NBA Versus Series: Bernard King Versus Carmelo Anthony
Bernard King and Carmelo Anthony. For New York Knicks fans, a frenzy of emotions most likely goes through their heads when they hear these names. In this new series, they are going to be our first “battle,” and see which player is the better basketball player. We will be taking into account career numbers, how they affected their team in a positive way, and their career accomplishments to determine the victor. Without further adieu, let’s dive into this intriguing match-up between these two elite scorers.
Bernard King Versus Carmelo Anthony: The Match-Up
Bernard King Versus Carmelo Anthony: The Case for King
King is actually one of the most underrated stars in NBA history. He did not win a title during his career, however, he is still a Hall of Famer for a reason. Like Melo, King was a great mid-range shooter. For his career, he shot a field goal percentage of 51.8 percent, though he only shot 17.2 percent from three-point land. Now, it is important to note that despite King not being the greatest three-point shooter, he played in an era where it was not heavily emphasized. King also finished his career averaging 22.5 points per game, but he did average an insane 26.5 points per game during his Knicks tenure.
King played a total of 14 seasons for his NBA career. One knock against him is that he only led his team to the postseason a total of five times during that time. However, he did help will New York to the playoffs for three of his four seasons during that specific tenure. This is not exactly a good look going up against Melo considering up until the latter part of his Knicks tenure, Anthony’s teams made the playoffs for 10 years straight.
However, King may have Melo on the playoff averages. During the postseason, Bernard King possesses carer averages of 24.5 points per game while shooting 55.9 percent, 4.3 rebounds per game, and 2.3 assists per game. Melo, on the other hand, has playoff averages of 24.5 points per game while shooting an inefficient 41.5 percent, 7.1 rebounds per game, and 2.6 assists per game. While the numbers here are neck and neck, I will take the efficiency of King in this department.
Now we come to the impressive resume for Bernard King. He made the All-NBA Team four times throughout his career and is also a four-time All-Star. Not to mention, he is currently in the Hall of Fame as alluded to earlier. King also possesses a scoring title on his resume to go along with making the All-Rookie Team during his rookie campaign. It may not be the most glamorous resume compared to other Knicks legends like Patrick Ewing, but it is still impressive.
Bernard King Versus Carmelo Anthony: The Case for Anthony
Carmelo Anthony seems to be in a dark place in terms of his NBA career right now. However, he was a scoring monster in his prime. For his career, Melo is averaging 24 points per game while shooting 44.9 percent from the field. He is also a career 34.7 percent three-point shooter. This is actually somewhat impressive considering Melo’s specialty has always been his ability to hit the mid-range jump-shot. As a Knick, Anthony would finish averaging 24.7 points per game.
As mentioned before, Melo has made the postseason quite a bit during his career. A total of 11 seasons as a matter of fact. However, his postseason numbers are not without fault as we already went over earlier. His one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder was a disaster in the playoffs. His playoff numbers that particular year is not pretty. Carmelo Anthony averaged numbers of 11.8 points per game while shooting 37.5 percent from the field, 5.7 rebounds per game, and 0.3 assists per game. This one year alone gives the edge to Bernard King in the postseason department.
If there is one area where Melo has a clear-cut edge over Bernard King, it is in the NBA resume category. King may be in the Hall of Fame, but Melo is technically still active. Anthony is a 10-time All-Star, has made the All-NBA Team six times. Not to mention, he has also won the scoring title and did make the All-Rookie Team. Many will actually argue that Anthony should have won the Rookie of the Year over LeBron James.
This battle is really close. However, by just an edge, the victor is Carmelo Anthony. Not only does Melo in his prime seem a bit more athletic, he has a more impressive resume by just an edge and also seemed a bit more durable in his prime. Bernard King had two seasons in his career where he did not even play because of injury. Also, he only played 19 games in his third season. If we are talking about who was the better New York Knick, then it might be a different story. However, in terms of their primes, Carmelo Anthony usurps Bernard King, but only by a smidge.