John Lucas tells the sad reality of Carmelo Anthony living in limbo: ‘It’s a young guy’s league’
Carmelo Anthony is now living through uncharted waters, as the Houston Rockets recently decided to part ways with him, yet haven’t cut him from the roster yet, as his representatives evaluate the next step in his career. Rockets development coach and former NBA guard John Lucas cited what has mired Anthony in this situation, giving the insight of someone who has played the game and someone who also coaches it through the changes the league has undergone in recent years.
“He has such a big shadow, a big name that gets a bad rap,” Lucas said of Anthony, according to Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “It’s not him. It’s his aura. He could have accepted any role. But thing is, when you get to be an older pro, you get caught up in the business of basketball and the game of basketball.
“So, when your career starts to wind down, i.e., Karl Malone, i.e., Gary Payton, i.e., a lot of greats who begin to move around, you figure out how important that it is. You’re not going to get better in two weeks, you’re going to get older in two weeks. It’s a young guy’s league.”
Anthony had one of the greatest careers of any scorer in the history of the league, holding his name only with the likes of Michael Jordan, LeBron James and Kevin Durant as the only four horsemen to average 20 or more points throughout each season of their entire career.
That narrative came to a close with Oklahoma City, as his 16.2 points per game average was by far the lowest of his NBA career. Forced to take on a bench role in an offense vastly different from any other he’s played in, Anthony was a round peg on a square hole, failing to properly fit in a team that had deluded confidence it could somehow make it work.
Anthony knows he has a place in the Hall of Fame, despite his shortcomings in the hardware department, but as Lucas pointed out, that image tears down at some point or another. The NBA is more eager to stash young talent than keep veterans in their rosters, something shown that much more clearly by the inclusion of two two-way spots for each team.
That very provision will be what happens to Anthony, as the undrafted Gary Clark could likely have his contract converted to a full-fledged NBA deal once the Rockets waive Anthony for good.