If you’re like at least 80% of us, on your rec basketball team you’re probably not the best player, not the go-to guy. Let’s say you just had a playoff game and your team stunk it up. You personally played kinda so-so, maybe even a little subpar, but definitely inconsistently. At the same time, the best guy on your team just exploded for 39 points and 11 rebounds. Then he says this: “I’m not pointing fingers or anything, but I can’t do this by myself, guys.”
Now, let’s turn the tables. Let’s say you are that go-to guy and you’re the one who recorded the 39-and-11, but still lost.
Some of us may have been in those shoes before, despite clearly falling well short of becoming an NBA superstar. Maybe you were the best player on your squad, the only kid who played varsity high school ball on a crappy team in the intramural league. You scored 20 ppg. For the first playoff game, you scored 27 but you guys lost. Maybe your older, veteran point guard couldn’t hit any shots either.
I just don’t see anything gained by Carmelo Anthony saying, “Guys, I can’t do this by myself.” I mean, you’re the best player. If you have to do it by yourself, you’re supposed to do it by yourself. In this case, against a team that is playing far better as a unit, you have to do it by yourself. Isn’t that what Michael Jordan did in the early years? Isn’t that what Dwyane Wade and to an extent not as extreme, LeBron James, are doing as we speak?
It’s not a constructive thing to say, either. Maybe your team is just that bad. At the very least, they are what they are. You should be aware of their warts by now. Getting your inferior teammates to play better should be led by example, especially when you’re not the coach and it’s not your job to mentally prepare your teammates.
Believe it or not, I was one of those go-to guys during a blip in my younger years. You know what? I would’ve said to myself, “Screw it, Chris airballed that last one, I’m not going to pass to him next time no matter how open he is. And Chauncey’s cold today, so if it comes down to a contested shot for him versus one for me, it will be me. I’m creating a shot for myself before the double-team gets there. I’m demanding the ball out of bounds and dribbling it 94 feet until my teammates step it up. Me executing a difficulty 9 shot attempt is better than risking Chris doing something stupid. If I screw up, I screw up, but at least I didn’t let so-and-so screw it up again.”
That’s the executive decision you’ve got to make, as the superstar of the team after giving your teammates a chance. That’s why games are 48 minutes long. Keep in mind, you have to pick your spots. Not even MJ could go in sixth gear for the whole game.
I guess this gets filed in the bin entitled “don’t sweat the stuff that’s not under your control”, which includes ranting about referees, something I just can’t stand. Basically, I can’t stand whining, which is why I’m so taken aback by Melo.
To top things off, I haven’t ever seen MJ, LeBron, Brandon Roy, Paul Pierce, Kevin Durant, or even Kobe Bryant blaming teammates like that. Didn’t D-Wade score 46 the other day to stave off elimination? If that’s what you gotta do, that’s what you gotta do.
If 39-and-11 isn’t good enough, then just realize you gave it your best, or else go out and record 49-and-16. Assess the situation and act accordingly per your abilities. But please don’t whine about it and tell your teammates the kettle is black. It’s disrespectful for you to point out something that they already know. It also implies that you want to win more than your teammates do.
So, in effect, I just think Melo is reinforcing his rather one-dimensionalism here. He still needs to work on his full-court ball-handling abilities so that he need not rely on someone giving him the ball. He needs to have more games where he makes twenty trips to the free throw line.
It’s too bad. I really would like to consider him amongst the aforementioned as a fellow elite superstar, but this is a step in the wrong direction and keeps him out of the club. Moreover, this is definitely not going to help the already downtrodden team chemistry.
Not everyone out there will agree with me, though. Here’s the original post by BlackSportsOnline. I think they make a mistake by condoning Melo’s quotes, excerpted below.
In short, I think the editor at BlackSportsOnline ought to start playing in Dream League to get a first-hand taste in team/superstar dynamics. If he plays long enough, he’ll understand what I mean. Here’s Melo…
“I’m trying, I’m trying to beat them. I’m trying to do everything I can in my power to beat the Jazz,” Anthony said Sunday. “But, at the end of the day, I need some help. I’m not sitting here pointing fingers or nothing. As a unit, we’ve got to do this together. I can’t do this by myself…I’m in a battle. I don’t have time to worry about people’s feelings right now,” Anthony said. “I’m trying to win.”
Read their whole analysis at: Carmelo Anthony: “I Need Some Help; I Can’t Do this by Myself” : Robert Littal Presents BlackSportsOnline
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