Carmelo Anthony is rumored to be on the move this offseason. The Knicks forward and 10-time All-Star finished this past season with 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. The Rockets and Cavaliers have been the teams supposedly working to acquire him.
At 33 years old, Melo is reaching the end of his career. He has had a great career in the NBA despite all of the criticism he has received over the years. Throughout his time in the league, he has been known for his incredible ability to score.
But will it all be enough to earn him a spot in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame when it is all said and done? You bet. Carmelo Anthony may not be the complete player LeBron James is or have all the titles that Michael Jordan has, but this is why Melo will be remembered as one of the greatest to play the game of basketball.
It is the “basketball” Hall of Fame
When it comes to debating whether or not a player should be in the Hall of Fame, you need to look at everything they accomplished in the game of basketball.
It is not the NBA Hall of Fame, it’s the Basketball Hall of Fame. That is why not just NBA players, but ABA players, WNBA players, coaches and more appear in the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Because of this, you can’t just look at NBA accomplishments, although Anthony has a nice resume for himself in terms of the NBA. As stated before, Anthony has played in 10 All-Star games. He has been All-NBA six times. He has 24,156 career points as of now, which ranks 25th all time.
If Anthony keeps up his pace of scoring, he will be the eighth player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points, assuming LeBron James becomes the seventh. That is quite an accomplishment and every player that has done so already has been elected to the Hall of Fame (except for Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki, but they will also be elected).
Anthony has been criticized for not caring, being a bad teammate and lazy defensive play. He also has never made it to the NBA Finals and has missed the playoffs the last four seasons.
There may be some truth to those statements, but let’s look at some other players who are in the Hall of Fame with similar resumes to Anthony’s. Elgin Baylor never won a title despite playing in eight. Dominique Wilkins, Pete Maravich and Alex English never made the Finals. That did not stop them from being elected to the Hall. You don’t have to be the greatest of all time to be a Hall of Famer, just one of the greats.
Anthony also has other accomplishments in his basketball career that make him worthy. He lead the Syracuse Orange to a national title back when he played college ball. He has also played on four Olympic teams and won a gold medal on three of them. Nobody has won more gold medals in men’s basketball than Anthony.
Yes, Olympic gold medals are not really considered when disputing the greatness of players. Nobody brings up the gold medal count when debating whether LeBron James is better than Michael Jordan. Nobody brings up NCAA national championships when debating whether Magic Johnson was better than Larry Bird.
What these medals do is add to Anthony’s basketball resume. Remember, this is the Basketball Hall of Fame, not the NBA Hall of Fame. It is not just NBA accomplishments.
If it were just NBA accomplishments, Yao Ming would not be in the Hall of Fame. Their time in the NBA was not very eventful and it was short.
What made Yao a Hall of Famer is what he accomplished outside the NBA. He came over from China and helped globalize the NBA. He also was quite the stud over in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Manu Ginolbli will also most likely end up in the Hall of Fame some day despite being a 6th man for most of his career. It is what he accomplished for the NBA globally that is really going to push him in. Not to mention, he also has some NBA titles and All-Star appearances.
Again, there are also coaches, commentators, WNBA players and more in the basketball hall of fame. Don’t look at a player through the NBA scope when determining if they are hall of fame worthy.
Featured Image by AP Photo/Jason DeCrow
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