The New York Knicks are getting some needed good news this week: Carmelo Anthony has just been added to the All Star Game. The forward replaces Kevin Love, forced out by an injury, in the reserves line-up for the East. This is his 10th nod for the All Star Game.
As reported by ESPN, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver contacted Anthony to offer him the open spot. Anthony had reportedly been planning a family vacation for the All Star Weekend, but ended up accepting the prestigious invitation:
“It’s still an honor to be named to the All-Star team, to go out there and represent despite everything that’s been going on, that’s surrounding us, that’s surrounding me, that’s surrounding our organization. To still go out there and represent not just the organization, but New York City as a whole, it’s still an honor to do that.”
A Perfect Ten
“Everything that’s been going on” is one way to put it. Carmelo Anthony refers to all the drama surrounding the New York Knicks club. From Derrick Rose’s AWOL day, and Charles Oakley being arrested during a game, to the indications that Phil Jackson wants Carmelo off the team, NYC is not lacking for off-the-court headlines.
And it certainly hasn’t been an easy year, either. Built as a pseudo-contender with former MVP Derrick Rose aboard, along with supposed quality backup like Courtney Lee and Joakim Noah, these Knicks were supposed to at least fight for Playoffs advantage. Instead, they now sit 12th in the East, with a majorly disappointing 23-34 record.
So this tenth nod is a jolt of good news for the Knicks faithful. Representing New York, Carmelo joins a small group of players who’ve worn an All Star uniform at least ten times. The exclusive list includes only 41 other players throughout NBA history. He hopscotches over the likes of Chris Paul, Gary Payton, and Dominique Wilkins, who each have 9 appearances.
Better Than Love?
The question is, is Carmelo Anthony only serving as a replacement – a downgrade – from the Kevin Love selection? Or does his choice actually improve the East’s roster?
Here’s a comparison of the performances between the two so far this season:
Kevin Love: 20.0 points on 42.9% shooting; 11.1 rebounds; 1.9 assists
Carmelo Anthony: 23.2 points on 44.1% shooting, 6.1 rebounds; 2.9 assists
The numbers indicate that Love is a bigger rebounder by far. Carmelo, however, provides stronger, and more efficient scoring – and that’s the name of the All Star Game. We’re not going to be seeing much playmaking, though anticipate that both teams will try to shoot for 200 points apiece in the game. So, perhaps Anthony’s inclusion could be good for the East.
Ready for the All Star Game? Comment below and let us hear what you think!