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A new era of Melo: How Carmelo Anthony embraced being a role player

“Melo,” a trending topic on Twitter a few days ago, perfectly portrays the changing of an era in the history of the NBA. The trend brought up an interesting debate of whether the nickname should be used for LaMelo Ball, a rising star in the NBA, or of course now-role player Carmelo Anthony. 

For years now, Carmelo Anthony has been counted out as an impactful NBA player. Even two years ago there were questions of if Carmelo would ever play again because no team would give him another opportunity.

Luckily, for Carmelo, and all basketball fans, the Portland Trail Blazers gave him a chance, and the Melo era is not yet finished, as he has been a fantastic role player for them since.

Carmelo Anthony the role player

It seemed for a while Carmelo Anthony was not willing to take a diminished role as a role player.

But he has cherished and thrived in that role in Portland. His recent play has even lead to talks of a possible All-Star game appearance.

Melo’s game the past month-plus has made many NBA fans reminisce about the superstar Carmelo was throughout his career.

About the era of Melo in Denver making the Western Conference Finals. Or the solid and tough NY Knicks squads that he made fashionable again.

So let us reminisce together.

Carmelo Anthony is CLUTCH 

carmelo anthony role player
Carmelo Anthony hit the game-tying 3-pointer in regulation and the game-winning three in overtime to give the Knicks a memorable Easter Sunday win over the NBA’s best team, the Chicago Bulls. (Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

In an Easter classic on April 8th, 2012, Carmelo Anthony delivered a game that will never be forgotten. A nail biter that went back and forth, featured two clutch 3 point shots that gave the Knicks the win.

The first shot, which was a last-second shot in the 4th quarter, tied the game, which brought the game into overtime. And the second gave the Knicks the win.

Now of course Carmelo had other moments prior to this game with the Knicks that were amazing, but this one was truly magical. A moment that made MSG shake from top to bottom.

This was the Melo era in New York at its finest. And as us New Yorkers know, there is no equivalent to MSG when it is rocking.

Carmelo Anthony scores 62

carmelo anthony role player
New York Knicks small forward Carmelo Anthony shoots record-setting 62nd point, becoming highest scorer at new Madison Square Garden. (Howard Simmons/New York Daily News)

A night a record was broken. January 24th, 2014 would go down in history, and that is all thanks to Carmelo Anthony.

Why? Because this was the day that Carmelo Anthony surpassed Kobe Bryant’s 61 points, which was the record for the most points ever scored at Madison Square Garden, before Anthony’s 62.

The photo above, shows Carmelo taking the shot that gave him the record. You can see the awe in the spectators’ eyes, as they were nervously waiting to see if they were about to witness history.

And boy did they ever. This was a different era of Melo that makes us happy to reminisce upon.

Carmelo wins gold…for the 3rd time

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Carmelo Anthony in the Men’s gold medal game of the Rio 2016 Olympics (Getty Images)

In 2016, people began to question if Melo still had it, if he was still a go-to superstar. Well, that question quickly stopped when he went overseas with Team USA. 

Melo quickly became the go-to player for team USA and one of the stars of an unstoppable era. And he showed the whole world how truly great he still was.

Not to mention Melo brought home his 3rd gold medal with team USA!

Carmelo will always be Melo

There are countless moments throughout Carmelo’s 20-year career that make you remember how truly great Carmelo was. That make you happy for the Melo era where he rivaled LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.

However there is still a lot left to Anthony’s career, so if you are an NBA fan, continue to appreciate and watch in awe as an all-time great plays in front of you.

6 things to look forward to as NBA All-Star Weekend goes to LA

The NBA All-Star game is easily the best All-Star event of all the major sporting leagues.

It’s got a whole weekend dedicated to it, celebrities and stars flock to the location every year, social media lights up with all the thirst traps and ridiculous stunting, and… there’s some basketball too.

But with all of the events and general extraness of All-Star Weekend (the fact that it’s in Los Angeles this year only adds to that extraness), knowing exactly what to follow can be a little overwhelming.

With that in mind, I thought I’d breakdown the most important aspects of NBA All-Star Weekend and what to watch out for.


Top quality social media content

All of the popping people you follow on Instagram will be in Los Angeles this weekend and the content will be very good.

Maybe it’ll be your favorite musical artist hanging with your favorite player (wholesome), perhaps your favorite player will be risking it all for your favorite ‘Gram model (less wholesome), or maybe your favorite player will just be openly sauced on social media.

Rest assured that no matter the source, social media will be incredibly fire this weekend.

Always fun to know you have the reliability of All-Star Weekend Instagram content to distract you from your otherwise meaningless life.

Whatever cool shit Kendrick does

There was a time between To Pimp a Butterfly and Damn. where I thought I had Kendrick fatigue. But after dropping the best album of 2017 and curating the most culturally important album of 2018 thus far, Kendrick has confirmed himself as his generation’s most important artist.

Humble Kendrick Lamar GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

King Kenny will be performing Friday night after the Rising Stars game and he’s sure to do the most back home in his hometown during All-Star Weekend, it will definitely be a fire performance.

For whatever it’s worth, The Killers will perform on Saturday night, so you can compare how awesome Kendrick’s set it is to how weird and out of place The Killers are at All-Star Weekend. I get that the league has to appease the fans in middle America or whatever, but The Killers? Really?

Various celebrities/washed players struggling on the floor

The Celebrity Game is a great source of entertainment if you’re high and bored enough on Friday night (shoutout every Friday night).

This year, the Celeb Game rosters were determined through a “draft” with ESPN analysts Rachel Nichols and Katie Nolan as coaches.

Nichols v. Nolan is a pretty intense meeting of the minds. What kind of schemes will they be employing with their talent pools? Will Nolan use Anthony Anderson’s pick-and-roll game to perfection or will Nichols and Nick Cannon’s pace-and-space set up win out?

With Migos’ Quavo and Justin Bieber added today (both of who can actually ball), there might be some quality out on the floor.

But it’s also hilarious seeing various celebrities suck or a former player looking just wildly out of shape (Paul Pierce better not make me rethink my entire childhood). Arcade Fire’s Win Butler being kind of good despite looking like the least athletic person of all-time is also a great plot point here.

No Kevin Hart for the first time in like a century is pretty refreshing as well.

Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons taking on AMERICA

The Rising Stars Challenge (a game featuring the best 1st and second year players in the league) format pits foreign players versus their American counterparts and this one is going to be lit.

The NBA keeps making smart moves to improve the quality and fan interest in all the events of All-Star Weekend and this is no different. Seems kinda like the World team, led by Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons, and Jamal Murray is going to shit all over the USA team led by Jayson Tatum, Donovan Mitchell, and Kyle Kuzma.

Checking In Philadelphia 76Ers GIF by NBA - Find & Share on GIPHY

The World vs. USA format always heightens the stakes. But with 76ers teammates Embiid and Simmons suiting up together for the World, it might be a wrap for our entire country. We don’t win anymore!

Young dunkers going off

With Victor Oladipo, Larry Nance Jr., Dennis Smith Jr., and Donovan Mitchell squaring off in the dunk contest, we’re definitely gonna be treated to some wild bunnies.

Oladipo and Larry Nance are the elder statesmen of the group (at 25) and Smith Jr. and Mitchell are both rookies, so we’re getting some wild young dunkers with something to prove.

With Oladipo, Smith Jr., and Mitchell as the high-flying guards with the hops, and Nance Jr. as a whole-ass 6’8″, there’s a couple different dunking styles on offer. I’m always down to see the high-flying short dudes put on for short dudes (in the NBA sense of short), but there’s something thrilling about a big man with crazy dunks.

While these aren’t really the star-studded names that we might want, this is a lowkey fire dunk contest field.

The thrilling potential for pettiness

Pettiness is one of the great sources of narrative throughout the NBA season. The All-Star game brings these personalities together on a collision course for pettiness.

With the new format of captains instead of the typical East v. West model, we get to see Kryie playing with LeBron again, KD and Westbrook reunited, and the Warriors split up, there will definitely be some shit-talking, both playful and serious.

Awesome Lebron James GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

The All-Star game usually disappoints but with the new captain format, and the potential for pettiness and former teammates coming back together, this game will be entertaining to watch, at least to see how certain players interact with each other.

So keep Instagram open, get high and watch the celebrity game, pray for our country vs. Embiid and Simmons, try to recreate Larry Nance’s dunking, and keep an eye open for any possible pettiness. It’ll be a good weekend.