Monday, October 22nd, 2012 at 12:00 pm  |  77 responses

Top 50: Carmelo Anthony, no. 10

The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players for ’12-13.

by Sam Rubenstein / @samrubenstein

Carmelo Anthony is coming off one of the most bizarre up and down seasons for an athlete. I don’t want to rehash everything in drawn out detail so here’s a quick recap of the timeline: savior, selfish shooter, out of shape, loser, injured lazy millionaire, expendable (during LINSANITY), selfish superstar (for likely ruining LINSANITY once he returns), changed man, great teammate, selfish primadonna (for ending LINSANITY), coach killer, winner, complete player, unselfish superstar, elite player, not on the level of LeBron, Playoff savior, but still a selfish loser, critique of foolish NBA GMs who can’t stop themselves from throwing money away, Olympian, unstoppable bully of the Olympics, frontrunner, dignified Olympic winner, K.O.N.Y.

I think that covers his past year. So, where are we with Carmelo Anthony right now?

He’s still what he’s always been from day 1. Carmelo Anthony is:

One of the best pure scorers in the NBA. Too big, strong, and aggressive for small forwards. Too quick and sneaky and skilled for power forwards.

A ball stopper.

A streaky shooter who takes too many threes for someone with so much technique and so many moves inside.

Not a rebounder.

An unmotivated defender, but not that bad if properly motivated.

A likeable person, someone who plays with a smile, and is more mature than he used to be when he was always shooting himself in the foot.

Not a flopper or actor, which is nice.

But can be a complainer and doesn’t get back when complaining.

The only superstar athlete who hydrates with chocolate milk like it’s gatorade.

Occasionally a leader. Usually the guy who does his job by getting his numbers.

Not LeBron, Kobe, Durant, or most of the other names that will be appearing on this list soon enough.

And that’s OK.

I am a teacher at a public school in Brooklyn and after we had a visit from esteemed guest speakers @langwhitaker and @jakeappleman on Wednesday, I left it to some of my students to sing Melo’s praises for extra credit.

Quadel Yates wrote, “Carmelo Anthony is a great player. He achieved a lot in the past year, taking the Knicks to a new level of hype. Ever since he joined the Knicks, their fan base has grown larger. He is a great shooter, setting a new record for the most three pointers in one game during the Olympics. Carmelo deserves his spot on the Top 50 players of the year” no matter what spot it is because Mr. Rubenstein would never accidentally show us the rankings before they were made available to the public.

Alejandro Duran stated, “Carmelo Anthony should be considered for the top 10 because of his amazing career so far. I am a Knicks fan because of Melo and he truly is the player who sets the tone and heats up the whole team.”

Noted young NBA historian Chris Prudhomme conducted research and concluded, “Carmelo Anthony is the definition of clutch. He has hit 14 game-winners in his career. In the past 10 years he has led the NBA in game-winning shot percentage. He is arguably the most offensively skilled player in the NBA. He is unstoppable when he catches the vibe of the game. Although he doesn’t have a ring YET it will come soon and if it does not, some of the NBA’s greats retired without rings, like Charles Barkley, Dominique Wilkins, and John Stockton.”

I also want to take this opportunity to remind my students that what I just did was called a CITING A DIRECT QUOTATION. DO THAT!

As for Melo, he is a true superstar, and now he gets to play with some of the oldest and most likely to get injured people in the NBA. This year cannot possibly top last year’s rollercoaster of drama for him.

Or… can… it…

Where should Carmelo Anthony rank in the SLAMonline Top 50?

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SLAMonline Top 50 Players 2012
Rank Player Team Position Pos. Rank
50 Greg Monroe Pistons C 8
49 Tyreke Evans Kings PG 14
48 Brandon Jennings Bucks PG 13
47 Stephen Curry Warriors PG 12
46 Ricky Rubio TWolves PG 11
45 Al Jefferson Jazz PF 14
44 Anthony Davis Hornets PF 13
43 Serge Ibaka Thunder PF 12
42 Al Horford Hawks C 7
41 Ty Lawson Nuggets PG 10
40 Danny Granger Pacers SF 6
39 Tim Duncan Spurs PF 11
38 John Wall Wizards PG 9
37 Monta Ellis Bucks SG 8
36 Zach Randolph Grizzlies PF 10
35 Roy Hibbert Pacers C 6
34 Tyson Chandler Knicks C 5
33 Eric Gordon Hornets SG 7
32 Kevin Garnett Celtics PF 9
31 Manu Ginobili Spurs SG 6
30 Amar’e Stoudemire Knicks PF 8
29 Marc Gasol Grizzlies C 4
28 DeMarcus Cousins Kings C 3
27 Paul Pierce Celtics SF 5
26 Andre Iguodala Nuggets SG 5
25 Rudy Gay Grizzlies SF 4
24 Josh Smith Hawks PF 7
23 Derrick Rose Bulls PG 8
22 Joe Johnson Nets SG 4
21 Steve Nash Lakers PG 7
20 James Harden Thunder SG 3
19 Pau Gasol Lakers PF 6
18 Chris Bosh Heat PF 5
17 Kyrie Irving Cavs PG 6
16 LaMarcus Aldridge Blazers PF 4
15 Tony Parker Spurs PG 5
14 Dirk Nowitzki Mavs PF 3
13 Andrew Bynum Sixers C 2
12 Blake Griffin Clippers PF 2
11 Kevin Love TWolves PF 1
10 Carmelo Anthony Knicks SF 3

• Rankings are based solely on projected ’12-13 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jake Appleman, Maurice Bobb, Rodger Bohn, Brendan Bowers, Franklyn Calle, David Cassilo, Bryan Crawford, Adam Figman, Eldon Khorshidi, Eddie Maisonet III, Ryne Nelson, Ben Osborne, Allen Powell II, Sam Rubenstein, Jonathan Santiago, Abe Schwadron, Leo Sepkowitz, Dave Spahn, Ben Taylor, Tzvi Twersky, Peter Walsh, Tracy Weissenberg, Yaron Weitzman, DeMarco Williams and Dave Zirin.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.

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  • Caboose

    I know there will be a lot of whining and defending here so let me say this first: this ranking is ok.

  • ctk

    too selfish avg more dimes than KD …ball stopper so is Kobe Bryant …dont play D no team with 3 so called guys that cant guard will finish top 5 on D…they held 22 out of they 66 opp. last yr under 90pts ..granted he do get lazy on rotations at times …on offense top 3 at worst at puttin the ball n the goal …got no problem with him bein number 10

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i always enjoy your yearly top 50 article, good work Sam.

  • that dude

    May God bless your life twice…Stern has treated Melo like a castaway in the league. Melo is the BEST PUREST SCORER IN THE LEAGUE he’s Top 5 in my eyes critics don’t what he has to deal with

  • yann blavec

    I wish we had the same kind of ranking back in the 90′s. I wonder where Patrick and John would have been.

  • Shifty

    I have no problems with this ranking…..can be a killer when he has it going and fills up all Stat lines.

  • nhm

    he can be top 5 if he somehow tries to play D, BUT it’s year 10 now of the melo story, so i doubt it would still happen. he’s still a great great player though.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    whose interested in a fantasy basketball league? i got one set up, so if you are, holler at me.

  • Max

    Was there an article last year in the top 50 with students?

  • Perry the PlatyPteranodon

    Nice writeup, and a beautifully unbiased writeup, also to those students (favorite part of the writeup): Citations are one of the most important educational skills to develop, especially in upper levels of education.

  • http://slamonline.com/ Ben Osborne

    I love Sam. And I happen to be very high on Melo for this season.

  • Clos1881

    Carmelo’s the best scorer in the league period the one year he had actual talent around him he went to wcf. Melo’s a underated passer and is very unselfish like what is a ball stopper ? Steve Nash will dribble the ball 20sec before making a decision. I will never get the Melo hate.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kari-Tai/1510813001 Kari Tai

    I think this ranking is right.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    LOL, the best scorer in the league period? Yep, because he’s ever lead the league in scoring? or because he’s so efficient?
    there is no real reason to believe he’s the best scorer in the league. not a one.

  • spit hot fiyah

    he is the best scorer but durant has the last 3 scoring titles? makes sense

  • spit hot fiyah

    i think so actually, isn’t that sort of like mailing it in?

  • linotype

    Deron Williams made the top 10 then?

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    ofcourse he did.

  • A.diaz

    Mr Rubenstein,
    Can I just take a moment and give you a gold star for finding a clever and yet productive way to engage your students. Also great write up; un-baise, factual and based on a large parties overall observation. No.10 I don’t think anyone is really going to disagree.

  • Junior Taylor

    Love at this very moment is better than Melo and a Top-7/8 player and I’m not even a Love supporter.

  • MackAtttack

    Too many haters out there man. Let the guy ball. It’s not like he’s trying intentionally to lose games after 9 seasons without much playoff success…. He’s not LeBron and never will be so people who say he’s selfish are just trying to spotlight him the wrong way.

  • keyon dooling

    Pretty good ranking, nice writeup. Only problem i have is that I don’t think dude is a better overall player than KLove. Other than that, i would have no problems with Melo at 11 or so, as he’s still better than Griffin, Bynum, etc.

  • Datkid

    This ranking is not ok. I like melo, but no.

  • biggieman

    @ctk: Its easy to a get assists with JR Smith and Novak sitting wide open on the wing all game… Carmelo is an unbelievable scorer but is so frustrating to watch him because of “the ball stopping” (which is so much worse than Kobe’s), the lack of effort on defense, and the selfishness. I tried so hard to be a Melo fan back in the AI/Melo Denver days, but I just can’t do it. I truly dislike him as a player and I don’t think he will ever sniff the finals (barring a blockbuster trade in the future)….. But if I had to bet my life on someone making a game winning shot, it would be Melo or KD for sure.

  • danpowers


  • danpowers

    nice ranking slam and nice read mr rubenstein

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk
  • danpowers

    he could be the best scorer in the league but he aint because he still makes too many bad decisions. we will see soon if he changes that this season

  • danpowers

    just jumped on board

  • danpowers


  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    you can’t judge a player on could be’s. that’s the point.

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk


  • Pve_2

    There is no way Carmelo Anthony is a worse defender, more selfish, and worse decision maker than Russell Westbrook. Come on, man. For completely different reasons, you can’t rank Kobe ahead of Melo because Kobe’s stats will dip as a result of Howard and Nash. The same is true for Wade. Melo is top 7 or 8 depending on How beastly Love is this year. Please don’t do Melo like this next year.

    Always good to see you blending your students input, dude. Nice read.

  • http://twitter.com/Jzakoni Verified Account

    Can’t be mad at Melo at 10

  • danpowers

    thats why i say this rank is ok to me and i wouldnt even argue if slam wouldve put him lower. i am hoping that he plays above all doubters predictions but i dont count on it

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    hey you don’t see me arguing. if he’s the same Melo he was for the last month of last season this will be more than justifiable. if he is the guy he was the other 3/4′s of the season, then he’s overrated by about 15 spots.

  • danpowers


  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i mean, if none of us knew anything about what you are talking about, then what you say might seem true…

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    This #10 position brought to you by Kevin Love’s recent injury.

  • http://twitter.com/ReeceCrolex215 Reece Lightner

    Most overrated player in the NBA period!! Dirk, Rose, Parker, Bynum are all better!

  • http://twitter.com/ReeceCrolex215 Reece Lightner

    Best scorer in the league, but avg 22 ppg last season right…

  • cardel

    I hope you don’t mind me joining… here in Panama nobody cares about this stuff

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    As long as you are dedicated and know your shit that’s fine with me. Sharks in the water, no guppy’s.

  • danpowers

    if the knicks play anything like that during the regular season i dont want melo to be unselfish and dish the ball. the knicks would then be better off if he took 60 shots a game

  • danpowers

    you forgot to bring up rose and dirk as well

  • danpowers

    same in germany. soccer is our enemy

  • Caboose

    9. Wade
    8. Rondo
    7. Westbrook
    6. Kobe
    5. Deron
    4. Paul
    3. Dwight
    2. Durant
    1. LeBron
    My ranking, not my prediction for what SLAM will do.

  • Caboose

    Love’s injury factored in.

  • danpowers

    its up to melo where he will rank next year. this ranking is a prediction mostly based on last years performance. melo showed up slightly out of shape, playing banged up most of the season not being able to show whis whole potential, leave aside other distracting factors in this rollercoaster season. if he keeps the shape he is in now and stays with what he is doing so far in the preseason, youll have him cracking the top 10 ranking on a single digit spot. but if he falls back to the first 80% of time spent on the knicks, you might find him in the ranks between 15-25 next year. the criticism here doesnt mean hating on melo, people are just stating the obvious. its now on him to use his tools properly

  • danpowers

    is there any way i could inbox you somewhere? gt one or two questions bout that fantasy league

  • Cameron

    Kobe should be 5 and Deron 6. Durant should be number 1 and LeBron number 2. Other than that I really agree with you list.

  • Cameron

    Yo, I joined your league. I’ve never done FB on Yahoo but it should be the same as ESPN.

  • Caboose

    Why would Durant be higher than LeBron when the only thing Durant does better is score (and even that is debatable)?

  • uqk

    he is & always be *for the rest of their career* sub par to lebron…

  • http://twitter.com/jimmycelts James Wrethman

    9th: Russell Westbrook, 8th: Deron Williams, 7th: Kobe Bryant, 6th: Rajon Rondo, 5th: Dwight Howard, 4th:Chris Paul, 3rd: Dwyane Wade, 2nd: Kevin Durant, 1st: Lebron James

  • PlayHARD

    Is a selfish, egotistic primadonna with score first mentality really a top 10 player in todays NBA? Yes, he would kill anyone in an 1v1 but sadly, his bbIQ is too low to use the appropriate elements of his game at appropriate times. Funny to think about 90′s era players reading those rankings, they must be MAAAAD!

  • russian guy

    It seems like Carmelo didn’t have his breakout yet.Which is crazy,because he is already a Top 5 scorer (sometimes the best) and Top 15 player in this league.I tought after the 2009 playoffs he would break out in 2010,but nothing.He could be ranked from Top 20 to Top 7-8,I don’t know.

  • Anthony Dixon

    deron will be next

  • Mr. Rubenstein

    Thank you. The new thing for English teachers is do tons of non-fiction and persuasion/argument. For fiction, we’ll study the Knicks roster and how it should magically produce playoff wins.

  • blackthought

    @disqus_oxoGJMLagc:disqus u got i right, except kobe gots 2 b in the top 5. and slam, love`s gotta b higher than melo! (better rebounder, better shooter) @ef98e65bdfd897389ac32b49596587ef:disqus rankin melo ahead of kobe is insane!

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    i might kick you out of the league, it really, just by that comment, seems you don’t know anything about fantasy basketball. The rules are all that matters, what website you play it on is irrelevant. You are going to get destroyed if you just joining to have something to do.

  • Clos1881

    If you think Kevin love is better than Melo you need to change your avi to Bob marley because that’s what you’re smoking

  • Clos1881

    So by you guys standards if you don’t lead the league in rushing you’re not the best running back either ok. Smh. Melo’s offensive skill set is the best in the nba drive post pull up 3 ball nobody’s better

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    uhm no, this isn’t football.
    Just look at what Melo does that you just named,
    – Drive – LeBron does that better
    – Post Up – LeBron does that better
    – Pull up 3 Ball – LeBron does that better

    . The only aspect of scoring Melo has EVER done better than LeBron in ANY given season is shoot mid range jump shots…..and LeBron isn’t even the best scorer in the league. Despite what the pretty things Melo does tell you, they are inefficient and ultimately don’t help his team. Everyone would score a bunch of points by jacking up a bunch of shots.
    You are calling a guy who scored 22PPG on 43% shooting last season the best scorer on earth. I mean, if that isn’t blatantly stupid, idk what is.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    If you think Melo is a better overall player than Kevin Love you just don’t watch a lot of basketball. What else does he do besides scoring? Love gives you points without really having a postgame and rebounds better than anyone else in basketball. When he develops a postgame, this conversation won’t even be worth having. Melo shoots…and then shoots some more.

  • Clos1881

    On a good team love is a third option his stats aren’t getting any wins melo has been in the playoffs every year

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    Melo’s ceiling as the number one option and leader of a team is a first round playoff exit. Only had one season when he and the rest of his teammates were led by Chauncey Billups and they got to the Conference Finals. We have yet to see Kevin on a good team. What good team have you seen him on to say that he’s just a 3rd option? His stats aren’t getting wins because of the guys he plays with and for no other reason than that.

  • Clos1881

    Lol the Olympics where he barely played Kevin love is a bad team stat stuffer he never won anywhere including college Carmelo carried the nuggets not Chauncey go back and look at those series again my brother

  • Clos1881

    Smh you clearly don’t know what you’re looking at when you’re watching basketball lebron does not have one scoring trait better than Melo unless you wanna say driving but that’s not beating your man off the dribble with lebron that’s getting a mismatch off a pick you see basketball but you don’t watch like my man Wesley snipes told woody you listen to jimmy but you don’t hear him lebrons not a better shooter from 3 or anywhere else on the court I have never heard people say Melo needs to work with the dream Melo isn’t called the bully for a reason don’t fall for the hype my man lebron still doesn’t have a real post game he just goes down there now

  • Clos1881

    I love how people say Melos overrated but deron Williams is top 10

  • http://twitter.com/sooperfadeaway nbk

    See the thing about scoring is, they can measure how well you do it. Having moves and having the ability to apply them efficiently are different. Look at shooting % if you are confused. Look at 3pt % because you clearly are ignorant. But keep watching White Men Can’t Jump at least that’s a good movie.

  • sheed33

    no way is he above love or nowitzki. He is a total liability on defense, how can you not even try hard if you are supposed to be the team leader?
    “unmotivated defender, but not that bad if properly motivated.” true.
    but, then again, nowitzki relaxes for 24 seconds as well before going on offense.

  • @lex

    “Steve Nash will dribble the ball 20sec before making a decision”. Now I don’t see why anyone should try to have an intelligent discussion about basketball with you.

  • ByAnyMeansNecessary

    You’re seriously counting the Olympics against him because he didn’t play a lot? Again, you didn’t watch because if you did, you would have seen that the team’s strength was their athleticism. So they played a smaller lineup. Kevin Love is a stat stuffer on a bad team. He’d get the same stats on a good team and he would win more if he had better players around them. You have no good argument against that. Carmelo shot a lot. Made more than he missed. But Chauncey led them. You also have no argument against that. Watch a game or two.

  • Cameron

    Why should Deron be higher than Kobe?

  • shamsky24

    Without question, the single most overrated athlete in professional sports. A chucker who can’t shoot, can’t pass, can’t rebound and can’t defend. A so-called scoring machine who barely makes 40% of his shots? Please. Anthony is nothing but a selfish punk who chased Mike D’Antoni and Jeremy Lin out of New York City because he can’t stand to share the ball with anyone else, and because Lin exposed the fact that the Knicks were a better team when Melo was off the court. He’s a worthless loser and always will be, and the Knicks will be forever doomed to mediocrity until they finally wise up and dump this jerk.

  • Clos1881

    Man it’s great to have foresight and to actually understand basketball I had so many clowns on this site knocking me for defending Melo and telling people he was the best scorer in the league especially this byanymeans chump but I really just posted this as I watch Melo drop 22 in first half is I told you so… I can’t believe you bums were saying Kevin love was better than Melo smh