I’m tired of hearing people talk about how I’ve never dunked a basketball before, but it’s fair because I’ve never actually done so. In my prime I was able to rise up and hit the bottom of the backboard, but that’s still not technically dunking.
Nor is what New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony does when opposing teams have the basketball technically defense either. As the picture to the right clearly indicates, you need to extend your arms over your head to be considered defending on a play like that one.
Melo is as prolific a scorer as there’s been in the NBA over the past couple decades, however, but he hasn’t really been known to dig in and get his defense on. Even still, he’d rather you not talk about that anymore.
A point Anthony made clear, in addition to his plans to improve on that end of the floor, in a conversation with ESPN New York’s Ian Bagley:
No one has ever called Anthony a defensive stopper. But he says he wants that to change. He’s ‘tired’ of hearing that he and the Knicks don’t play defense.
“I want to push myself out there on the defensive end,” Anthony said on Wednesday after the Knicks’ final preseason game. “I get tired of hearing we don’t play defense, I don’t play defense. I just want to go out there and just do it. I’d rather not [talk about] what I can do out there, I’d rather just do it.”
Unlike in my case, Anthony most certainly has the ability to improve that aspect of his game. The same athleticism which allows him to blow by any defender in the NBA is the same skill set he can tap into in order to provide stops of his own. Stops, his Knicks team never really got last season.
The key for Anthony though is that he has to actually really want to do that. Especially when playing the third game in three nights on the road in the middle of the season when his legs are kinda tired.
If he does push himself though, he’ll become as complete a player as there is in the NBA. He won’t have to worry about the next time those rankings come out either, he’d be top five on everybody’s list then.