It isn't officially the offseason in the NBA until social media users start hyping up a mixtape of Carmelo Anthony looking good in an open gym. This year's edition hit a little different considering that "Hoodie Melo" is still searching for a contract, and could very well find himself out of the league.
His trainer, however, believes that Anthony is "100 percent" NBA ready, and is better than most guys in the league right now. NBA trainer extraordinaire Chris Brickley made a recent appearance on "The Breakfast Club," and it wasn't long before the conversation turned to Anthony, who of course spent many years in New York City with the Knicks.
Brickley's full answer on whether Anthony is ready to be a starter in the NBA:
Yes, given the situation. Allen Iverson, if you remember. He kind of got, some people say, blackballed. He got into a situation in his career, where teams would be like, 'oh, he's gonna want this role, so we're gonna stay away.' I think that's what's going on with Melo right now. He's easily better with 60 percent, 70 percent of NBA players walking around. I think teams are afraid of, 'I want to be the star,' or 'I want this.' That's not the case, though. Melo just wants to have a final season, farewell season, do what D-Wade did. Do the jersey swap. He had a great career, he's a Hall of Famer. So hopefully that can happen.
Anthony played just 10 games last season for the Rockets before the two sides agreed to part ways. Houston kept him on their books, however, and he was later traded to the Bulls in a cap-clearing deal, then waived immediately by Chicago.
Given his production the past two seasons, it's hard to make the case that a 35-year-old Anthony is better than 60 or 70 percent of the league. He's never been a great defender, and is now way too inefficient on the offensive end. Last season he was shooting just 40.5 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from 3 before the Rockets sent him home. Even if you want to say that was too small of a sample size, his numbers over a whole season with the Thunder weren't much better, clocking in at 40.4 percent from the field and 35.6 percent from 3-point range.
Despite that being the case, Anthony is still receiving support from some of the game's biggest stars as Portland Trail Blazers All-Star Damian Lillard took to Twitter on Monday night to advocate for Melo getting another opportunity to play in the NBA.
Brickley admitted that Anthony is just eager for one last season, and wouldn't be searching for a big role, so perhaps some team will bring him on board as more of a veteran locker room presence and glorified assistant coach. But at this point, Anthony's days of being an impactful player seem over.