Carmelo Anthony: A Star in Exile

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Carmelo Anthony attends Black Ops Basketball Run on September 12, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Shareif Ziyadat/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony was once one of the biggest names in the NBA. He was a winner in college, a top five draft pick in the 2003 NBA draft, 10x All-Star, and three-time gold medalist for the Olympics. Anthony was a household name that teams could be seen fighting over. Fast forward to 2019, Anthony has found himself out of the league and still a free agent.

Carmelo Anthony Trapped In Exile

Where It All began

Carmelo Anthony had a lot of success in college and even won a national title with Syracuse. He was drafted as the third overall pick in 2003 to the Denver Nuggets. It seemed like a match made in heaven, pairing him up the rising star with Nuggets head coach, George Karl.

Anthony spent eight seasons with the Nuggets and had a fair amount of success as well. He earned multiple All-Star appearances and won a scoring title. He even made it to the western conference finals in 2009 only to fall short to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.

All good things would come to an end as the superstar would request a trade to the New York Knicks. Being that Anthony was a New York native, it only seemed appropriate for the star to play there.

The Next Chapter

Anthony was involved in a massive blockbuster trade to the Knicks which involved a total of 12 players, including Chauncey Billups, Corey Brewer, and Danilo Gallinari. Once the dust settled on the trade, Anthony would find himself paired up with Billups and Amare Stoudamire, forming what would be their own big three so to speak.

Anthony spent seven seasons with the Knicks averaging 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 3.2 assists per game. While with the Knicks, Anthony helped lead them to a 54-win season and a second-round playoff appearance but they would fall short to Lebron James and the Miami Heat. Anthony even managed to score 62 points in a game—the highest by a player in Knick history against the Charlotte Bobcats, who are now the Charlotte Hornets

Things would change once Phil Jackson stepped away from coaching and decided to take a front-office role with the Knicks. The relationship between Jackson and Anthony was a rocky one from the start. The two would go back and forth with one another through the media. Before long the Knicks began losing more and more. As the losses piled up the finger began to get pointed at Anthony calling him “selfish”, “ball hog”, and “ball stopper”. The media not only turned against Anthony but the Knick fans began to as well.

The Final Countdown

With the Knicks losing more and more, something had to be done. It would seem Anthony was wearing a giant bullseye on his back. The only solution seemed to be trading him and that is what the Knicks did. Anthony was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, teaming him up with Russell Westbrook and Paul George.

Anthony’s stay with the Thunder was a brief one, only lasting one season with a first-round playoff exit to the Utah Jazz. Much concern and speculation were that Anthony wouldn’t be able to take a lesser role and come off the bench. Many believed that Anthony’s ego would get in the way. With the Thunder, he averaged 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 1.3 assists per game.

After a short stay with the Thunder in the offseason, the Thunder and Anthony decided to part ways. Anthony and the Thunder agreed on a buyout causing the 10x All-Star to become a free agent. Anthony would later find himself on the Houston Rockets and teaming up with James Harden and Chris Paul.

Where Are We Now?

Much like Anthonys stay with the Thunder, many questioned the aging Anthony. Would he be able to check his ego at the door and take a lesser role coming off the bench? Anthony claimed he could do that but others had their doubts. After just 10 games into the 2018 NBA season, the Rockets decided to part ways with Anthony, causing him to become a free agent and making his last game played on November 8th, 2018.

Anthonys still says he can play and wants to play in the NBA. His name has been thrown around the NBA in multiple rumors. Some say he could sign with the Lakers, other rumors tie Anthony with the Brooklyn Nets. Nonetheless, the once superstar and third overall pick is having trouble finding a landing spot. Some feel like Anthony is even being blackballed by the NBA. Wherever Anthony ends up, it will probably be his final landing spot, as he is now in his 16th season. Maybe Anthony is being blackballed, maybe he does need to check his ego at the door. No one truly knows. But one thing is for certain, Carmelo Anthony feels like he is in exile and is fighting for a lighter sentence.

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