Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic Takes a Sly Dig at LaMelo Ball While Praising Carmelo Anthony

Published 02/05/2021, 5:07 AM EST
Jan 28, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony (00) dribbles the ball as Houston Rockets forward Danuel House Jr. (4) defends during the second quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports


Carmelo Anthony is an all-time great in the NBA. Throughout his career, Anthony has been an All-Star multiple times, made several All-NBA teams, and led the league in scoring. However, as he comes to the twilight of his career, he has had to accept a smaller role in the league, coming off the bench for the Portland Trail Blazers.

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Carmelo Anthony is coming back into form

Melo’s teammate Jusuf Nurkic understands his value, and Nurkic took to Twitter to praise him. He even called him a future Hall of Fame player. But while doing that, Nurkic also used the tweet to take a shot at LaMelo Ball. Both players go by ‘Melo’ as a nickname, and Nurkic called Anthony the only Melo in the NBA.

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People bugging… make this clear there is only one MELO in @NBA also Hall of Famer 🙌🏻 @carmeloanthony #STAYME7O

— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) February 5, 2021

Despite the subtle dig at Ball, the respect for Anthony from Nurkic is genuine. Carmelo joined the Portland Trail Blazers as a free agent in 2019. After failed stints at Oklahoma City and Houston, Carmelo lost his clout in the NBA. He signed with the Trail Blazers on a one-year non-guaranteed contract.

After arriving in Portland, Melo accepted a smaller role with the franchise. While he did start all his games, he saw his minutes reduced during the season compared to previous years in the NBA. Anthony still averaged solid numbers through the year and had 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and an assist per game.

Anthony is accepting his new role in Portland

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During the NBA bubble, Anthony showed glimpses of his former self. He was key for the Trail Blazers as they made the push to reach the playoffs. He made the crucial shot against Memphis in the play-in game to secure the Blazers’ eighth seed. In the playoffs, Melo was not able to lead the Trail Blazers over eventual champions Los Angeles Lakers, but he was still impressive.

Dec 26, 2020; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Trail Blazers power forward Carmelo Anthony (00) shoots the ball as Houston Rockets small forward Jae’Sean Tate (8) defends during the first half at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

He re-signed with the Blazers during the off-season. This year, he has accepted a role coming off the bench. Anthony has only started two games this year and has seen a greater reduction in his minutes. However, he still has solid contributions as a role-player, scoring 12.1 points, 3.6 rebounds, and an assist per game.

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Is Carmelo Anthony a future Hall of Fame member? He is one of the greatest players of his generation. However, he still has one major accolade missing from his resume – an NBA championship. If he can win a ring before the end of his career, it will solidify his status as one of the all-time greats.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1044 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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