'Melo To OKC' Proves Many Critics Wrong
By A. Suave Francisco
Last year was Russell Westbrook's "Prove Them Wrong" year and he succeeded. If there were any doubts regarding his ability as a teammate, they were taken care of last season.
There have been two narratives revolving around the Thunder organization since they relocated to Oklahoma City: No big-name players choose to play professional basketball in Oklahoma City and definitely, not to play with a "selfish" Westbrook.
That may have been true in the past but after Carmelo Anthony chose to be traded to the Thunder specifically to play with Westbrook and Paul George, that isn't the case anymore.
Anthony is known for being a big city type of player based on his personality, history, and lifestyle but he's chosen to sacrifice that in order to win a championship in the late stages of his career.
He's never played alongside another superstar unless it was during Olympic play. There's a peculiar coincidence there as well. He's had some of his best performances during the Olympics. He's actually arguably the greatest Olympic men's basketball player to ever play and the most obvious reason is that of the talent that's been around him.
That's exactly why 'Hoodie Melo' will be a great fit in Oklahoma City. There's not as much pressure to be THE guy, with no real help. With the NBA's reigning MVP that averaged a triple-double last season and a player in Paul George that averaged 23.7 points per game last season, one can only imagine how Anthony's 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds and 2.9 assists will translate for the Thunder.
There are three distinctlively different dominant personality types on this team now. How will that work? That's the biggest question. Well, at least for Melo, he wanted to come here and the two other teams he listed as possible destinations had an alpha, so that alone shows that he's willing to take a backseat role in his 14th season.
Westbrook has been connecting all summer. Don't think those pickup games over the offseason we've all seen on video are a coincidence. Russell has been talking. He knew Melo's predicament and lured him right into Oklahoma City and apparently, so did Paul George. All three of these guys want to be in this situation, so it's hard to confidently say there will be a chemistry issue on this team.
Sam Presti continues to amaze the NBA with his mysterious work over this summer and with the season less than a month away, his work stil may not be done. He's placed the Thunder right back to big three status and now they are a direct threat to the Golden State Warriors and their crown.