Draymond Green offers colorful criticism of Carmelo Anthony's NBA ranking
Green stuck up for Anthony after the Knicks forward was ranked 64th in ESPN's ranking of players
After a long summer of trades and free agent signings, the most sure sign that a new NBA season is around the corner is when players and media start yelling about the annual ranking of players.
This time, one of the biggest sources for criticism was the fact Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony was ranked No. 64 on ESPN's NBA player rankings, one spot behind Los Angeles Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, who is yet to play in an NBA game.
Anthony was upset, as were many other players and media members. Now, we can add the Golden State Warriors' Draymond Green. Green, who came in at No. 10, came to Anthony's defense, pretty much saying Anthony's spot was ridiculous. Via ESPN:
I think when you look at Melo, Melo has been a great player in this league for some time now. Obviously, I think no one thinks that he's the Melo he was five years ago, and that happens to everyone. That's just the nature of the career that we've all chosen. At some point, you start to slow down and you're not who you once were. So, I'm not going to sit here and lie and act like he is the Melo he was five years ago, but the 64th-best player in the NBA? All right, five years ago he was maybe sixth. He ain't f---ing 64 [now].
I'm a firm believer in guys earning what they get, and I know he's earned more than a 64. And when you see rookies coming in who haven't played a game, that's just clear-cut disrespect. You've got guys who have given everything they had into this game and has proved s--- year in and year out and then people just walk in and are ranked higher than someone? Let them get out there and prove something first. I'm a firm believer in that. Maybe I'm that way because I've never been given anything. Everything I've gotten in this league I've worked for and earned. So maybe I see it a little differently. That will never change for me. I can't put you above guys who have done this year in and year out with the best of them and say you're better. That's just not me. I think it's clear disrespect.
And like I said to start it off, I know Melo isn't the Melo he was five or seven years ago, but he's for damn sure not the 64th-best player in the league. I know that. There aren't 63 players better than Carmelo Anthony.
Say what you will about Green's play and demeanor on the floor, but there's no debating that he's a smart dude. Of course Carmelo isn't a top-30 guy anymore, but he can still fill it up with the best of them, and ranking him below a rookie who hasn't even played a game is questionable.
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