Jay C. Brandriet
Think about how often Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard are ripped on. They now seem to be people’s punching bags more than they are ball players. Both are Polarizing men whose flaws have been the bigger part of their stories.
The following is understood. Carmelo hasn’t won enough. NBA insiders almost refer to him as the “he can’t win guy.” He will always be seen as a non defender. It’s too late in his journey to be among the VERY best to play. Today, he’s over paid while his game is failing. The media loves his struggle and proves it by piling on.
From a capability stand point, Anthony is one of the 15 greatest scorers to come along. The mid range game was butter, and he was clutch. Melo is an Olympic basketball hero. When he was on “my team”, I trusted him. He will score point 26,000 this winter, and has ten All-Star games on his resume. For all the grief Carmelo gets, don’t forget he will end up in the Hall of Fame.
Howard is a more extreme case. He’s better than Melo, and is disrespected a level worse. Dwight’s reputation has struggled because his results seem less than his body and talent suggest they should be. His light-hearted nature and demeanor do not help. Kobe Bryant calling Howard “soft” was another blow to his image. Many of you tell me he never turned into the scorer you thought he’d become. We know he can’t shoot free throws. Dwight is going through teams at a rapid rate. Stephen A. Smith just called him “irrelevant.”
Howard once led a team to the NBA Finals. He finished second for league MVP in 2011. What he lacked in offensive structure, he made up for by being a special athlete. For a window of time, he was a true superstar. He will never be Hakeem or David Robinson. With that said, he’s better than Dikembe Mutombo and as good as Alonzo Mourning (I like Zo’s game more, but it’s close). Howard HAS accomplished things that suggest he did work.
Three time Defensive player of the Year.
Led the NBA in total rebounds six times.
Averaged 20 points or more four times.
Finished first or second in field goal percentage six times.
In 95 playoff games… Howard averages 18.4 points, 13.8 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks.
Last year, four seasons after being called “finished”…Dwight was on the floor 81 times. He delivered 16.6 points and 12.5 rebounds. He had 32 points and 30 boards in a game last March. Nobody had done that in seven years. That’s as good as irrelevant gets.
Jay C. Brandriet