Carmelo Anthony was the centerpiece to Jim Boeheim's sole championship team during his 41-year career as Syracuse's head coach. But Boeheim is reluctant to believe Melo can reach the same feat in the NBA.
You would think that Boeheim would believe in the player, who had his No. 15 retired to the rafters of the Carrier Dome after only playing his freshman year, with a Hall of Fame-worthy 13-year pro career. On top of that, Boeheim was an assistant coach on the last three Team USA Olympic men's basketball squads that were led by Melo to three consecutive gold medals. Melo is actually only player in Olympic men's basketball history to win three gold chips.
According to Syracuse basketball writer Mike Waters, Boeheim said a press conference Tuesday at the 'Cuse campus that Melo is an "unquestionable leader" who did a "great job" as a motivator in the locker room and pushed his team to another gold medal, even when they struggled to get past Australia, Serbia, and France. But Boeheim also cited the bad years of the Knicks and Nuggets as why he believes his best recruit ever won't get an NBA ring.
"He's unlikely to win an NBA title. He's never been on a team that even had a remote chance of winning an NBA title. As a player, all you can do is try to make your team better and every team he's been on he's made them a lot better. Denver hadn't done anything prior to him getting there and he took them into the playoffs. They weren't going to beat the Lakers or the Spurs. In those years, they won the championship most of the time."
As a Hall of Fame coach who's been doing this forever, his word carries weight. But whether Melo gets a chip or not, he's apparently fine either way.