant forward?
    Also, he’s avg. 28+ ppg twice in his career and that was while attempting the most FGs in his career (22.4fga in 06/21.8fga in 09) I doubt he takes the many shots with Amare as his teammate. I see him putting up similar stats to last season (25.5/7/3)

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    LOL @ TARZAN!
    Also, I love that Sam always lets his kids get down with him whenever he writes up a post for SLAM.
    I guess this is a good spot for dude, on offense he’s top 5 EASILY.
    On defense, he’s not even worthy of being brought up.
    Shut up, MUBWAR.

  • http://www.novalight-imaging.com novamike

    No argument with #9. If he could play a little defense, he’d be #6 or #7.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    You must be out of your cotton picking mind if you think Melo should be ranked ahead of Rose.

  • ctkennedy

    IF… I MEAN a BIG IF…Melo play EVERYBODY like they Bron n Durant he would be top 5 HANDS down…plays better D than Durant ..better passer than Durant …get more GROWN man rebs than Durant …i trust him to get stops over Durant…we all know he more clutch than Bron ..WHEN HE FEELS LIKE PLAYING …i think Melo is the hardest guy to rank n the league

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    I’d rather have Pau Gasol

  • B

    Y’all might not like this ranking, but Kobe know who he would rather have on his team…

  • MUBWAR

    you guys are acting like he is as bad on D as Amar’e. Hey at least melo tries and that belly is slowing him down a bit(but helping him grab boards). he is 6 or 7, slightly off the top 5

  • http://www.novalight-imaging.com novamike

    I’ve got Rose at #4 or #5. #6 at worst. Would not rank Melo ahead of him.

  • Grenners

    Other than Brandon Roy, Billips and Kidd i cant argue and think those high schoolers did a real good job. I’m giving them an A and say they should do the list for SLAM next year. I prefer how there’s went to the one up on this site….

  • felix

    It’s heartwarming that your kids still think b roy is number 17

  • http://google J-Ro

    D’Antoni worked wonders for Marion as his starting forward. If Melo can put in more effort, a 25-11-4 season isnt out of reach. Obviuosly he isnt going to be the defender Marion was, but to put up those numbers you dont have to be great on defense.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Melo doesn’t do ish on D expect point to his teammates to help out on the guy that just blew by him. He doesn’t move his feet, doesn’t provide help-side D and is always a second late on the rotations. The man is one of the laziest defenders in the entire League. Also “not being as bad as Amare” on the D shouldn’t be something to brag about.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    D’Antoni had nothing to do with Marion’s dominance on D and the boards. The guy was putting up 17/11/1.7/1.4 and 21/10/2.3/1.2 seasons way before Antoni arrived in PHX. The guy has always been a great rebounder and a good defender dating all the way back to his UNLV days (18/9/73stls/54blks)

  • http://www.twitter.com/BigFutureLG BigFuture

    U know wuts so funny melo plays no d, but when goin up against higher cailber players his definsive games goes 2 another level, check the footage on him guarding lebron one on one and kobe

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    Weird over their last 4 meeting LeBron averages over 31PPG. If his D was at a “normal level” he would have probably averaged 50.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    This thread has a lot of idiotic comments. Things to know:
    -Melo is an elite scorer and one of the best in the game (if not the best) at making offense for himself.
    -His defense is putrid, yet better than Amare’s. Size helps here.
    -He’ll probably put up more points and slightly more assists with D’Antoni. 27 and 4.5 sounds about right.
    -His rebounding will increase. One of the best rebounders on his team.
    -This is a good ranking, if a bit low for me. His defense holds him back, I acknowledge that.
    -He’s not better than Rose.
    -I don’t wanna hear anything stupid from ORANGE.

  • chingy

    Hm…what’s the difference between Melo and KD?

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    effort ^ – 3 inches – range

  • chingy

    I’ll give you the effort part. 3 inches don’t do anything when you don’t use it. Melo’s a better rebounder. Range, I’d venture to say KD has slight advantage, but Melo is better at the low blocks.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I’m assuming he’s getting smarter and wants to win more than ever Taylor. The offense was similar as far as “get out and try and run” but other than that quite a bit different. If he looks for the extra pass a couple more times a game I wouldn’t be surprised to see him have a career high in assists. 5 is probably out of reach, I am thinking more of a round up to 5 like 4.7 or so. We haven’t seen what the Knicks will be like, but i’m sure his stats are going to be real nice looking with them next year. He put up over 25 with Ai so I don’t think having another ball dominant player will cause his point total to change much. between 26 and 28 PPG I would think. Maybe he hasn’t grown at all and will onlt toss 3 dimes per game. I’m expecting him to put up some career numbers though. Not across the board, but FG% and dimes per game for sure.

  • MUBWAR

    nothing chingy but apparently Durantula is gonna crack the top 5

  • http://slamonline.com Myles Brown

    HI SAM.

  • LA Huey

    @BigFuture, real defense is more than just on-the-ball theatrics.

  • http://google J-Ro

    JTaylor- im not saying D’Antoni made Marion a great player, he just exposed his stats more, and thats what will happen with Melo. His numbers WILL increase. And like i said, he doesnt need defense to put up those stats

  • jarrett

    rest of the list should go:
    8. Dirk
    7. Rose
    6. CP3
    5. Dwight
    4. Kobe
    3. Durant
    2. Wade
    1. Lebron

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    when you don’t use it? He shoots over people. That is the definition of using your height. Melo uses his bulk, but not often enough to make up for his lack of effort. Durant uses his height, just not in the traditional sense.

  • chingy

    Exactly. I’d still place Durant a spot or two above Melo because KD is more consistent but definitely not like a #4/5 vs a #9 difference.

  • LA Huey

    @nbk, you forgot to add the fact KD’s 4 yrs his junior – and still better.

  • chingy

    nbk, sure but Melo’s moves (jab steps/head fakes/stepbacks/quick release) more than make up for that 3 inches to get his shot off.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Someone needs to explain to me why y’all think of all of a sudden out of the blue Melo’s going to avg over 4apg? The man was avg. 2.8apg with the Nuggets and 3.0apg with the Knicks, that’s an “increase” of 0.2apg.
    So a career 3apg guy is going to jump to 4.5apg next season? Sure….and Bill Clinton didn’t inhale.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh EFFORT. He can get a shot whenever he wants, but he doesn’t. Melo is basically Derrick Coleman without the Beer. He’s #10 or #11 in my top players list, Durant is #6 or #7. – and you right lol my bad Huey.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    JTaylor’s right.
    I remember thinking Melo’s assists would jump up to 4 o 5 per playing with AI.
    Nope.
    Dude just isn’t much of a passer, it’s unrealistic to think that in his, what, 9th year in the L, he’ll suddenly become a better passer to the point where he’ll average 5 per.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    He’s averaged 3.9 before Taylor so it’s not a stretch to say he is going to pass another half a dime a game in a little more ball movement style offense. Not saying he is going to be Magic Johnson running point or anything I just see him getting another dime by passing to a dunking Amare’ every other game lol.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Billups, Shumpert and Douglas will be the ones passing to a dunking Amare.
    Melo would wave him off so he could iso.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Also, I love how people talk about how Melo “destroyed” BOS in the playoffs last year. Even with his monster Gm2, the guy shot 37.5% from the field for the entire series (WTF). Damn, being clutch in the RS does wonders for Melo because people tend to ignore how you perform in the postseason.

  • Spydermaan

    Hahaha
    Oh boo hoo to these Prisoner of the moment people. Rose has played only one MVP season i could argue that Melo has played 5. No wander the espn “scholars” ranked Blake Griffin who couldn even lead his team to the playoffs over Amare, as well as the likes of Dirk, Durant and Rose over Kobe. Are u kidding me? Number 9? I really thought u guys knew better. Dirk or Durant dont even play D so dont get me stsrted on that and guess what Newsflash Rose doesnt either. You know who deserves credit for the Bulls d, just like the “men of certain of age” Boston Celtics, its Mr. Tom Thibedeau. Where was Rose’s D the past two years in the playoffs, when he got smoked by Rondo. Are you kidding me? so u guys are telling me that there are 8 players in the NBA better than Melo? Really? U guys need to smoke better weed? Smh. Totally Agree with the advanced stats haters, stats don’t tell the whole story and u can bend stats in your favor for a players strengths or weaknesses. This is not baseball, stats work in baseball, but I’m sorry in basketball they don’t. This is not a what have u done for me lately league, this is a league of Ability. Why do u think LBJ can’t post, he never will. Yes MELO has some bad shot selections, but most of these shots are makable. I watched Dirk and I could also make the argument that he takes the most bad shots in the NBA but he also makes the most. Stats lie. Your stats say MELO can’t play D but the eye test from watching games and melo’s proven ability shows that he can. And when you guys talk about Defense there are so 2 kinds of D people, there is team D where u have switching, p&r d, help d, weakside d, deny ball, pressure passing lanes, off ball defense and there is one on one, iso defense where u can play tight, sag off, have your hands up, get steals, move with agility & quickness and all that. So when u stats guys so “oh MELO doesnt play defense” which kind are u talking about. I know he doesn’t play good team defense but the whole Knicks team don’t either, they are often lost on switches, don’t pressure passing lanes, boxing out, denying the ball on for eg like Ray in the Playoffs n all but MELO can and does play very good on ball one on one D, he is big, quick, agile, great hands and great footwork. You talk about Pierce go and look at him, I’m sorry boys check your stats, pierce never shutdown LBJ or Kobe, unless Direct Tv lied to me. LBJ even still had a triple double on pierce and he couldn’t even get a steal or a tipped pass, gimme a break son. MELO shutdown pierce in the first two games of the playoffs go and watch it. MELO defended LBJ when they played Miami on the last play of the game, and was quick at moving his feet, shading LBJ to his weak hand and enabling Amare to get the block. MELO came up big and came up with a block on Danny Granger on a walk off shot which would have won the game when they played the Pacers in Indiana. He is both clutch on O and on D. LbJ as good as a defender he is will never shut down MELO, no one can but he shut down your so called MVP D Rose in the playoffs. Are u kidding me? 

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    ^JT, unless you’re LeBron haha. But to explain the assist jump, he has averaged almost 4 assists before. I have to imagine that in such a ball-movement heavy offense he’ll get at least half a dime more per game. Maybe I’m wrong and he really struggles with passing but I honestly see a slight uptick in the numbers,

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Lol co-sign Enigmatic. Melo would wave off everyone the moment he touches the ball. “Don’t worry, I got it from here. Now get out of the way”

  • D

    The list posted on the article must have come from someone who doesnt watch the nba

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    I personally can’t see Melo getting 4.5APG, simply because he is a ball stopper who won’t get double teamed in New York’s offense.

  • http://Slamonline.com Caboose

    We’ll see nbk. It’ll all depend on how Melo decides to fit into the D’Antoni offense. Maybe I’m just optimistic.

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    The comments on the list must be from people who don’t know how to read good.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    The comment posted by D must have come from someone who doesn’t read the article.
    The kids are 14 or 15.
    When I was a high school freshman in ’99, I thought Penny was the best player in the NBA, and couldn’t no one convince me otherwise. lol

  • MUBWAR

    whatever the case, this should be D’Anthony grand exist from the new york scene if they don’t get to the ECF. He has been bad for 4 years, time for a change

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    When you’re given a bad team, your going to have a bad record. And if Mike D’Antoni finds a way to get the Knicks to the ECF he should get a huge raise. a huge one – and probably some kind of large award

  • MUBWAR

    the raise is having Melo and Stat for a full season then there is no excuse. I feel bad for dwayne cassey for having poor all around talent. I don’t feel bad for Mike having Amar’e the whole season and Melo(for half) and not being able to win a SINGLE PLAYOFF GAME.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    those guys suck in the playoffs. expecting them to win any games was a pipe-dream. Especially considering the Knicks got worse once they added Melo, because they gave away more then they got back in terms of production. That trade (other then that it got back Melo) was absolutely horrible for the Knicks. And the contract they extended to Melo was even worse. The Knicks are so screwed

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    There’s a huge difference between being asked to win a playoff game and being asked to make it to the ECF.
    Making it to the ECF would mean having to beat either the Heat or the Bulls to get there, and I don’t see the Knicks accomplishing that next postseason.

  • MUBWAR

    then to all respect to O’Anthony, he should be fired.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    The Bulls, Heat, Celtics and Magic are all going to be better than the Knicks this upcoming season, so that means they are have to make it past either the Magic or Celtics in the 1st round then knock off the Bulls or Heat for a chance at the ECF. Not happening.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I actually don’t think O’Antoni’s the man for the job either, based on his coaching style.
    Never been a fan of dude.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WNKNu4j_y1Q nbk

    If they added Chris Paul (best case scenario) who would you want coaching all the offense? D’Antoni is just about the only offensive coach I’d want. It’s not like you can bring in Larry Brown and expect Melo and Stoudemire to do anything but ignore him.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Well then, either dude needs to step aside and be an assistant coach handling the offense, or he needs to find a Thibs clone to be his top assistant. But they’re not getting it done without more of a focus on the defensive side.
    The Magic, JTaylor?
    Not sure about that one, I think the Knicks will be better than the Magic.
    They’ll be affected by all the Howard leaving talk, and if Howard is even the least bit distracted by all that and his play suffers just a bit, the Magic will suck, cause he’s all they got really.

  • LA Huey

    I don’t think it matters if they get CP3, D’Antoni just doesn’t care enough on defense. They are going to need stops and I don’t see them being able to get them when it counts.

  • http://slamonline.com LakeShow

    I’m a fan of D’Antoni. Always have been. I have no problem with a running offensive minded coach. Like Enig said though, they need a Thibs like guy next to Mike that they also listen to. But even then whats the knicks ceiling defensively? Maybe 15th in the L? lol they ain’t going anywhere in the playoffs.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Enigmatic, I see where you’re coming from but I doubt Howard lets all that “are you staying or leaving” talk mess up his game. He’s basically the best big in the L (by far), so just showing up every night to the arena gives the Magic a fair shot at winning 50+ gms.
    Also, Orl is not trading Howard this season, those guys are in denial just like the Cavs were about Bron staying.

  • LA Huey

    What’s the East’s hierarchy look like? I got Heat, Celtics, Bulls, Hawks, Knicks, then Magic.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Well, they’d also need more defensive minded players.
    I like Turiaf, dude gets after it on defense, they need more guys like him.
    They should try to sign Taj Gibson when he becomes a FA, might be interested in going back home.

  • MUBWAR

    how are they gonna get CP3? they already have 60 mil in their salary for this season. Forgetting the fact that the knicks need a big and a bench to make noise not necessarily a superstar PG.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, JTaylor, I agree they won’t trade Howard.
    Not a smart move.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @MUBWAR – well, it’s not likely, and who knows what the new CBA will be like, but CP could get got after they shed Billups’ $14.2 million contract next year, and about another $8 million will also come off the books from other players’ salaries.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    ok first of all, a defensive minded coach is not going to all of the sudden make the Knicks personnel defensively conscience. Putting a guy like Thibs or Brown w/ the Knicks is just as likely to make Melo and Stoudemire disinterest as it is to get them to buy in defensively. — and Mubwar, I said best case scenario, meaning if they somehow find a way to force the Chris Paul for Billups & Fields deal (which is legal, salaries match up within 5%) then they can add Paul. They cannot however, add a free agent, like Taj Gibson, under any foreseeable circumstance, Unless the MLE stays around the current $5.75M a year, because I think that is the bottom of Gibsons market value. (assuming teams with needs are willing to overpay, like they are 100% of the time)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    basically the Knicks Salary Cap is completely covered by 4 players next season. Melo, Stoudemire, Billups & Turiaf. — And what comes off the books is irrelevant, after this season, the Knicks have over $41M committed to just 3 players, Melo-Stat-Balkman. So in order to resign Landry Fields &/Or Toney Douglas the Knicks will likely take up all of their cap space. Taking away any opportunity the team would have to sign a FA from a different team.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Melo and STAT are just two guys, though.
    That’s why I said they need to be surrounded with defensive-minded players.
    Boozer and Korver didn’t turn into defensive juggernauts last year and that’s fine cause their counterparts (Bogans, Brewer, Gibson, Thomas) did their thing on the defensive end, as did other players around them.
    Ummm….not that I’m comparing Melo and STAT to freakin’ Boozer and Kover.
    Just sayin’.

  • http://Slamonline.com nbk

    The bulls had cap space for two max guys last summer – the Knicks didn’t but their owner forced them nto the situation by makin Walsh deal half the roster for Melo. Handicapping not just some, but all of te Knicks future roster flexibility

  • shaolin23

    I know this is somewhat unrelated, but Henry Abbott said on twitter, “Unsatisfied with #NBArank, some NYC high school kids make their own list…” and then gives link to SLAM. High school kids eh?

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    Yes Shaolin23, high school kids. Did you even read the article?

  • shaolin23

    my bad thought he was referring to Slam itself.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I could see how that could be taken as a shot at SLAM tho.
    Scoop Jackson should slap dude up.

  • ripslam

    Kids’ list > ESPN’s list

  • bigmike100

    KD not even close to wat melo bring to da court. i hate wen ppl say melo dnt play d but cant name a time wen he got his ass bust by a player n da league. no.9 is crazy he should b top 5 easy aint no way dirk cp3 n Kd betta den melo. he da most clutch player n da NBA da best scorer hands down mite not hold ron artest like defense but he hold his own like n da WCF against kobe he did a pretty nice job wen he did hold kobe. Melo shuld b top 5 ppl. Psh! Kevin Durant not close to melo

  • Triyo

    Carmelo is pretty much LeBron James…if only he improved his defense…i hope he makes the leap on that end of the court because then he’ll be easily considered top 3 in the league and haters can shut up. and for the record id rather have melo than durant…i said it

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Carmelo is not pretty much LeBron James.
    It’s much more than just the defense.
    For one, LeBron is an outstanding distributor.
    Melo will never average 7 assists.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    ESPN’s list is not THAT bad.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Well, call me a hater but I “Love” that the dude Ramshar and Nasir put at #40 isn’t very high.

  • MikeC.

    @E. In the late 90′s Penny was the best player in the L.

    The Magic aren’t a serious threat to do anything. Their roster is so flawed. Their only hope is a CBA that allows current signing rules, plus an amnesty cut so they can axe Arenas.

    East hierarchy in my eyes:
    1) Bulls
    2) Heat
    3) Celts
    4) Knicks
    5) Hawks
    6) Magic
    7) 76ers
    8) Pacers
    6,7,8 are interchangeable and Hawks only stay that high if JSmith is focused and JJ isn’t actually decomposing before our eyes.

  • Robert

    Well, I didn’t need to read very much of this article to see it wasn’t worth my time. Anybody arguing that Carmelo Anthony is a top ten player in the NBA and the best thing to happen to the Knicks in years is not someone I want to discuss/argue basketball with.

  • LA Huey

    Carmelo is pretty much Larry Bird…if only he decreased his melanin count.

  • MikeC.

    Not sure how that smiley got there. Stupid phone.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    @MikeC – in the ’99-’00 season, Penny averaged 16.9, 5.8 and 5.3 in 60 games.
    I was a die-hard Penny fan, but looking back now there’s no way he was better than Shaq (29.7, 13.6, 3.8), Karl Malone (25.5, 9.5, 3.7), Tim Duncan (23.2, 12.4, 3.2), Allen Iverson (28.4, 3.8, 4.7) and several others.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Ha!
    Carmelo is pretty much Allen Iverson…if only he shrunk eight inches and grew his braids back out.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    neither of those fools got braids – and Iverson is a better defender. Prolly against 6’8 guys too.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    You’re missing the point, Soop.
    You really think Melo would become Larry Bird if his melanin count lowered?

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Carmelo is pretty much Nique……if he stayed away from blue crabs.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    That is an insult to larry Bird who averaged 26 and 13 for his career.
    Melo wishes he could rebound, pass and score like Bird. Yeah, I said score.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Oh, my bad. I see that was sarcasm. My bad Huey. It’s hard to catch sarcasm in the written word sometimes. Sorry about getting so adamant, but I respect the hell out of Bird.

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    HAHA I think reputation wise he might get painted as the “white hope” like Bird was. Considering some people already think of him as the “anti-lebron savior of the mecca” even though he is really reppin Baltimore and is the one with the questionable work ethic.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    It’s alright, Allenp. The internet needs to annoint something to indicate sarcasm. However, since you decided to be the combo breaker, I think it’s on you to get that “Carmelo is pretty much [blank]” train back on track.

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    I do enjoy someone with the fake name UNFROZEN CAVEMAN LAWYER criticizing high school kids’ writing while writing IN ALL CAPS like an emotionally unbalanced 4th grader.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Sh*t, NY still claim Michael Jordan as one of their own just cause dude was born there.

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    8)

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    Sam that’s Tarzan, and he’s caps lock on until the lockout is off – regardless, point landed.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    I’m pretty sure that was sarcasm on Tarzan’s part, also.
    Poking fun at how even some of the most die-hard of NBA fans misspell Dwyane Wade’s name.
    Least that’s how I seen it.

  • RThomas

    Sad… A bunch of kids came up with a list that was better than the ESPN “experts”

  • http://twitter.com/BeezKneezy LA Huey

    To be fair, the actual spelling of Wade’s given name is weird.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Yeah, it looks like it should really be pronounced like “Guliani” but with a D to me…

  • http://slamonline.com Sam Rubenstein

    Ah, I see. I think I may have taken a moment last year to show them how Dwyane spells his name all weird and then I explained that there is a baseball player named Sean who spells his name Chone. I was distracted easily last year.

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    And without the “l”…”dooweeani”…

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Man, I wouldn’t have ditched 9th grade enough times to flunk it if Sam had been my teacher.
    Being a 5th year senior sucked…

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Michael Baiamonte:
    “DOOOOOOOOOOOWEEEEEEEEEEANNNNNNIIIIIIIIIII WWWWWWWWWWWAAAAAAAADDDDDDDDDDDDEEEEEE!!!!”

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    damn I wish I had a teacher like Rubenstein when I was in school.

  • http://cnbc.com JTaylor21

    Engimatic, I got 3 words for you: G.E.D (or is that 3 letters? thanks to my GED, I have no clue).

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Kanye West:”Before Dooweeani Wade became Dwyane Wade”

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Nah, I got my diploma, even got further before I got my Kanye West on (college dropout), it just took me 5 years to graduate high school cause I preffered hanging with the thugs and drug dealers over class.
    Stupid choices…

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    You Might Be Interested In
    Dooweeani Wade: “I hear from LeBron I’m the worst finisher in the league.”

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    I want Sam as my teacher.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com Moose

    But Collison at 50 is definitely suspect. Step up your game, HS class of ’14! Rep us well!

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    Jay-Z: “If Jeezy’s payin’ LeBron, I’m payin’ Dooweeani Wade”

  • http://www.bulls.com Enigmatic

    OK, I’m done…

  • nbaNw8

    should be a little higher

  • http://slamonline.com AllDayEveryDay

    @Enigmatic, LOLL

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Carmelo Anthony is nice, and I’m a Knickerbocker fan, but Deron Williams is still the better player. Deron Williams does everything for his team–like, literally everything. And when it’s time for a clutch bucket he’s just as reliable.

  • http://www.twitter.com/notebooknick NotebookNick

    As a Knicks fan from distance (Northern Canada), and a teacher, I love that you involved the kids, Sam! Also, I don’t have a problem with this ranking. Melo, D UP!

  • http://SlamOnline.com Mars

    Melo is top five ma’a = KB24, KingLBJ, dWADE, KDtrey5, D12, Melo, CP3,

    Dirk, Amare, DRose, AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST @ #11, BUT TIED FOR 10TH

    DWill. Book it. I’m right and you’re all wrong. hahahaha. Future + Dbl-

    R (Rajon Rondo), Quake Griffin, RWest, Dbl-D (Demar Derozen), Young1

    (Nick Young), BJennings, Serge, and Reke. And sleep on EJ23 (Eric

    Gordon) if ya want to. just sayin.

  • Brian Scalabrine

    I better not get left out of the top 5 again this year, I’m tired of this disrespect…

  • Mackdaddy

    What is this garbage putting Dwade #2? Dwight has to be #2, Kobe 3, Wade 4, cp3, Rose, Dirk. It pains me to put Rose that low, but one awesome season doesn’t warrant putting him ahead of any of those players…Honestly think he could take Wade Kobe or Cp3 n a one-on-one though

  • Jer Dawg

    Melo is a complete scoring machine, but not a complete basketball player. Ball stops when he touches it. Defense has to be better. If he was more complete he wouldn’t be shutting Amare out on the offensive side of the court. Some games were erratic with Amare scoring mid 10s and 10 rebounds and NOT complaining. Melo should be getting extra 3 easy assists to Amare if he was more of a complete offensive player; sans scoring; passing, screen setting, offensive boards, ball movement.
    Getting more people involved is a mark of great player. He’s about right where he should be in SLAM’s ranking.

  • http://nba.com/celtics lights out

    cosign everyone who’s saying he’s not complete in the he lacks defense and is a ball stopper. also, i always laugh when people say he’s the most complete scorer there is, like he’s head and shoulders above everyone else. um… KOBE?!

  • http://www.slamonline.com Slick Ric

    CP3 will be next on the list and Carmelo should be behind D-Will, I think its close but still, Deron is a better player.

  • Donatello

    I liked the Knicks.. before the Trade.

    Actually, Melo made them a team that I wouldnt turn on my TVs to watch again…

  • Kadavour

    pure scorer and a bully on the block. when inspired, this kid is top 5. he lacks consistency. i’d take him over Durant if i was picking teams though. better rebounder, better scorer, smarter.

  • flash

    if cp3 goes to the knicks, i dont think miami can beat them period.

  • http://slamonline.com wtf

    smh, there is no way in the world melo is only #9. How did he move back 9 spaces? did people get better or did he get worse? There is not 8 people in the league better than melo. Best scorer in the game, clutches player, melo can pass and he does play defense. If you only look at stats and highlights then you would probly say hes not top 5. Check Melo’s record against kd, bron, dwade,none of these guys win against his teams. Worst part about the lockout is ppl say all this nonsense and theres no games being played to shut them up!

  • http://slamonline.com wtf

    ^3 spaces

  • http://slamonline.com nbk

    There is no publication in the world, other then Slam that had him in the top 10

  • http://nicekicks.com Meloman2.0

    I still don’t see how Durant is better than Melo… I’m sorry. #-point range is near identical, Melo has a better mid range game, Melo is more clutch, arguably a better passer…. and honestly, melo’s defense is not bad, and considering I’ve never seen Durant play too hard on the defensive end either, i fail to see why people are so high on durant over melo

  • http://nicekicks.com Meloman2.0

    The year the nuggets and lakers played in the WCF, Kobe said hiself that Melo guarded him the best out of anyone else that guarded him. That includes Ron Artest, who guarded him when they played houston

  • marc

    The knicks are never going to the finals with this coach. I’m from new york and i remember back in the day it was defense first. I think D’antoni would be a better assistant coach then a head coach. IMO

  • jay

    #9 is Wrong! Melo is among Top-5, he made Denver a playoff-threat every year and will do the same and More in NYC.

  • Beenz

    THERE ARENT 9 People Better Than Carmelo!

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