Sam SpiegelmanComparing a current Knicks superstar to a legend is never easy — or fun — for that matter. But ESPN Insider decided to take a stab at it anyway.
Writer Bradford Doolittle wrote a pierce comparing and contrasting Carmelo Anthony and Bernard King, one of the headliners in this year’s crop of Basketball Hall of Fame inductees.
Both are natives of Brooklyn. Both play small forward for the Knicks. But while King has said Anthony is the better player, Doolittle is not too sure.
In terms of style and intangibles, King gets the edge. Though Anthony has stronger and bigger, King was quicker, had better jump and faster when running up and down the court.
“King was a blur when he caught the ball with his back to the basket, and he had an exceptionally quick release that allowed him to thrive amid the longer bodies coming over to defend him,” Doolittle wrote. “Whereas Anthony always plays with a kind of half-smile on his face, whether he’s happy, mad or somewhere in between, when King was on the court, his brow was always crunched into an intense scowl.”
Onto per-game comparison: when it comes down to statistics, Anthony has the edge. King averaged 22.9 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists, while Anthony stands at 25 points, 5.3 boards and 3.1 assists.
The difference, however, is efficiency. Anthony has shot just under 46 percent through 10 seasons, while King shot 53.5 percent. Anthony, though, had the edge from long-range.
In regards to tempo-free comparisons, Anthony has a better assist rate and lower turnover rate, while King was the more efficient scorer. One of the biggest differences between King and Anthony’s game is the former attempted a lot more shots closer to the rim.
And finally, in terms of value metrics, Anthony gets the edge when it comes to durability. King suffered more injuries and missed time due to off-court issues, as well as spent more time riding the bench.
In his first 10 seasons, Melo has played 98 more games.
The difference here is that King’s WARP during the height of his career, amounted to 42, whereas Anthony has earned a 43 WARP over the past five years. According to Doolittle, Anthony’s WARP could continue to rise, which is why Melo may end up the better player.
“Anthony has already done much more outside of his peak — which could persist for a few more years … which is why Melo stands as the better player,” he wrote. “He’s more durable, and despite his reputation, he has a better all-around game.”
Knicks fans, do you take Melo or King? Let us know.
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