Has anyone in the league been hated on more than Carmelo Anthony the last 4 months? I mean yeah, there’s been a fall of in skill but he’s Melo. Stephen A. Smith loves stating on First Take, “He’s one of the most prolific scorers of the modern era… this dude can score on anybody; he’s 6″8′, he’s ’bout 240 (lbs). He can score from inside and outside, he’s got a mid-range game and he’s got a long-range game… offensively he can do it all.” Other commentators like Smith were also preaching the Melo Gospel (in a objective way. For example, Smith speaks to Carmelo’s obvious flaws on defense and inefficiency openly too). The aging superstar still garnered respect, when healthy, before his time in OKC, but the moment spectators saw the Melo/ Russ/ Paul in action the narrative changed. Story lines became “Melo’s too slow”, “Melo can’t switch”, “Melo takes too many 2’s”, etc and within a two year period the basketball value of Anthony has plummeted.
In eight seasons with the Nuggets Melo averaged 24.8 ppg; in seven seasons with the Knicks, Melo put up 24.7 ppg (Thunder Melo put up a uncharacteristic 16.2 ppg). As a fan of the NBA that’s been watching Melo since his rookie year, I can tell you there were multiple years he was flat out unguardable. Unable to truly rival LeBron on the court and in Footlocker, Melo undoubtedly will be a Hall Of Famer but one with many confused fans (ie. haters). With a singular Western Confrence Finals appearance, Melo’s legacy is lacking NBA hardware but it’s important to remember… winning in this league is not easy!
The Melo line by Jordan Brand had 13 installments with mixed reviews. In one hand it’s awesome Anthony even got his own signature line; the basketball division of JB doesn’t hand out sigs openly. Melo’s first shoe, the Jordan Melo 1.5 married elements of MJ’s first two shoes into a striking, new, model. Denver’s color scheme worked flawlessly on the 1.5 which executed white, powder blue and maize combinations to perfection. 2005’s Jordan Melo 5.5 worked, plain and simple. We’ve seen so many fusion/ combo shoes fail and borderline violate the shoe game but the 5.5 stands as the pinnacle of reimagined design. Elements from the AJ 5 & 6 combined to make something familiar and new, much like Carmelo to His Airness. Bold lines, ventilation set off the upper while the AJ 5’s reversed ‘fighter jet’ detailing defines the silhouette. During the 2005 season, Melo came into his own and put up a dominant 26 ppg. Yet, most of them felt more like Team Jordan shoes with Melo branding. The high notes for the line were very high but Melo’s PE game has always been extraterrestrial. Jordan Brand’s kept countless Carmelo gems from the public, which is a damn shame. So lets remember the good times with a Throwback Thursday look back at Melo’s best signature shoes and PE moments/ models.