Oscar Robertson, the 1964 league MVP and the only player in NBA history to average a triple-double for an entire season, believes that Carmelo Anthony should join forces with Dwight Howard and James Harden by signing with the Houston Rockets in free agency this offseason.
“Wherever that kid’s gone, when he was at Denver, they had a team that fooled around with the ball, fooled around with the ball, then all of the sudden when they needed a basket, threw it to Carmelo. Then, when he shot the ball, they said he shot too much. Then, when he didn’t shoot, they said he didn’t shoot enough,” Robertson said on Spike Lee’s SiriusXM radio show. “No matter what he does in New York, they’re going to criticize him, the people are going to criticize him, because you got guys on that team that just cannot play. You got guys that are hurt all the time.”
On the subject of Phil Jackson: “Let me ask you: When was the last time Phil Jackson played? … I think Phil is great to have gotten $12 million out of Jim Dolan]. Super job. Take the money and run. If I were Carmelo I would say, ‘Listen, I’m not gonna stay here and take all this gruff and all this criticism. You got other guys on this team making $12, $15, $16 million and doing nothing, and here I am averaging 28, 29 points per game.’ ”
Robertson’s comments came one day after Phil Jackson told reporters he hoped Carmelo would stay “true to his word” with regards to being willing to take less than a maximum contract to stay with the Knicks.
“If he goes to Houston, they’re gonna win everything. You look at LeBron, LeBron’s got a great game and the kid down at Oklahoma, Durant’s got a great game — they can’t out-shoot Carmelo,” Robertson continued.
Anthony, who has spent the past three-and-a-half seasons in New York, has the ability to opt out of the final year of his contract this summer and become a free agent. The Rockets, along with the Chicago Bulls and the Knicks, are expected to be a frontrunner to sign the 2012-13 scoring champion.