Hall of Famer and New York Knicks color commentator Walt Frazier said Carmelo Anthony “can still do what LeBron” James does.
Frazier, himself a former Knicks point guard, said that while Anthony and the Knicks haven’t found success in recent years, it’s not too late for the eight-time All-Star to do what LeBron James has done with the Cleveland Cavaliers: invigorate a previously cellar-dwelling franchise.
“We’ve seen what LeBron has done for his team; [Stephen] Curry, [James] Harden, all these prolific scorers,” Frazier said. “Melo’s right in that category, so this year’s the year he’s got to prove that he can also catapult his team and take them to the playoffs.”
The Knicks went 17–65 last season, the worst record in franchise history and their first 60-loss campaign. The team has not made the playoffs since 2012–13, when it reached the Eastern Conference semifinals.
Anthony, 31, has been with the Knicks since February 2011, when the Denver Nuggets traded him to New York. Despite averaging 26.1 points, 7.0 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game with York, Anthony has yet to spearhead the basketball revolution in New York many fans envisioned following his trade.
“He could do what LeBron does,” Frazier said. “He can shoot the ball, a much better shooter than LeBron. He can handle the ball, he can rebound. Everything’s a mindset; if you put your mind to it, you can do it.
“I think early on, he wasn’t physically fit to do it conditioning-wise, but the last two seasons we've seen he’s lost weight, he’s more durable, his endurance is better, he’s rebounding more, he’s no longer a one-dimensional player. And that’s what he has to continue this season.”