After being out of the league for over a year, it only took 'Melo six games to add another accolade to his resume by being named the Western Conference Player of the Week. Yet, whispers started to surface from people claiming that James Harden or Luka Doncic was more deserving of the title.
"I’ve seen the chatter, but I won’t allow myself to pay attention to that because I’ve come too far to start listening to that bullshit, to be honest with you," Anthony said to Yahoo Sports. "I won’t allow that negativity to creep in. I’ve worked so hard to get to that point mentally and emotionally. I won’t even let it happen."
Although 'Melo averaged 22.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, and 2.7 assists last week, his numbers were overshadowed by the stats Luka and Harden strung together. Doncic averaged 30.3 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 9 assists a game. He even put up 42 points against Phoenix on Friday. As for Harden, he raked in 47 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game. Not to mention the 60 points he hung on the Hawks in just three quarters. Despite this, there are reasons why 'Melo had an edge over Harden and Doncic.
First, Anthony and the Blazers played three games last week. According to NBA insiders, the league rarely gives Player of the Week awards to stars that only played two games in a week. This eliminates Harden from contention. Second, the Blazers were 3-0 compared to Luka's Mavs who ended the week at 2-1. This combined with Anthony having a better field goal percentage than Doncic led the NBA to name him the Player of the Week.
For the career 'Melo has had, a Player of the Week award might seem like a trivial compliment. But after fighting his way back into the league, Anthony isn't taking anything for granted.
"I’m very honored to have won the award," Anthony said. "It just speaks to the hard work I put in to stay ready for this moment. I have nothing but respect for [Harden and Doncic]. I didn’t make the decision, but I’m grateful that I won the award."