by Craig Kwasniewski
With the All-Star game less than a month away and the Melo 5.5 All-Star Editions to follow, the Carmelo Anthony Media Blitz is in full force.
Let's first look Melo's track record to date:
-Charged with Marijuana possession passing through airport security.
-Was in a bar fight in Manhattan and later extorted for $3 million with a videotape of the alteration.
-Anthony appeared in about six minutes of the now famous DVD entitled “Stop Snitching.”
-On the court, is a one-dimensional offense-only player with zero defensive ability.
-Complained about his lack of playing time on the Olympic team, openly pouting on the bench.
-Refused to re-enter a game because a play was not called for him.
-Helped get his first coach Jeff Bzdelik fired.
Sounds like a lot of image reshaping to do for Melo. With Nike in your corner, the work is well under way. I found a few examples of the work at hand:
Tom Farrey of ESPN The Magazine wrote two ESPN.com articles (1 & 2) and one The Magazine article trying to convince me that Carmelo is just misunderstood. It's worth reading because of the blantant fawning over Melo. Some examples from The Magazine article "Streetwise":
-Carmelo argues that the "Stop Snitching" DVD is the ghetto way of saying stop the violence. He admires the increased street cred that the DVD has given him. Farrey writes that, "not only surviving Stop Snitching but thriving in its wake has been a liberating experience, freeing Melo to be Melo."
-For the Melo 5.5 shoe commercial, Farrey claims that Melo wrote the script over the course of two days. Melo rejected the original idea because it lacked substance. (Carmelo Anthony... screenwriter? Look out P.T. Anderson!)
-On his defense or lack thereof, "...he's playing better defense, even if he's sometimes caught reaching. It's an admirable flaw." (Awww, how admirable, he lacks defensive fundamentals!)
-Farrey compares Melo to Spider-Man because, "he tries to do right but is viewed with suspicion by police and the press. He pushes on, convinced that 'with great power comes great responsibility,'"
-Denver coach George Karl claims that Melo's 37 against Toronto is as good as Kobe's 81. (???)
-Arnie Stapleton, AP Sports Writer writes a fluff piece on Melo's improved image. He mentioned that Melo "decided to spend his off-time doing more community and charity work."
-A similar image rewrite was taken by Vicki Michaelis of USA TODAY last year before the All-Star game in Denver.
Image corrections always happen around All-Star games. It's a big business to have certain "star" players partake in the weekend festivities. Shoes need to be sold, events need hosting, posse's need to attend. Does Melo deserve to go to Houston? I don't so. He still needs to improve defensively and prove that he's more than just a scorer.