Chauncey Billups might know Carmelo Anthony better than most people Melo has encountered. As Melo was inching towards his prime, Billups served as a veteran voice for three years of his career. He's now using this knowledge to explain why a generational talent like Melo is out of the NBA.
"I feel bad for Melo and here's why," Billups said during an appearance on SiriusXM's NBA Radio. "Melo's was like a good teammate, man. Melo practiced every day. Didn't miss any games. Now, the one thing I will say—and I've even told Melo this—scoring 30 meant too much to Melo." Billups then went on to say how that mentality has never left Carmelo. As a result, he's unable to be a true veteran presence.
"But, now I think you fast forward the tape, and the reason he's not in the league—because he's still mentally worthy—he hasn't taken that set back to say 'Okay, I'll come in and play against back-ups. I'll try to help the team out. I know I might not be able to close, but I just want to help the team out,'" Billups explained. "He's not there yet."
Since leaving New York, Melo has been on a trek around the league that has been marred by situations that mirror Billups' comments. During his short time with OKC, Melo literally laughed at the idea of coming off the bench. He then moved on to Houston where he played just ten games before the Rockets decided to cut ties with him. That led to him being traded to the Bulls for cash considerations before eventually being waived by Chicago.
Many pundits feel that this chain of events no only ended Melo's 2018-2019 season, but it also might have marked the end of his career. It is believed that the 35-year-old Anthony is best served as a late rotation player, yet—according to Billups—this doesn't sit well with the future Hall of Famer. It should be noted that Melo hasn't given up hope on finding that role. He's now on the hunt for a team that will consider him a valuable piece of their core.