Farewell tours are sacred ground, and there leaves much to be debated about whether a player should receive one or not. We all remember Draymond Green letting Paul Pierce know, he isn’t Kobe Bryant, and isn’t going to get a farewell tour like him.
On Monday, Anthony’s trainer, Chris Brickley, went on The Breakfast Club, and made his case for the New York-born hooper to still be in the NBA. “He’s easily better than 70 percent of the league.”
There are 450 NBA players, 75% of 450 is about 337.5, so Mr. Brickley is making a case for Melo being about the 113th best player in the NBA; that’s very likely true.
Before Melo’s brief, and unsuccessful stint in Houston, we last saw Melo in OKC, where he was literally laughing at the idea of coming off the bench.
Now to be fair, that clip is from the beginning of the 2017 season when it could have been more debatable if Melo should be willing to come off the bench, but nonetheless, the fact that he scoffed at the idea as though he was too good to possibly do what is best for the team may sum up the very reason Melo will likely never, and probably isn’t deserving of a farewell tour.
There’s a much better case to be made for Melo playing in the league than there is for him receiving a farewell tour.
A farewell tour is very hollowed, and revered ground. To have 29 different cities, many of which you likely never played for cheering for you, on a special dedicated night, isn’t something that should be handed out like candy. Farewell tours should be reserved for champions. Individuals who, except in rare cases like LeBron James, will be largely tied to one franchise. Players who played a role in altering the landscape of the NBA. A sure-fire, absolute no-doubt Hall of Fame players. Lastly, and probably most importantly players who are essential to a period of sustained success.
Carmelo Anthony only checks one of those boxes. His career is loosely associated with both the Knicks, and the Nuggets, of which he was traded from both, and didn’t necessarily leave either on good terms.
Carmelo didn’t really change the NBA. Sure he lit up the scoreboard in ways we all enjoyed, but he didn’t change the game in the way Stephen Curry did with his electric 3’s, or the way LeBron did with his high flying dunks despite his huge size. Or even the way Dirk Nowitzki put the NBA on the international map, or Tim Duncan sustained a period of success at the highest level of basketball spanning over three separate decades.
The one thing Carmelo does check off on this list, is his sure-fire, first-ballot HOF career, There’s not much to debate about here, Carmelo will likely be on the fast track to Springfield, Massachusetts when his time comes.
Lastly, Carmelo Anthony has never won an NBA Championship, much less played in a final. He has been to the conference finals just ONCE in his entire 17 year NBA career. Carmelo Anthony has won THREE playoff series IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER. I think that’s about all I have to say about this topic.
Now obviously, my list is very arbitrary but think of the players thus far who have received notable farewell tours, Kobe Bryant, and Dwyane Wade. Carmelo Anthony is not in the same stratosphere as either of those two guys. Some guys who were worthy of a farewell tour, Tim Duncan and Dirk Nowitzki, turned them down for the very reason they deserved one, it’s not always about them.
Players in the future who will likely get a farewell tour are LeBron James, Steph Curry, and a coach that’s likely to get one– Gregg Popovich. So as you can see, Damian Lillard was a little ahead of himself by calling for Carmelo to receive a farewell tour. Love Carmelo, or hate him, you respect his achievements as a 10 time All-Star, 6 time All-NBA player (never made first-team) and a scoring champion. But there’s absolutely, positively, no way that Carmelo Anthony deserves a farewell tour, Dame.