Skip to main content

Mike Breen's criticism of Carmelo Anthony might hurt the forward's legacy

Mike Breen, a New York native, slammed Carmelo Anthony's seeming lack of interest in playing defense.
ESPN broadcaster Mike Breen and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony and Mike Breen

There is no doubt that Carmelo Anthony will be inducted into the Hall of Fame after he retires. He’s one of the greatest scorers that the league has seen. Unfortunately, Melo's offensive talents are nowhere near his defensive chops. So much so that at one point, iconic commentator Mike Breen went out of his way to criticize Anthony’s lack of defensive effort.

“He’s the leader of the team”

In a game against the Orlando Magic in 2017, Mike Breen and Walt Frazier broke down a poor defensive sequence by the Knicks. It required a simple defensive rotation from Melo. Breen and Frazier were appalled by Anthony’s seeming disinterest in playing defense.

He has to put forth a better defensive effort. He’s the leader of the team. This is unacceptable for a team that comes in with a four-game losing streak and knows the importance of these games,” Breen said.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Frazier added that the rest of the Knicks were performing poorly on defense. He echoed Breen’s sentiments that the effort should start with Anthony. Ideally, the rest would follow.

Melo’s defensive lapses

This wasn’t the first time someone pointed out Melo’s defensive lapses. The darkest chapter of Melo’s career was from 2018 to 2019. The Houston Rockets signed him in the summer, but after just 10 games with them, the Rockets suddenly moved away from the future Hall of Famer.

A report by Baxter Holmes of ESPN unveiled the details on why the Rockets, as well as the Oklahoma City Thunder, steered their vision away from Anthony. It all boiled down to his lack of defensive effort.

One rival front-office executive notes that the league’s 3-point revolution makes it harder than ever to hide players who aren’t strong defenders. He’s talking about Carmelo Anthony -- someone, he says, ‘Who can’t defend, can’t close out, his feet are slow and he gets blown by.’ More than ever, offensive teams will repeatedly target weak defenders in pick-and-roll actions, the executive adds.

In his relatively successful stint with the Blazers, it seemed that Anthony finally got over the hump. So much so that he was recruited by his good friend LeBron James to Los Angeles. He immediately became a fan favorite. When he came off the bench, the Lakers often received an offensive boost.

But from the looks of it, everything looked good just at face value. Anthony’s defensive chops were nowhere to be found even during his supposed renaissance donning the Purple and Gold. Jalen Green spilled the details on how the Rockets pounced on the Lakers in a regular season game.

Anthony remains unsigned at this point. There are not many rumors on the grapevine regarding Anthony’s future. The Lakers’ roster moves, as well as Rob Pelinka’s own words, make it clear that he wants the team to get younger. At 38 years old, perhaps Melo could provide some veteran presence on a young team. His offensive technique could prove vital to a young gun. His ideas on defense? It’s best if he keeps it to himself.

Kaith Van Horn

“I think he was pretty satisfied with what he had” – Keith Van Horn could have been a great player but chose not to become one

Based on Byron Scott’s description, Keith had what it takes and he often “worked hard” during team practices and gym workouts. However, he “never went the extra mile.”

American actor Ben Stiller

“I’ll be in my mid-60s by the time this team rebuilds” - Ben Stiller on being a New York Knicks fan

Stiller summed up the experience of being a Knicks fan: “Who would want this pain? Who would want to feel that frustration?”

Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James and Chicago Bulls guard Michael Jordan

The difference between Michael Jordan's and LeBron James' diet and workout regime

Michael Jordan and LeBron James' diets are similar to each other but the way they recover and workout is different.

Boston Celtics forward Larry Bird

"Score meant very little, but a lot of talking going on, a lot of fun." - Larry Bird learned trash-talking from black men working at a local hotel

In the process, Bird developed a genuine off-the-court relationship with most of them, particularly a guy whom he called “Slim.”

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant

Brian Windhorst on Kevin Durant potentially holding out — “I can see it. That’s what we’re headed towards”

Several recent developments turned Durant's potential holdout from unlikely to very possible.

Brandon Jennings

Brandon Jennings goes off on the state of the NBA - “It’s only a couple of guys in the NBA that love the game”

Jennings' opinions are certainly divisive, but it's clear that without change the NBA would get stale, and that's why it's necessary to continue exploring ways to evolve the game