Melo’s NBA shortcomings
Carmelo Anthony has realized the dark reality of many NBA superstars. For x amount of years you lead a franchise to success and you are the main reason why fans come to games. Everyone who is a fan of your team wears your jersey. Teams that don’t have many fans sometimes get these superstars and then their fans start to show up to games. Unfortunately teams in this era of the NBA no longer pick up old starts to draw fans to the game. They feel like bringing in these over-the-hill veterans takes away from what they plan on building in the future. They no longer want to have these over-the-hill superstars on their team jacking up shots, taking away opportunities from others and not working within the team game. The NBA is now firmly against ISO ball and encourages ball movement, which is unfortunate for many players stuck in between eras like Melo, who dominated the game as the primary handler of the ball without much passing. The NBA doesn’t have a home for them. Melo not fitting in with Houston shows that his game no longer fits the NBA. Since he has been out of the league for a while now and no one has seen him play in what seems like ages, he might have to cope with the reality that he is no longer an NBA level player. Even though his NBA prospects have faded, his star has not. Melo is still an icon in today’s culture and is a beloved icon to most athletes and fans alike. There is one league where he can not only reclaim his legitimacy but further enhance his star in a way that hasn’t been done before – that league being the Big 3.
What the Big 3 could do for Melo
The Big 3 would be a league to offer Melo some exposure. It would allow fans and NBA GM’s to see him play again. It is hard to make your case to play in the NBA when you do not have any recent game tape. The Big 3 has just shown Melo the way for a comeback with Joe Johnson. If Joe Johnson could come into the league and win a championship while getting another shot in the NBA, just imagine what Carmelo Anthony could do. Melo would be the Big 3’s first mega superstar. They have not had a player of Melo’s stature play in the Big 3 before. Not only have they not had a player of Melo’s caliber, they also haven’t had a player who was still this close to his prime. With him playing in the Big 3, it will also allow him to play on national television while being a Lebron-like start for the league. I think the worst thing that happened for Melo was that he came into the league the same time as Lebron which took away from his brilliance. In the Big 3 he could be the trailblazer that hey haven’t had yet. It would let him be the star he still thinks he is in the NBA. Also the Big 3 style of play fits Melo’s game. Those close to him need to give him some solid advice and tell him that even though he might not be in the NBA, he has a chance to make a move that will set him up for life. Unlike Lebron and Durant, Melo doesn’t have the rings or the shoe deals that will keep revenue coming in for life. While I doubt Melo is hurting for money, I think if he makes this move he could possibly ask for a piece of ownership in the Big 3. The best part of the league is that its schedule is cut out perfectly for aging players. It has a ten week season during the summer that doesn’t wear the body down and games are half court. If he plays multiple years in this league, he can seal his legacy in a way that returning to the NBA won’t. Nothing at this point would be bigger than being the player who took a league from relevant to major television deals: this is what Melo could be. This partnership isn’t only beneficial for Melo but also beneficial for the Big 3.
What Melo could bring to the Big 3
The Big 3 has a lot to gain from bringing in a player of Melo’s status. Melo would be to the Big 3 what Larry Bird and Magic where to the NBA. The marquee player that brings sold out crowds back to arenas. When Melo was on top of his game he was one of the most dangerous scorers the NBA has ever seen. His mid range game is a perfect fit for the Big 3. It is no doubt that if he plays in the Big 3 he will be their biggest star. At the moment, they have been able to bring in a few all-stars and some guys who had brief stints in the NBA who were top 20 players, but they’ve never had a guy who was a ten time all-star or a Melo-like star. If I were Ice Cube, I would be on the phone with Melo’s people right now. I would be willing to give him a small percentage in the league. Partnerships like this are what makes something great. The Big 3 to date has been successful in that they have been able to continue to stay relevant for two years. Most ventures like the Big 3 fail within the first year. Take the XFL and other football leagues who failed after one season. What the Big 3 has done is nothing short of amazing by getting a TV deal out the gate to play their stuff on repeat. The only thing keeping them from legitimacy is live games and weekly viewership on national TV: Melo could be the star that gets them there. His pop culture fame alone would be enough to bring fans to the game and a new legitimacy to the Big 3. Not only that, if Melo decides to join the Big 3, it would possibly open up a flood gate for other superstars like him to consider joining the Big 3. Originally Ice Cube wanted Kobe Bryant to join the Big 3 but a guy of his stature, who has accomplished everything in the NBA such as winning championships in the League, would not be interested in playing in the Big 3. The Big 3 has sort of found a new direction that they didn’t even expect. They are a league that is now for former stars who never won a ring on their own or never fulfilled their potential. These players are offered redemption in the Big 3 in a way the NBA could never give them. They are allowed to change the way fans see them ride off into the sunset. Imagine if you were a player like Tracy McGrady or James Harden: great players with no rings who the media liked to cast as losers. If they play in the Big 3 they get to become winners who change the path of athletes post NBA.
Overall, the Melo and Big 3 partnership is a match made in heaven. It is a legacy building move for both parties. Melo can go down as the star he was destined to be after coming out of Syracuse, and the Big 3 would not have its legitimacy as a post NBA league that keeps former NBA stars from “where are they now” posts. Not only does the Big 3 allow fans to see their favorite players of yesterday play, they can get to see players of different generations play against each other. What if in 15 years we get to see a player that everyone coins as the greatest since Lebron retire, and get to play against him in the Big 3? This would be a fan’s fantasy and the Big 3 is traveling down the road to bring this fantasy to real life. Someone get Ice Cube and Melo on the phone please.