Endings are rarely pretty, and what may be the final season for future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony has been downright ghastly.
It looks like he won’t last a month. With the Rockets (4-7 before Sunday’s rout of Indiana) off to a slow start, it appears they want to stop the finger pointing before it derails the season, and make Carmelo the scapegoat.
He’s not the only reason the Rockets stink, but stats like these are embarrassing to a one-time star like Melo:
Not surprisingly, Melo hasn’t played since this stat was revealed, and in the 10th game, he shot 1-of-11 in 20 minutes, scoring two points.
So who would take a chance on Carmelo when he’s dumped?
The only team that makes any sense at all – and retiring is a very real option – is the Charlotte Hornets. Michael Jordan’s Hornets haven’t won a playoff series since 2002. That’s embarrassing.
Is Melo going to help with that? They’d like to think so. Perhaps he’s been so humbled by this disaster, he at least tries on defense. The Hornets are 27th in attendance, and while the arena won’t be filled to see Melo, he does have a rabid (delusional?) fanbase online that could lead to a small uptick in fan interest. The reality is, the Hornets are not a strong franchise, and they need all the help they can get, even if it’s a fading star like Carmelo.
Even if it’s not a huge bump in ticket sales, ancillary stuff like social media interest and TV highlights also matter to Jordan, who has a team that’s not remotely buzz-worthy.
As for on the court, the Hornets are a respectable 7-6 this season, and they are one of the better 3-point shooting teams in the NBA (4th in 3FG made per game; 7th in 3FG%). The final few playoff spots in the East after Boston, Milwaukee, Toronto, Philadelphia and Indiana are wide open.
Minutes will be scarce for Melo, and if he understands that, and he’s ready to accept a significantly reduced role, it could work. Plus, MKG and Nic Batum aren’t exactly two guys who have been healthy the last five years.
This feels forever ago, right?