In the world of relationships, you hear some weird sayings like, “I love them, but I’m not in love with them”, “great person, but just not the person for me”, or “the timing just isn’t right”. That’s just a few things you hear when a relationship may not be perfect, or as great as expected. What sports fans sometimes forget is that these same phrases can be used in the sports world. For a current example, lets look at Carmelo Anthony and the Houston Rockets.
I think it goes without question that Carmelo Anthony is a future basketball Hall of Famer. His frame of work since he entered the league in 2003 has been remarkable. Melo is a ten time NBA All-Star, has been named to an All-NBA Team six times, has a NBA scoring title and three Olympic Gold Medals. After long stints with the Nuggets and Knicks, Melo faced a ton of criticism for not winning a NBA Title like some of the notable guys who entered the NBA the same time he did. After basically being blamed and forced out of NY, Melo signed with the OKC Thunder. On paper this team appeared to be a team that would compete for a championship. However, how they looked on paper and how they played on the court were two totally different things. After the Thunder’s mediocre season, Melo was traded to the Atlanta Hawks and then bought out of his contract, which led him to signing with the Houston Rockets. After a bad start to the season which included, the injury of James Harden and the suspension of Chris Paul, the Rockets have decided that they will cut ties with Melo. In my opinion Melo has a lot of good basketball left in him, especially if he lands in a situation that allows him to play like the Melo which put him in Hall of Fame talks. I’m personally not a fan of the only catch and shoot threes Melo. I love the mid-range iso, jab series, bully ball Melo which made him a star. Hopefully his next situation allows him to play his game and he proves everyone that thought he was done wrong.
When I talk about situations in basketball and how vital they are, I love telling the story of my Tar Heel brother, Danny Green. Danny and I played together briefly with the Cleveland Cavaliers. I was excited to have another Tar Heel on the roster with me, alongside Antawn Jamison another fellow Tar Heel. I knew what Danny was capable of and what he brought to the table, but a change in staff and player personnel left us all exposed. Right before the season started Danny was released from the team. The team wanted a shooting guard who can play point guard as well, so they tried to make DG that guy. I remember his first test. They put DG at point against John Wall. John Wall is a helluva test for proven point guards in the league, so it wasn’t the right situation for a first time point guard trial. We all know how this story ended. DG ended up with the San Antonio Spurs, where he won a championship and become one of the best “three and D” guys in the league. He also holds the record for most three-point field goals made in the NBA Finals.
Situations also come into play on the collegiate level. People are raving about the freshman trio at Duke of RJ Barrett Cam Reddish and, especially Zion Williamson, and rightfully so. I don’t care what school he is playing for Zion Williamson is beast! His situation allows him to showcase all his abilities. While Nassir Litte’s numbers may not jump out at you he is having a good start. Remember they said the only person that could keep Michael Jordan under twenty points was Dean Smith. Nassir is playing in that same system.
I used these situations to show how much a situation can either help or hurt an athlete. Like in any relationship its vital to find the best possible situation and run with it. So before you criticize someone, take the time to analyze the situation and not get your opinion based on what the “experts” say.
Till next time… STRIVE TO EXCEL!