Carmelo Anthony's career is a classic what-if scenario. This is one of the greatest scorers of all time, a player with a jump shot so pure that he's the only player in NBA history to score 50 points in a game without a single one of them coming in the paint.
Maligned all over the internet for only having a couple of jab step moves up his sleeve on isolation possessions these days, he is a far cry from the scoring machine that he was for a large chunk of his career with the Nuggets and the New York Knicks.
Talent is not enough to win championships in the league. It takes sacrifice and a willingness to be coached and play different styles of basketball, getting out of one's comfort zone while doing so - none of which Melo has conceivably been successful at.
The following are 5 harsh realities about him:
#1 His postseason record is not much to brag about
Melo made the playoffs every year for the first 10 seasons of his career. Up until his 6th season, the Nuggets were eliminated in the first round every time. Although 3 of those losses were against the Spurs, who were clearly the best teams in the mid-2000s (their losses came in 2004, 2005 and 2007), they had a pretty good team that could've beaten the Lakers in 2008.
On top of that, the Nuggets should have definitely won their first round encounter against the Clippers in 2006, which would then have pitted them against a Phoenix Suns who they matched up pretty well against. One could also make the argument that the Nuggets should have beaten the Lakers in 2009 based on talent alone, but they lost the Conference Finals in six games. A loss to the lower-seeded Jazz in the first round in 2010 is also a disappointment for Melo, even though he averaged 30.7 points per game.
The Knicks, meanwhile got swept by the Celtics in the first round of the 2011 playoffs - another disappointment for Melo. They got beaten by the Heat in 2012, understandably, but despite being fancied against the Pacers in the 2013 Eastern Conference Semifinals, they conceded ground to the younger team despite having experience on their side.
There wasn't a lot Melo could have done in most of these losses, and the Knicks' failure to make the playoffs during his last 4 seasons in New York, but he clearly didn't make the best of his opportunities to do so.