New York Knicks forward Julius Randle has been playing like an All-Star. His game is reminding fans of what could’ve been for Carmelo Anthony.
Don’t shoot the messenger! As a long-time supporter/defender of Carmelo Anthony, it feels weird to mention Melo and Julius Randle in the same sentence. That being said, the numbers don’t lie. The former Kentucky-standout is playing the way fans wanted Melo to play for years. And even if Randle doesn’t have Melo’s reputation as a scorer, his playmaking, defense, and sacrifice for his team has fans excited for the 2020-2021 New York Knicks.
Melo’s tenure with the orange and blue was filled with many highs and lows. Despite that, long-time broadcaster and fan-favorite, Walt “Clyde” Frazier never wavered on Anthony’s potential. Melo’s ability to score the basketball was never in question. But even after the newly appointed general manager, Scott Perry traded the nine-time All-Star, Clyde was transparent regarding his initial hopes Melo.
Back in 2017, during an appearance on the Mike Francesca show, Frazier explained,
“I thought they should’ve kept him, but I also thought he should’ve tried to be more of a team player,” he said. “I always told him he should have been a 20/10/5 guy. But he wanted the 28, 29 points, not the rebounds, not getting guys involved.”
During his seven years in New York, Anthony averaged 23.3 points per game, 6.9 rebounds per game and 3.2 assists per game. Overall, Melo shot 44 percent from the field and 36 percent from the three-point line. Truth be told, I always felt Melo got a raw deal from the fans. He played with a billion different teammates, numerous coaches, and survived several different front-office regimes. However, Anthony always had the ability to be a better playmaker and defender.
And while the sample size is small, Randle..yes JULIUS RANDLE, is playing the exact way that Melo was capable of playing.