And, in turn, giving the ball up.
The reputation the New York Knicks superstar has as a ball-stopper is a bit overstated, especially in recent years, as he’s refined his catch-and-shoot touch. But this season’s version of Anthony is the most selfless we have ever seen. His assist numbers don’t blow you out of the water, but he’s posting the second-highest assist percentage of his career while recording the third-lowest usage rate of his time in the Association. He is making a concerted effort to help develop rookie Kristaps Porzingis and, from the outside looking in, seems to be more seriously taking ownership of his leadership role over the rest of the team.
Amid this change, this evolution, Carmelo Anthony is enjoying himself—and basking in the results of letting his teammates absorb some of his past shine, per ESPN.com’s Ian Begley:
“I feel a lot more comfortable now with … letting somebody else have a breakout game and letting other guys get involved [to] get their confidence up,” he said. “I feel more comfortable with that now.”
The Knicks have already matched their win total from last season, and Anthony isn’t watching from afar, recovering from knee surgery, so of course he’s happy. At the same time, the Knicks aren’t great. They aren’t above .500 and don’t look like playoff locks. That he’s happy either means he’s delusional or, more likely, is placing stock in New York’s big picture.
Which can only mean good things for the Knicks, as they try to turn this mediocre team into an Anthony- and Porzingis-centric contender.