- There has been much conversation around whether Carmelo Anthony is a lock for the Basketball Hall of Fame. The Crossover staff breaks down his case.
The Carmelo Anthony Hall of Fame debate has become one of NBA Twitter’s favorite arguments. One group of observers might say he is one of the most decorated players ever. Anthony is a 10x All-Star, 3x Olympic gold medalist, NCAA champion and was a McDonald’s All-American. While another group might say that he is a bad team player after notable breakups with the Nuggets, Knicks and recently the Thunder. The Crossover staff breaks down Anthony’s case for the Hall of Fame and decides if he is a lock for Springfield.
Carmelo is a Hall of Famer by one simple measure: he’s scored the 19th-most points in NBA history. He will probably pass Alex English and Kevin Garnett this season. He has scored more points than Ray Allen, Charles Barkley and Allen Iverson. That’s an extremely significant contribution to the game of basketball, no matter how much we want to haggle about defense or team accolades or whatever.
I realize using points as a primary defining metric seems a bit old school and oversimplified, but it’s pretty ridiculous to let the general levels of angst toward 2018 Melo dictate his candidacy. There are other players in the hall of fame who weren’t great defenders and who didn’t win titles. Guys who combine talent with longevity to score that many points, quite frankly, deserve to be in the Hall of Fame. It’s a bit absurd and unfair to him to say otherwise. Are going to pretend he didn’t average 20 a game for 14 straight seasons? Don't overthink this.
Carmelo Anthony may have not won a playoff series since 2013, but he’s a shoo-in for the Hall of Fame, especially one that’s inducted the likes of Mitch Richmond and Ralph Sampson in the prior years. No disrespect to them, but let’s not pretend the gates to Springfield are especially difficult to open.
Besides, denying a player with Melo’s resume would be a strict break with precedent. Assuming Kobe Bryant gets inducted when his time comes, every retired scoring champion since 1960 has made the Hall of Fame. Melo accomplished the feat in 2012-13.
Anthony ranks No. 18 on the all-time scoring list, and every other eligible player in the top 20 is in the Hall of Fame. And of the 35 retired players to make 10-plus All-Star Games like Anthony, 32 have made the Hall, with Bryant and Paul Pierce soon to be inducted. The lone question mark is Chris Bosh, and to be honest, the conversation surrounding his candidacy may be more interesting than Carmelo’s.
Throw in a record three Olympic gold medals and an NCAA title, and Melo is a sure-fire Hall of Famer. There’s nothing else to debate.
Absolutely. This is not a yes or no question. Frankly, anyone who doesn’t believe Carmelo Anthony is an objective Hall of Famer doesn’t deserve to have an opinion on the subject. He’s one of the most talented scorers in NBA history—should Anthony duplicate last season’s 16.2 points per game across 78 appearances (considerably likely in Houston’s uptempo offense barring health), he’ll pass Alex English, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek, Paul Pierce, Tim Duncan and Dominique Wilkins on the league’s all-time scoring list, good for 12th.
And while narrative swirled around LeBron James’s clutchness throughout his early career, Anthony quietly reached the postseason in each of his first 10 seasons in the league. The Nuggets were arguably two insanely-clutch Trevor Ariza steals away from reaching the 2009 Finals, where not-ready-for-the-moment Magic never missed an opportunity to squander the title.
While Anthony has never captured an elusive NBA ring, his Syracuse national championship as a freshman all-but ushered in the successes of the one-and-done era, and his four Olympic medals tie the all-time record. Anthony himself stands alone as the only player in history to win three gold medals in Olympic basketball. This is a clown question, bro.
There is no doubt that Carmelo Anthony is a Hall of Famer. Not sure why this is even a question. He is one of the greatest scorers of all-time and has been successful at every level of basketball. Not many players can run off a resume that includes being a McDonald’s All-American, NCAA champion, three-time Olympic gold medalist, and have 10 All-Star game appearances. It’s easy to knock him down when you compare him to his NBA counterparts such as LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh, who have each won multiple NBA titles. Melo is without a doubt a lock for the hall.
Carmelo Anthony has to be a Hall of Famer. College champion. Olympic gold-medalist. 10-time All-Star. A career 24.1-points per game scorer. Let’s not overthink this one. Melo’s an easy pick for the basketball hall and a rightful one. There’s certainly no embarrassment in being one of the league’s premier bucket-getters during an incredibly competitive era of basketball.
Think of which players Anthony’s career has overlapped with. In his draft class alone he had LeBron, Wade, and Bosh. He also went up against Kobe, KD, Harden, Steph and so many other greats. What I’m saying is, in his prime, Melo could score with the best of those guys, and was a superstar in his own right. Was he in the tippy top tier? Nah. Was he better than most guys in the league for a while? Absolutely. Anthony’s career may be disappointing when viewed through the lens of society’s overvaluing of championships. But he was a hell of a player, and his Hall-of-Fame case is fairly unassailable.