NBA future Hall-of-Famer Carmelo Anthony has an interesting take on what it means to be a “pure hooper.” The former New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets legend recently shared his thoughts on some players he considers to fit within that definition, including himself of course.
“You can put them anywhere in the world, any court, any ball, any basket and they'll get to it,” said Anthony, per Overtime. “Allen Iverson is a pure hooper, Tracy McGrady, JR Smith, Lou Will, Jamal Crawford, KD, and myself.”
"I love pure hoopers, guys that get to it. You can put them anywhere in the world, any court, any ball, any basket."
Melo's pure hoopers:
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPoints) August 25, 2023
All seven players that Carmelo Anthony named are certainly quite good at putting the basketball in the bucket.
Players like Lou Williams, Jamal Crawford, and JR Smith in particular were known throughout their career who could come off the bench and get hot at a moment's notice and create their own shot when the offense broke down.
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McGrady, Durant, Iverson, and Anthony himself meanwhile were all more regarded as first options, who were lethal both in isolation scoring and within team sets.
Perhaps the common denominator between the seven players on Anthony's list is just how aesthetically pleasing their game was to watch. All of them had silky smooth jumpers and an arsenal of offensive moves that put defenders at their mercy.
They may not have all played the exact same style considering their vast differences in height and athleticism. Still, all seven were regarded in their heyday as elite isolation scorers who could simply get buckets.
If anyone has respect for that kind of basketball player, it would be Carmelo Anthony.