Firstly I don’t like saying this. I feel like that pretentious douche from that one Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air episode for even doing this. The one where Will is accepted into the frat, but the loveable geeky Carlton isn’t. Now you’re saying, ‘Who the hell is this guy thinking he’s some gatekeeper for what’s right or not for the 30K club?’ Well then, I’m sorry you feel that way but someone has to say it.
Teams target Carmelo
After a career 32-point night, Jaylen Green made a rookie mistake in his postgame interview. He was honest, revealing that “the game plan was [to] attack Melo”
How many people said this about Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Karl Malone, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Wilt Chamberlain or Julius Erving (if you include the ABA stuff)? How many of those guys spent their last five seasons as bench players scoring under 20 a game? How many of those guys were ten games away from being left off a team for an entire season?
Carmelo doesn’t belong in that conversation but he's going to sit along players that do - that bugs me. Kind of like how Andre Miller stands out as 11th in the All-Time assists leaderboard behind guys like Isiah and Oscar. He was really good, but those other guys were operating at a different frequency. Now thanks to good health and fortunate front offices, he's with them.
But the 30K club is just different. No other group joined by a stat can measure it. Wilt’s prize achievement was when he became the club's founding member in ‘72. It meant something that LeBron was the youngest to enter. Remember, our sport doesn’t have a legitimate Hall Of Fame for the same reason. Too many guys, too many headscratchers.
Compare that with the LeBron James comment.
LeBron James played a bad game in what will be remembered as an even worse season. The 23-14-12 numbers don’t show the story of a disengaged Bron whose brain is locked on cruise control until the offseason. Safe to say he shouldn’t have let the game come to this.
Made the right play? Sure - I’ll give you that. But I’m speeding through social media to find how a LeBron-sexual can justify this one.
But just like how Jordan’s Wizards run didn’t affect his legacy, exactly like Kobe’s glory tour - this spaced out Lakers LeBron won't be in the first 100 pages of his highlight documentary when James eventually pulls the curtain.
“I want to be the best in this game,” said Jalen Green on facing off against LeBron after the game. “You have to go against the best to be the best.”
I love Melo, but prestige only works if there are no weak chains and Carmelo…? I don’t want to pull apart the man's career because he is a legend. If LeBron didn’t exist, he and CP3 would be more praised for their serious display of longevity (although it might have already been a wrap). It is remarkable that Anthony can still hit that back to the basket fadeaway jumper at 37-years of age. But he's not that remarkable.
Carmelo Anthony is a great player who is still valuable, but at 28,150 points, the 30,000 club will get a lot less special when he crosses that line.