There’s an article at NBA.com suggesting that Carmelo Anthony is an inefficient, past-his-prime, superfluous — if not downright detrimental — piece of the OKC Thunder’s playoff hopes. It tells how Anthony had to suffer the indignity of sitting on the bench while OKC staged a heroic Game 5 comeback against Utah. NBA.com writer Shaun Powell recounts how Anthony erupted at OKC assistant coach Maurice Cheeks, trying to get himself in the game. And Powell describes Anthony’s dismal offensive contributions to the OKC playoff effort so far, with the 10-time All-Star shooting 37% from the floor and just 21% from 3-point range.
But NBA.com unintentionally adds hard-to-miss insult before the video in mid-article. The pre-roll ad before the embedded TNT studio video of Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Shaquille O’Neal and Ernie Johnson talking about the ‘Melo situation is for STINGER, the Kia car brand whose ads are stamped all over these NBA playoffs.
So just before these retired players talk about Melo’s situation, his age, and his decline (Shaq: “Carmelo has been a no-show”), there is an ad for the STINGER. And it’s a dagger, really, accidentally aimed at Anthony. The tagline is FUELED BY YOUTH. The audio reads: “We don’t have the history. We don’t have the legacy. And that’s good. Because we’ve got something no one else does. Youth, audacity. And just enough reckless abandon to do what’s never been done before. We are coming. And with us, the rise of the new frontiers.” That’s a helluva way to introduce a segment about an aging star trapped on the bench. We hope Anthony saw it, too. Because he’s a proud and superb player who, as Shaq said, no doubt has “gas left in the tank.”