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Sounds of Thunder: Oklahoma City Thunder has a “Melo” problem

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Carmelo Anthony’s final comments in his exit interview were a clear sign of trouble if the Thunder have plans to change his role.

Russ Isabella @ USA TODAY Sports

I just tried to play the game the right way. As you get older, Father Time is undefeated.
-Jason Kidd

When the Oklahoma City Thunder erased a 25 point deficit in less than 8 12 minutes in game 5, minus the services of Carmelo Anthony, it left little doubt that Melo’s game didn’t jive with Russell Westbrook and Paul George’s game. My question is, does Melo’s game fit anywhere on the Thunder roster?

Anthony’s game does seem to fit better with a Raymond Felton, more half-court oriented, led offense as shown by their time together with the Knicks. But Ray runs the bench rotation and Carmelo is dead set against coming off the bench. Additionally, as J.A. Sherman pointed out to me as we talked about this post, Melo doesn’t have the discernible skill set he once had and the biggest indicator of that was his FT attempts. (2.6 per game)

You could see it with defenses. If Melo got the ball in the wing or on the post, everything else stopped moving. they didn’t even care if he made the shot - it was still a win defensively.

So when the one shot you want to shoot is the one shot the defense wants you to shoot, [by definition] you’re not a good player.

Further, at 34 and with 15 grueling seasons in his wake, no matter what he thinks, the likelihood of improvement, minus changes Melo is clearly unwilling to make, is zero. In fact, the laws of nature and time tell us it will only get worse.

It’s the curse of the alpha type athlete. The mentality that took them to the heights of their sport is so ingrained in their psyche, it betrays them when all the signs say it is time to walk away.

Obviously, there is a power struggle headed the Thunder’s way and I am very interested to know how Sam Presti plans to deal with it.

Remember this?

Reggie Jackson made it clear in his exit interview in 2014 that he wanted to start. Either Presti ignored all the signals or didn’t address them adequately during the off-season and the result was a very disgruntled Reggie Jackson and a locker room that fell apart. Eventually, that became an eleventh-hour trade demand from Jackson that turned into Enes Kanter and the Thunder’s $5M Armani model, Kyle Singler, coming to OKC. Singler never fit, Kanter was traded for Melo and Melo just dropped another exit interview gauntlet.

How will Presti address it? How would you? Let’s find out:


You are Sam Presti, how would you address Carmelo Anthony’s exit interview?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Passively. Let the chips fall where they may?
    (50 votes)
  • 25%
    Tactfully. Address the issue logically.
    (207 votes)
  • 67%
    Head on. With brutal honesty and a "how the cow is going to eat the cabbage" approach?
    (540 votes)
797 votes total Vote Now

For the record, I would go with option 3, brutal honesty, and I wouldn’t procrastinate.

It would appear that Melo isn’t the only Thunder sending out signals.