Unselfish basketball has been the name of the game ever since Kenny Atkinson was hired three years ago to oversee the Nets eventual turnaround. Don’t be fool, the Nets offense featured pick and roll and isolation basketball with DeAngelo Russell running the point, but ball movement and man movement have always been the focal point of Atkinson’s system.
Spacing the floor enabled the Nets to become one of the NBA’s most prolific three-point shooting teams a season ago, so why on earth would a 35-year aging wing in Carmelo Anthony who hasn’t shown the willingness to play one iota of defense?
With Wilson Chandler incurring a 25-game suspension for taking a banned substance, the veteran could potentially be a roster casualty as the Nets could cut him on his veteran’s minimum deal and suffer very little financial consequences.
Anthony, a Brooklyn Native, had been a fan favorite during his time with the Knicks and now a movement is forming in Brooklyn for the over-the-hill star to return home. The market for Melo has pretty much dried up as the Rockets released him at the start of last year and no teams came knocking for the former Syracuse standout.
The Nets team-first, selfless play was a major factor in the team’s winning record, and set a phenetic style of play where the ball hopped around the court without an agenda. Atkinson will already have his hands full with Kyrie Irving, who has had his own critics pointing toward his shoot-first mentality as not an ideal fit in Brooklyn
Recent reports indicate that both Irving and Kevin Durant are spearheading a charge to put Melo in a Nets uniform, but given his ball-hogging tendencies, lack of defensive presence, and advanced age, there are plenty of better options and fits available on the open market or via trade.
Brooklyn worked long and hard to establish a winning culture and building a team the right way. Anthony, during his heyday was as talented a scorer as the NBA maybe ever saw, but he wasn’t exactly beloved by teammates and considered a leader over the course of his career. The ten-time All-Star may find a home in 2019, but if Sean Marks and company play their cards right, it would be better suited for him to end up in Los Angeles with LeBron James and Anthony Davis than Irving and Durant in Brooklyn.