Carmelo Anthony Would Be, Hands Down, The Worst NFL Quarterback Ever
Carmelo Anthony, Derek Fisher and the New York Knicks are hurling themselves at Phil Jackson's concepts and seeing whether they can pin the tail on the triangle offense. Right now, Jackson is grimacing. If anything, the Knicks are sticking pins in Jackson's tail -- They're a pain in his ass.
Phil Jackson recognized Anthony's potential within the system but also indirectly pointed out that Anthony hasn't come anywhere near reaching that potential:
"Carmelo Anthony is obviously the team's only certified All-Star. It's also no secret that Melo has to keep the ball moving, but he's committed to doing this. Passing has never been a great strength of his, but in the triangle he'll be able to have check-off reads like a quarterback looking for his first-option receiver, then his second and then his third. There'll be plenty of iso opportunities for Melo, and in the triangle it'll be very difficult for defenses to double-team him. It won't be like last season where he had to take clutch shots with a gang of defenders in his face. Also look for Melo to get a bunch of post-up looks."
So, Anthony hasn't done any of that. Because he started it, let's try to translate everything Jackson just said into football talk and describe how Carmelo is doing as the "quarterback" of the triangle offense.
Just like a quarterback who can't move through his progressions, Anthony sticks to his first option. If that first option isn't open -- and sometimes even if it is open -- Anthony is quick to keep the ball for himself. Just like a quarterback who is quick to tuck the ball and run, Anthony keeps the ball and attacks the paint. He could shoot and miss a jumper, which is kind of like a throw away. Then again, he could shoot and hit a jumper. But that's not a part of the system. The system dictates that Melo go through his reads, find the open player and avoid double teams, or in football talk, the pass rush. He's not doing that.
Carmelo Anthony is a super-sized version of Vince Young.
Shrink Anthony three inches, have him drop five pounds and put him in slight fast forward. You've got a washed up talent like Vince Young. Yes, physically, it's a stretch to say that Anthony and Young are similar. In terms of talent, Anthony is one of the most talented players in the NBA. Young was the best player in College Football -- 2005 Heisman Voters be damned. Of course in the NFL, Young turned out to be the scum between Alfalfa's toes. But perhaps the moral is that Young probably should have played basketball and Anthony should never -- and I mean Charlotte McKinney's answer to me asking whether she would sleep with me, "never" -- play quarterback. Tight end, almost definitely. But not quarterback, never quarterback.
So it's fun to shoot the shit and discus whether Melo could beat out Matt Seracen for QB1 of the Permian Panthers, but let's circle back to basketball and the proverbial pinning the tail on the triangle offense.
It's got to work, eventually, right?
Talent eventually sorts itself out in the NBA. When Doc Rivers joined the Clippers, the team pulled it together fairly quickly, but they were also more talented than the Knicks. The Knicks have nothing comparable to the Chris Paul-Blake Griffin combo (not to mention Jamal Crawford and DeAndre Jordan). They've got Melo and, um... J.R. Smith or Amare Stoudemire or something. Note to Jackson: None of those players know how to pass or play defense. Apparently, they're not even athletic enough.
So, we've got Jackson in New York trying to conquer Hercules' 13th labor (hint: Hercules only had 12). He's trying to reverse deeply embedded tendencies of a bunch of middle-aged men. Ask the ex-wives of America how that goes.
The Knicks aren't uncoachable. There are some young, perhaps impressionable players in Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. That's probably the generation Jackson is targeting. In the meantime, Phil Jackson's words that indirectly liken Melo to Vince Young shouldn't leave New York brimming with confidence.
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