Former New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony went unsigned in the 2022-23 season after last playing with the Lakers in 2021-22. The 38-year-old’s future is unclear as he hasn’t announced his retirement.
In Los Angeles alongside his good friend LeBron James, Melo averaged 13.3 points and shot 44.1% from the field and 37.5% from three in 69 games. Although the Lakers couldn’t have played much worse than they did last season, Anthony was solid in his role. Many Knicks fans were hoping he’d get a chance to go after a ring this season.
The closest that Melo came to winning a ring in NYC (he made it to the WCF in Denver) was during the 2012-13 season. After advancing past Paul Pierce and the Celtics in the first round, the Knicks were ousted by the Pacers in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
In the six games against Boston, Melo averaged 29.2 points in 41.3 minutes. That series may be part of the reason why Pierce recently said that Melo was the most underrated player that he matched up against and that he’d rather guard LeBron or Kobe than him.
Paul Pierce says guarding LeBron, Kobe was easier than guarding Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony
Paul Pierce was a guest on the ‘I Am Athlete’ podcast that is hosted by Brandon Marshall, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson. Pierce is known for having some wild takes, but saying that Melo was more challenging to guard than LeBron, Kobe, or T-Mac is a take that Knicks fans should love.
Pierce added: “He’s going to make you feel this 30. Other cats, they’re going to finesse their 30.”
If Pierce labeling Melo as the most underrated player to guard isn’t good enough for New York fans, him saying that Richard Jefferson was the most overrated player to guard should be the cherry on top.
Pierce played for two of the Knicks’ biggest rivals, the Celtics (where he won a ring in 2008) and the Nets, so it’s nice to see him give Melo some love.