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S.J.Basketball
11-13-2008, 12:43 AM
http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/index.ssf/2008/11/bill_livingston_what_happened.html


Bill Livingston: What happened to the LeBron James vs. Carmelo Anthony rivalry?
by Bill Livingston/Plain Dealer Columnist

Wednesday November 12, 2008, 7:00 PM

Whatever happened to the NBA's Magic vs. Bird rivalry of this century?

Only five years ago, the Cavaliers' LeBron James and Denver's Carmelo Anthony were supposed to save the NBA, the way Larry Bird and Magic Johnson did until Michael Jordan came along.

Now the Cavs' big statement games are against the Celtics and Pistons. The individual matchups at the top of the marquee are James vs. the Lakers' Kobe Bryant or Miami's Dwayne Wade.

The first five players taken in the great 2003 NBA Draft were, in order, James, Darko Milicic, Anthony, Chris Bosh and Wade.

James has been to an NBA Finals, with a team nowhere near as good as this one. Milicic became the new Sam Bowie, the mega-bust taken instead of Michael Jordan by Portland. Wade won an NBA Championship, or at least accepted one when Dallas declined it. Bosh, behind only James and Wade, was a key player on the "Redeem Team," the 2008 Olympic gold medalists.

Anthony's Nuggets are 4-20 in the playoffs with five first-round exits. He might not have reached McGradyean depths, a term coined for Tracy McGrady, who, in Toronto, Orlando and now Houston, has never won a playoff series. But that is only because some of McGrady's futility occurred in the then-weaker East.

"Carmelo hasn't been playing the worst teams in the first round," James said. "He's had San Antonio, the Lakers."

And Minnesota and, ahem, the Los Angeles Clippers.

He was not a big factor (neither was James) in the 2004 Olympics. In Beijing, James was the team leader.

"It was hard for Carmelo and me to have a rivalry, because we only play two times a year," James said. "Bird and Magic played in the NBA Finals three times in four years, and they played in the NCAA championship game the year before they came into the NBA."

Anthony is a very good scorer, but it is the only blade in his scabbard. He has committed more turnovers than assists for his career. His blend with Allen Iverson, another ball-monopolizing scorer, who has since been traded to Detroit, was never likely to work.

"It's tough when you have a second dominant scorer," James said. "It was tough because they both needed to have the ball in their hands. He might be better with Chauncey Billups [acquired for Iverson] because Chauncey doesn't have to have the ball."

James changes the way we think about positions with his power and speed. The two qualities are the fundamentals of athletic ability. No one with his power forward's size has ever been able to handle the ball and penetrate so effectively.

Even as the Cavs' first-ever NBA's scoring champion last season, James had the Magic/Bird inclination to pass first. This is the extra dimension of unselfishness a great player uses to make his teammates better. James has averaged twice as many assists as turnovers in his career.

Like Wade and Bosh, James signed a contract extension for only three years. In 2010, their free agency year, everyone will lust after them.

Anthony signed for five years. The Nuggets thus have no incentive to contend immediately. This season, they gave away one of their best big men, Marcus Camby, in a salary dump.

James' first home game in his rookie season was against Denver. ESPN practically sent out an SOS to P.T. Barnum when it came to hyping the game. The Nuggets won that one, and they have won seven of nine in which both have played. They have won the last five in a row.

"This would be a good time to break the streak," James said.

He and Anthony remain friendly, talking at least weekly, but the Nuggets have usually had the last word. No wonder there's no rivalry, they can argue. They win all the time.

sunsalltheway03
11-13-2008, 12:47 AM
I just think the only reason that there ever was any interest was because they were in the same draft class. Other than that, they really haven't proved worthy of a rivalry.

S.J.Basketball
11-13-2008, 12:54 AM
Plus...Carmelo isn't the type of player worthy enough to have a rivarly with Lebron, Kobe, or any top players in this league.

DwAyNe_WaDe
11-13-2008, 12:56 AM
Plus...Carmelo isn't the type of player worthy enough to have a rivarly with Lebron, Kobe, or any top players in this league.

all too true.....:clap:

SAVAGE CLAW
11-13-2008, 01:04 AM
Melo was never up to that challenge.

Im starting to fear another Jordan like dark era where no one can balance the "force" and thus save the league from a Dictatorship.

You know Chamberlain had Russell, Magic Had Bird and Shaq had Duncan....

T

hotpotato1092
11-13-2008, 01:06 AM
1. Carmelo can't carry a team to the finals by himself and doesn't have the team around him to get there, Magic and Bird were so compelling because they played in the finals constantly, LeBrons gonna be there a lot but Carmelo won't
2. Dwade has proven himself better than carmelo, so the whole draft class rivalry thing becomes pointless because there's a better rivalry in the same class.
3. Carmelo's not exactly the most likable player. He's been arrested, he's a ball hog etc... Magic and Bird was such a great rivalry partly because of how hyped up they were by both the league and the writers, but since he doesn't have a great image the league and the writers don't hype him up as much.

Lakers4ItAll
11-13-2008, 01:13 AM
It should be Wade vs Lebron

Melo is not a #1 guy

KB24PG16
11-13-2008, 02:36 AM
teams suk so no rivalry thats what happened to the kings lakers rivalry both declined then lakers picked up but the kings have gotten as good

Hellcrooner
11-13-2008, 03:51 AM
Carl-Melon? uhh?

stawka
11-13-2008, 04:34 AM
What has happened to the rivalry?

In simple terms... LeBron has been spending his career chasing the NBA's top player and finally earns that name for himself, while looking for the Championship ring and making history on the way.

Whereas Carmelo has done nothing but get in trouble with the law/NBA and given himself a bad reputation as a person and as a player.

That's pretty much what happened to the rivalry since they entered the league. A better rivalry is now LeBron/Kobe/Wade.

thapharcyd
11-13-2008, 04:41 AM
What has happened to the rivalry?

In simple terms... LeBron has been spending his career chasing the NBA's top player and finally earns that name for himself, while looking for the Championship ring and making history on the way.

Whereas Carmelo has done nothing but get in trouble with the law/NBA and given himself a bad reputation as a person and as a player.

That's pretty much what happened to the rivalry since they entered the league. A better rivalry is now LeBron/Kobe/Wade.

agreed.

cmoneytakemoney
11-13-2008, 05:12 AM
http://www.cleveland.com/livingston/index.ssf/2008/11/bill_livingston_what_happened.html

Well Lebron James became the second best player in the NBA and he plays for a pretty decent team and, Carmelo Anthony isn't in the top 10 best players in the NBA and his team sucks. Maybe Chauncey Billups will turn the Nuggets back into a contender and make Melo a better all around player but, I don't know. Carmelo likes to shoot the ball way too much to be considered an all around player like a Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwanye Wade, or a Paul Pierce. Melo will shoot the ball with two defenders on him instead of kicking it out to the open guy. That's always been the knock on Melo. He's a selfish player. Seems like he cares more about stats than winning.

stawka
11-13-2008, 05:40 AM
Well Lebron James became the second best player in the NBA and he plays for a pretty decent team and, Carmelo Anthony isn't in the top 10 best players in the NBA and his team sucks. Maybe Chauncey Billups will turn the Nuggets back into a contender and make Melo a better all around player but, I don't know. Carmelo likes to shoot the ball way too much to be considered an all around player like a Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwanye Wade, or a Paul Pierce. Melo will shoot the ball with two defenders on him instead of kicking it out to the open guy. That's always been the knock on Melo. He's a selfish player. Seems like he cares more about stats than winning.

Come on man. Decent team? Who?

Big Z? I'd take Camby over him!
Varejao? I'd take Nene over him
Pavlovic/Hughes? I'd take Iverson/JR Smith over them
The point guard's are both pretty pathetic, but now Melo has Billups.

LeBron has had no team his entire career, whereas Melo has always had more and done nothing with it. LeBron OWNS Melo in every way/shape/form of the game. Lets not even compare. There's never been a rivalry. Since they stepped into the league, LeBron has moved further and further to the top, whereas Melo has done the opposite - came in as a big-shot with high expectations and has degraded himself.

CELTICS4LYFE
11-13-2008, 12:12 PM
u guys realize that melo plays in the west right??? where not even kobe can carry his team by him self lol everyone is sayin lbj is better(he is) an has done more wit less blah blah blah if the nuggets were in the east this would b a real rivalry n melos team would b alot better than lbj

king4day
11-13-2008, 12:25 PM
If they were in the same conference it would be better.
Maybe someday, but until then, two games a year isn't enough to be able to have one.

FOBolous
11-13-2008, 12:43 PM
there is no rivalry anymore because Lebron is head, shoulders, body, AND legs above Carmelo now.

Youngddr20
11-13-2008, 01:04 PM
10 meetings between carmelo and lebron since in the league.. Carmelo 8 and lebron 2.... Lebron plays in the east... Carmelo west... I love lebron but to say he is way better this year is kinda going too far... Lebron this year but up over 40 against Chicago twice and the bucks. Ya he is playing great but really are those teams dominate. Of course he is better but if carmelo or the nuggets were in the east it would be the same story.

daleja424
11-13-2008, 01:11 PM
10 meetings between carmelo and lebron since in the league.. Carmelo 8 and lebron 2.... Lebron plays in the east... Carmelo west... I love lebron but to say he is way better this year is kinda going too far... Lebron this year but up over 40 against Chicago twice and the bucks. Ya he is playing great but really are those teams dominate. Of course he is better but if carmelo or the nuggets were in the east it would be the same story.

Thats crap. If you think Melo is even close to Wade/Lebron/Kobe then you are :smoking:

don't give me this east vs west crap. East vs west doesn't influence your ability to make smart plays or play defense... and as a scorer Melo plays in a system that wants to score 120 a night and he still cant put up the points of a wade, lebron, or kobe...

JIDsanity
11-13-2008, 01:23 PM
The same thing that happened to the VC Kobe rivalry

Youngddr20
11-13-2008, 01:58 PM
Thats crap. If you think Melo is even close to Wade/Lebron/Kobe then you are :smoking:

don't give me this east vs west crap. East vs west doesn't influence your ability to make smart plays or play defense... and as a scorer Melo plays in a system that wants to score 120 a night and he still cant put up the points of a wade, lebron, or kobe...

Yeah i won't use the East and West factor.. Even tho night in and night out west teams almost every game are playing playoff type teams. Hmm.... Wasn't melo top 5 scorer last year or am i missing something. With the talent on his team he doesn't have to put up 40 points just to beat the Bulls lol I'm not hating on Lebron, Wade, or Kobe. I'm just saying when you put together the Olympics and everything you can't just dismiss Melo like he's crap. Kobe and wade are the only ones with rings that can talk, but without Shaq i don't think they could have done it.

dnnug
11-13-2008, 02:03 PM
all this nuggets hate is priceless. Hate is a good thing though because it means the team is good enough for some to put forth the energy and emotion to hate.

Let me ask you this, who wouldn't want to have one of the leagues best scorers on your team in Melo?

Hawkeye15
11-13-2008, 02:19 PM
LeBron is far better. His team has done better, and he is a media darling. Denver has never made it out of the first round, and Melo is an under the radar star. His team will need to make noise in the playoffs. And besides they only see each other 2 times a year. They need to meet in the playoffs to get a rivalry

DODGERS&LAKERS
11-13-2008, 02:20 PM
lebron is far better. His team has done better, and he is a media darling. Denver has never made it out of the first round, and melo is an under the radar star. His team will need to make noise in the playoffs. And besides they only see each other 2 times a year. They need to meet in the playoffs to get a rivalry

qft

TheFuture6
11-13-2008, 03:59 PM
:laugh2:

The last three paragraphs are priceless, after the buildup they gave to LeBron.

Hellcrooner
11-13-2008, 04:19 PM
well there used to be a time when Vinc, Tmac andIverson fans were always talkng about a rivalry with KObe.

I gues here happened the same.

Chicagofaithful
11-13-2008, 04:25 PM
LBJ is better? and no one disagrees who is unbiased