Rockets had Bob McAdoo dreams for Carmelo Anthony
The Houston Rockets envisioned a seamless transformation for Carmelo Anthony, one that would morph his previous 14 seasons as a perennial scorer in the league and erase the doubts emanating from a disappointing one with the Oklahoma City Thunder. ESPN’s Tim MacMahon described it best, saying the Rockets hoped Anthony could be like Showtime Los Angeles Lakers great Bob McAdoo, but wound up being more like Allen Iverson during his very brief stint with the Memphis Grizzlies.
McAdoo had a sparkling start to his career with the Buffalo Braves (now the LA Clippers) as a potent scorer, enjoying three 30-point scoring seasons in his first four years with the team. The big forward was plagued by injuries later in his career and was a shadow of himself for a few years before linking up with the Lakers and relishing his role as a player off the bench playing for a championship team.
Iverson played a measly three games in a Grizzlies uniform before the sides chose to part ways, remaining a free agent for most of the 2009-10 season before linking up with the Philadelphia 76ers once again to finish his career. A plethora of injuries had made Iverson lose a few steps of his blinding speed, injuries which ultimately cut his career short after 14 years in the NBA.
Perhaps the greatest comparison to McAdoo comes from the fact that the former North Carolina great felt bitter about playing behind other less-skilled big men like Kurt Rambis and Jim Brewer, but sucked it up to get the hardware.
The transition has proven a tough one for Anthony, who has had to reconfigure his complete approach to basketball after being the No. 1 option for most of his career. While the Rockets’ overall woes are much more than his disappointing fit with the team, it’s worthy to note that Houston (namely general manager Daryl Morey) had the delusion that adding talent would work itself out — a strategy that has quickly backfired this early in the season.