Rewarding the chuckers

JERRY: Every time you get the ball you shoot.

GEORGE: I can’t believe you called me a chucker. No way I’m a chucker, I do not chuck, never chucked, never have chucked, never will chuck, no chuck!

JERRY: You chuck.

Scene from Seinfeld, Episode 34, “The Boyfriend”


Carmelo adI can’t help but wonder when we are going to stop rewarding mediocrity.

For example, I guess I kind of sort of understand the world of marketing.  That’s more my uncle’s field than my own.  My uncle’s a man who spent his entire career pimping fast food, soft drinks and amusement parks, and rather successfully so.  He could probably tell us what makes an athlete marketable having worked with so many in the past.

But I would swear the ones he worked with in his day were worth a damn.  So many these days are not.

Let’s take Carmelo Anthony for example, who seems to be in as many commercials as any other professional basketball player.  However, Carmelo, leading scorer and shot-launcher of the nightmarish New York Knicks, has become one of the most incomplete, one-dimensional players in the league.  He’s second in the league in scoring but takes more shots than anyone else to reach that mark.  Since joining the Knicks, he’s averaged 44% from the floor.  Years ago in Denver, his third, fourth and fifth years in the league, he averaged over 48% which tells me not only is he forcing shots but more importantly, that he’s regressed as a player.

The 9-19 New York Knicks are a laughing stock and that is as much Carmelo’s fault as it is anybody else’s.  But Carmelo is missing shots all the way to the bank.  His marketing people are obviously working harder on their game than he is.  ‘Melo made $28 million last year, $8.5 of that in endorsements.  According to Forbes, his was the NBA’s highest-selling jersey.  His shoe sales rank third, behind only Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.

Say what you will about LeBron James, and my readers have said plenty, at least he has increased his field goal percentage every season for the PAST EIGHT YEARS.

2006-7 .476

2007-8 .484

2008-9 .489

2009-10 .503

2010-11 .510

2011-12 .531

2012-13 .565

2013-14 .601

Not only that, he’s won championships.  Becoming the best doesn’t happen by accident.  Think about it.  LeBron is shooting 60% this season!  That’s unheard of for a guy who takes as many jump shots as he does.  Do you know what it would take for Carmelo Anthony to shoot 60% from the field?  A miracle… and about 500 fewer bad decisions.

Carmelo jumperComparisons between ‘Melo and LeBron are perfectly appropriate.  The two were selected two picks apart in 2003.  It actually would have been only one were it not for Detroit’s dreaded Dumars-Darko disaster.

Last year, Carmelo Anthony took 1489 shots.  That ranked third in the league behind fellow chuckers Kobe Bryant and Russell Westbrook.  This year, Carmelo leads the league in field goal attempts per game (21.1) and is second in total shots taken only to LaMarcus Aldridge, who shoots thirty percentage points higher than Carmelo.  LaMarcus’s Trailblazers are in first place in the West.  Right now, the Knicks aren’t even sniffing the playoffs and the Eastern Conference teams they play against are abominable.

I guess what I’m asking is… if you were drafting a team right now, would you even pick Carmelo?  He’s been dubbed the “ball-stopper” because once he touches the basketball, the next person to touch it is the one grabbing the defensive rebound after his missed shot.  So isn’t Carmelo more of a liability than anything else and if that’s the case, why would anyone buy anything he has to sell?

Look, I don’t begrudge Carmelo or anyone else who wants to maximize the dollars they earn during a short career window.  Believe it or not, I actually used to like the guy.  I just recognize him for what he’s become.  I can’t imagine what Knicks fans think every time they see him launch a contested shot from twenty-five feet but among those has to be that comparisons to Bernard King were drastically premature.  Shouldn’t one’s game improve after ten years in the league?  Or is that too hard to do in between commercial breaks?

Carmelo Anthony will test the free agent market this off-season and despite his shot selection, some team will pay him top dollar for his services.  I don’t mean to come off as some old curmudgeon complaining about the lack of fundamentals and reminiscing about the NBA’s glory days but it would be nice for someone to know their limits.  When I step on the karaoke stage, I don’t sing Journey or Hall and Oates or Led Zeppelin.  I know my range, how to pick my spots.  Before taking that next bad jump shot, perhaps Carmelo should learn his.

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48 Replies to “Rewarding the chuckers”

  1. Chris

    Let’s put this way , without LBJ , would the Heat have won the last two NBA Finals ?

    Heat stats in 2012 and 2011

    There’s a rhyme and reason to the madness within the NBA this season . This year within the NBA field goal percentage , is actually led by the Clippers’ DeAndre Jordan with . 657. LeBron sits fourth in that category but lies fourth in scoring averaging 25.2 ppg .

    I trust you and the immediate family had a wonderful Christmas ? Here’s to a prosperous New Year as well for you and the family members !

    Spent my time , on the day (Christmas) “Skyping” with family back in the UK , as well as with friends on both coasts and various places around the globe .

    So Romo is out for the rest of the season for the Cowboys ? They in turn , have signed forty-one year old Jon Kitna , allegedly , as the backup to Kyle Orton . This could have ugly written all over it , as they chase down a playoff berth with their final game of the season against the Eagles either being seen as the “bait” or a trap game where they are likely to slip up .

    Kitna’s last game may well have been played just before it was fashionable to no longer call the Cowboys ” America’s Team ” . Hang on , how long have I been saying that ? The Cowboys no longer being America’s Team ………….. just not long enough , but I can live with that as they are simply overrated and lack the will to win ! Never mind the proverbial excuses from just about every player on the team when they have their @ss handed to them on a silver platter . Tony Romo is nothing more than a fantasy geeks’ chewable and cuddly toy during the regular season and a ##ss poor quarterback during the postseason .

    tophatal ………

  2. “LeBron is shooting 60% this season! That’s unheard of for a guy who takes as many jump shots as he does”

    this isnt really a valid point considering lebron doesnt actually shoot 60% from outside the paint or even close to it. youll need to do a shot by shot comparison to make this assertion but obviously theres no comparing melo to lebron

  3. That’s fair to suggest, Sam, so upon your suggestion, I did a little bit of research, only looking at shots from within or outside the arc for the two players.

    Both Carmelo and LeBron take about 16% of their shots from distance.

    That’s where the similarities end.

    Carmelo shoots .447 from two-point range and .335 from three-point range.

    LBJ shoots .595 from two-point range and .398 from beyond the arc.

    When researching this piece, I actually thought I’d find that Carmelo shoots more three-pointers than he actually does. He’s just outside top 40 in the NBA for three pointers attempted. That being said, he should be making a greater percentage of shots he takes from closer in or at least create opportunities for easier shots.

    I’m not sure he’s doing either of those.

  4. Kitna to the rescue in Dallas, huh, Al? If they’re giving Kitna looks, shouldn’t it officially be time for Tim Tebow to give up all hopes of quarterbacking in the league?

    Do I believe the Rays WANT to re-sign David Price? Of course. Why wouldn’t they? Do I think they’ll be able to find it in their limited budget to do so? Of course not.

    I also think I agree with you on the under number for coaches fired but stranger things have happened.

  5. Chris

    The Cowboys have actually signed Jon Kitna for the rest of the season , but it’ll be Kyle Orton .. starting for Dallas on Sunday .

    I believe Roger Staubach was unavailable, due to a speaking engagement involving one of his many shady and various business enterprises as an entrepreneur .

    Speaking of coaches and apparent firings . No truth to the rumor is there that Penn State are seeking to gauge Mike Munchak’s interest in the head coaching position . I wasn’t even aware the Nittany Lions had or were thinking of firing the incumbent coach ?

    Courtesy of SI

    Titans’ Mike Munchak, Bucs’ Greg Schiano reportedly interested in coaching Penn State

    Titans coach Mike Munchak and Buccaneers coach Greg Schiano could soon be switching places with Penn State head coach Bill O’Brien. The two pro coaches are reportedly interested in being head coach of Penn State’s football team if O’Brien decides to leave the team for a job in the NFL.

    SI WIRE: Jeff Monken officially named Army football coach

    According to a report from David Jones of the Patriot-News, “knowledgeable PSU sources” have told him that individuals representing Munchak and Schiano have “discreetly” inquired with Penn State officials to get a better sense of any possible changes to the Nittany Lions’ staff. The university is reportedly not actively seeking candidates to replace O’Brien, who is the target of several NFL teams. A third name mentioned as a possible replacement for O’Brien, should he leave for the NFL, is Vanderbilt coach James Franklin.

    The 53-year-old Munchak, a Penn State graduate, was on the verge of getting the job two years ago after the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and is reportedly the favorite this time around if Penn State needs a new coach. Schiano was a one-time assistant coach for Penn State but is “not thought to be high on the would-be PSU contingency list,” according to the report.

    Click on link to read in full.

    Schiano ” wanting out ” in Tampa, no real surprise , if this is all said to be true , given the Bucs’ woefully inept season all-round .

  6. Oklahoma City are back to the ways of old with Durant and Russell Westbrook leading the charge as the league’s highest scoring offensive duo . They’re even making the Spurs look pedantic this season , that’s even given the play of Tony Parker who has been on fire as of late for the team.

    I simply love what the Knicks and Nets are doing to make the East even less credible than we already …. knew it to be .

    NBA standings (conference) and by division .

    tophatal ………

  7. Chris that doesnt make any sense. If Lebron’s overall shooting % is .595 then youre basically saying hes making 100% of his jump shots. Youre not doing the math correctly somewhere. More than 75% of his shots come from inside the paint so pretty much have to treat him like a Dwight or a Deandre or any of the centers. You cant ignore that and just say “hes killing it on jump shots”.

  8. That’s news to me as well, Al. I thought O’Brien was happy at that position. I guess we’ll see what happens in the off-season. And exactly what source, other than SI, cites Schiano as interested in that position? Sounds fishy.

    I love OKC this year, man. They seem to really have their shit together. It wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see them come out of the West.

  9. Sorry, Sam. It was 7 am when I did that math and hadn’t had any sleep.

    Let’s try this again, shall we?

    Two-Point Field Goal % this season .466
    Three-Point Field Goal % this season .367
    Two-Point Field Goals attempted 453
    Three-Point Field Goals attempted 109
    Overall Field Goal % this season .447
    Three point shots comprise 19.4% of all shots taken

    Two-Point Field Goal % this season .646
    Three-Point Field Goal % this season .398
    Two-Point Field Goals attempted 347
    Three-Point Field Goals attempted 88
    Overall Field Goal % this season .595
    Three point shots comprise 20.2% of all shots taken

    So LeBron is actually taking slightly MORE three-pointers as an overall percentage of his shots than ‘Melo is.

    Thanks for keeping me in line.

  10. Chris, first off its been awhile! Gradually easing myself back into the blogosphere and glad to see you’re still churning out great stuff. Melo hasn’t expanded his product offering and indeed, someone else will pony up and overpay for his one dimensional value. It is maddening to see him not developing into a true NBA superstar…but remaining only a true NBA celebrity. There is a difference.

  11. Chris

    If Portland can crack the fifth seed or above by the end of the season , then I can see them being a danger within the West . However , like I said , with no proven recent track record that scenario may not actually arise .

    Lillard this season is proving to be a ” real stud ” for the team in terms of his performances and he shows a great deal of maturity and leadership beyond his now two years in the league .

    If Greg Schiano were to bolt and take the possible vacancy at Penn State , would it actually surprise you ?

    tophatal …………..

  12. PSU update via NFL sources

    Bill O’Brien, Houston Texans agree to interview

    By Gregg Rosenthal , NFL Around the League writer

    Penn State coach Bill O’Brien’s potential return to the NFL is picking up steam.

    NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported on NFL Network’s “Around the League Live” that O’Brien is one of the Houston Texans’ top candidates to fill their coaching job, according to sources familiar with the team’s process. O’Brien and the Texans agreed to have an interview after Christmas, which means it’s already happened or it will happen in the near future.

    League executives view O’Brien, the former New England Patriots offensive coordinator, as a very real possibility to leap from college back to the NFL. Rapoport notes that O’Brien’s NFL buyout was reduced from $13 million to $6.5 million in March. That news was made public in June.

    It is surprising from the outside that an NFL team would be so willing to pay a big buyout, but $6.5 million is a relatively small sum for an NFL owner. Rapoport reported that Lovie Smith has already interviewed for the Texans job

    Things are getting stranger by the minute .

    Bill O’Brien ” wants out “ of PSU ?

    tophatal ………..

  13. A chucker indeed. The rumors of him coming to the Lakers this off season don’t give me much hope for the future of my beloved Lakers…unless he comes as a package deal with LeBron. If LeBron stays put or goes back to Cleveland then the Lakers should pass on Melo.

    …Boy, using “pass” and “Melo” in the same sentence just seems so wrong.

    Some would say the same about Kobe, but look at his career assist totals…not as bad as some would think. 2nd on the all time Lakers career list and he has averaged 6 the last two seasons and 4.8 for his career.

  14. Sam…

    That’s perfect. Dig the site.

    LeBron takes about two and a half time the amount of shots in the paint that Carmelo does. Now most of those are dunks but why isn’t Carmelo doing the same thing, driving the lane and getting higher percentage shots when he clearly has the ability to do so?

  15. Burnsy…

    Where the hell ya’ been, man? Welcome back from the Land of the Lost.

    I think I’m still subscribed to your site but if I’m not, feel free to swing back by and let me know when you’ve put up new stuff.

    Oh, and I have potential advertisers for you as well if you’re interested.

  16. Al…

    You don’t like the Warriors to do any legit damage? They’ve got talent, size and depth not to mention nasty perimeter shooting.

    And while I agree with you on the Blazers, they’re obviously doing something right. Theirs is still the best record in the West (24-5) and they’re winning both at home and on the road.

    Quick, without looking. Who’s their head coach? And don’t feel bad. I had to look it up too.

  17. “Sam…

    That’s perfect. Dig the site.

    LeBron takes about two and a half time the amount of shots in the paint that Carmelo does. Now most of those are dunks but why isn’t Carmelo doing the same thing, driving the lane and getting higher percentage shots when he clearly has the ability to do so?”

    You misunderstand I am not comparing Lebron to Melo because frankly there is no comparison. Im saying lebrons stats have been highly overblown and that when you look at a shot by shot comparison there are much better shooters than him. Durant being one of them

  18. I don’t disagree with you on that front either, Sam.

    The point of the piece was not necessarily a comparison between Melo and LeBron but more how Melo hasn’t maximized his potential as a player like LeBron and others in the league, i.e., KD, have.

    Yet he’s still taking home a pretty healthy paycheck both from within the league and without it.

  19. I’m not saying they’ll win a title, Al, but they do have one more battle-tested year under their belt. If I had to pick a team to come out of the West, I’d have to go with OKC but with Westbrook not at 100%, I’d say the Conference is wide open.

    And re: Schiano, I have to say I’m surprised. I thought he had won people over. Guess I was mistaken.

    So now who to replace him and more importantly, who to replace Mark Dominik?

    Lovie Smith anyone?

  20. One battle tested year in 2012 , for the Warriors is a a guarantee of nothing whatsoever . They have no veteran leadership on the roster and the coaching staff in essence is relatively inexperienced . So tell me how you still buy into it all ?

    Mark Dominik is an absolute putz ! As are the entire Glazer family < . The ” Putrid” . Pewter Report will now seek to spin this as a positive and look for a new beginning . How many of those , has this franchise had recently ?

    tophatal …………

  21. Lovie Smith may well interview for the Bucs’ position but he’s likely to be hired by a franchise with greater depth of talent than the Bucs , in terms of the current existing vacancies .

  22. Al…

    I still think the Warriors will fare well this post-season. Maybe not contend for a title but I wouldn’t be surprised to see them go deep.

    I’m definitely tuned into who the Bucs land to replace both Schiano and Dominik. Here’s hoping they make the right choices. The franchise sure needs it.

  23. When given the chance, it’s difficult to turn your head away from a player with Melo’s talent, but then again every team that Carmelo has played for has gotten drilled and never really has had a great playoff run.

    It’s hard to make a choice with Carmelo Anthony. The shots speak for itself, which proves that Anthony just cannot get over having to share the ball.

    That’s the big difference with LBJ. People crucify him because he will pass the ball on the last shot of a crucial game. That’s how unselfish he is. On the other hand, Melo will definitely take the shot no matter if he’s fading away from half court. Basketball is a team sport and you’ll never win a championship with one guy. Unfortunately, Carmelo Anthony still doesn’t understand this.

    Want to wish you and your family a Happy New Year. Like I said to Alan, let’s hit 2014 even stronger!

  24. Chris

    The second round is be as far as the Warriors will go this season after last year’s surprise . The team is simply not good or experienced enough and that includes the coaching staff .

    I see ‘melo is up to his infantile idiocy as usual . Not content with the Knicks being damn awful , he’s now angry that a fan has began haranguing him and e his teammates . Carmelo Anthony should consider himself lucky that the fan wasn’t a psychopath with violent tendencies , because in all likelihood , he would be shown some empathy and acquitted by a judge , had he taken it into his own hands to kill every player on that woeful Knicks’ roster .

    There has been the decaying feces of elephants or pachyderms’ dying carcasses that have not stunk as much as the Knicks have this season . The team is simply gutless and lacks the will to win under any circumstance .

    Have you caught the news about F1 (Formula One) driver Michael Schumacher being in critical condition after a skiing accident ? Tragic news .

  25. Chris

    With regard to the Bucs , the Glazers now have problems with both of the sports’ franchises they currently own . Tampa had an inept season . Nothing new there , given the lack of discipline shown by Greg Schiano and his staff . Now Man Utd are languishing mid-table in the English Premiership . Karma is a real ##tch , when it comes into view .

    I hope you and the family not only had a great Christmas but also a wonderful New Year’s Eve in terms of the festivities ? Have a prosperous and successful 2014 ! With those very same sentiments going to all of your patrons .

    tophatal ………….

  26. Thanks, CDR/BS. Same to you.

    If you want, take a look at the links that Sam listed above regarding shot selection between the two.

    I think, whether we’re fans of the guy or not, we all would like to see Carmelo take better shots.

  27. Golden State travels to Miami tonight, Al. We’ll see how they fare against the defending champs as they’re only 9-9 on the road this season.

    So all rumors point to the Buccaneers signing Lovie. Think they had been talking to him while Schiano was still employed at One Buc?

  28. Chris

    That Heat Warriors match-up proved to be eventful .

    Speaking of which , how much of a damn douche bag is Dwyane Wade ? He denigrates his ex-wife as being an unfit mother . He now has custody of his three children , but while the decree finality of his divorce had yet to take place he was involved with actress Gabrielle Union . Now comes word , he’s impregnated another female , while his publicist says he was taking a break from Union . Wade of late has been sinking more of his ” man juice ” than he has been sinking baskets either from the free throw line or field goal attempts .

    tophatal …………….

  29. I didn’t get to watch the game, Al, but clearly a team with that sort of guard play poses matchup problems for the Miami Heat.

    So Wade’s giving it up around town, huh? Shocker. Did Union know about this other woman?

  30. Chris

    Gabrielle Union was allegedly aware of the female who already has two children with actor Damon Wayans Jr , son of actor, comedian and writer , Damon Wayans .

    Talk about shooting “balls ” or spermicidal juice , Which is it that Dwayne Wade wants to be actually now known for ?

    And speaking of idiot athletes , Geno Smith gets caught with his pants down , cheating on his fiancee` , while getting allegedly a “rub down” from a student nurse . Smith’s balls get massaged more often than he’s thrown a touchdown pass this past season but perhaps less than the fumbles and interceptions he’s made all season long .

  31. Feb21 The knicks shudvole gotten Lebron and they wouldnt be noticing this trend, Things havent changed too much, although these knicks are definitely fun to watch, they are simply not a good enough team to compete for a championship in the next 4 years unless they can pick up a guy like carmello anthony. Amar’e isnt enough when theres three teams in the NBA who are packed with superstars and no other team has a snowflakes chance in hell. In fact if they dont make a deal for Anthony you can expect to be the norm for the future. They just wont be able to compete with the Heat Celtics and Lakers. Some people might throw the Bulls in there too

  32. Sep08 Lord, I ask that in Your kindness You’d reveal Yourself as the one true KING to Lebron That You alone are worthy to be praised. I ask that you’d humble him during our short time in this life, that You would have him as a son forever. Put a longing in His heart to see You return that he’d cry out for Your reign and justice to be brought forth in the earth. God, I ask that this massive platform that you’ve given him would bring much glory to Your name! Bless Lebron and keep him healthy.

  33. Al…

    Athletes running around on their significant others has been happening since the dawn of time.

    I’m not condoning it. I’m just saying I’m not surprised when it happens.

  34. En…

    I imagine the Knicks, along with every other team with salary cap space will make a play for LeBron but that’ll be easier said than done.

    I don’t see him going anywhere until Wade can’t walk and that’s still a few more years.

  35. 17 assists last night, the Lakers may already have found their pass first PG in Kendall Marshall.

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