Nene Hilario of the Houston Rockets fired off a spicy take to Mark Berman of Fox 26 in which he claims that new teammate Carmelo Anthony is still a Top-10 player in the NBA.
While Carmelo Anthony was definitely one of the best players in the league in years past, his skill level and clout around the league has eroded significantly since the heights of his fame in Denver and New York.
.@NeneHilario42 on @carmeloanthony: "He can be whatever he wants to be. He's talented. It doesn't matter how old he is. When he commits to do the right thing and they use his talent, man get out of the way.Simple as that. For me he's a top-10 player in the league, still" #Rockets
— Mark Berman (@MarkBermanFox26) August 15, 2018
Certainly if your idea of “Top-10 NBA player” involves a continuous loop of jab steps followed by an ill-advised pull-up jumper, then yes, Melo is still one of the best players in the league.
The Atlanta Hawks must not have felt the same way as Nene does, otherwise they would not have waived him in the Melo/Dennis Schröder trade. (Though Melo still was able to finagle a free jersey out of it):
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) August 9, 2018
Sure, Melo can still score via his usual antics, but he did not play well under the constraints of the Oklahoma City Thunder system last season, where he was expected to serve a more complementary role to the team’s two main stars: Russell Westbrook and Paul George.
Luckily for the Rockets, Melo might be better than both of those players (according to Nene).