An article on ESPN.com went up today revealing Carmelo Anthony’s “new” plan for personal success and his early blueprint for the instillation of Scrooge McDuck’s golden coin pool.
“Are you a basketball player? A New York Knick? The league’s most unstoppable scorer?” Anthony Rodriguez, a branding expert asks.
“No way,” Carmelo says. “This isn’t just about basketball. I hate just being known that way. It’s got to be bigger than that.”
Melo then continued his delusions of grandeur by adding, “What I really want is a bulletproof legacy,” he says. “How can I be known for being a visionary, for being truly great?”.
I’m not one to poo-poo on any man who wants to shoot for the stars and reach for more than their current status allows them, if you’re not improving today then you’re getting worse, there’s no standing still (thanks EVERY hoops coach I ever had). Hell, I won’t go to my best friend’s birthday party if it’s at the same place it was last year, constantly moving forward and improving yourself is a way of life that I understand.
BUT (huge ass on this one), the fact that EVERY athlete on the planet who saw MJ in a shoe commercial thinks that he should turn himself into a brand bigger than what got him to his current status in the first place, drives me NUTS.
NBA players are not brands, they’re not role models (just ask Charles Barkley), they are BASKETBALL PLAYERS that sell a product: basketball. Don’t try and fool me with talk of you being something more than an incredible athlete with a face slapped on EVERY marketable product in the world, by acting as if you somehow transcend your sport. You wanna be a brand and leave a legacy while being considered a visionary? Go write a book, direct a play, stand up for gay rights, USE YOUR PLATFORM IN LIFE for something bigger than making more money for being a noticeable face.
Carmelo Anthony is a hooper, he was born to be a professional basketball player, graced with natural height and athletic ability that only the top 1% of the world has. To his credit, he has worked very hard to get where he is as a professional athlete, having a ton of athletic and financial success along the way. Having been a college basketball player myself, I understand the commitment you need to be at the level that Carmelo is and I applaud it.
But being a visionary is not done by whoring yourself out to every business plan available because you have a recognizable face, or a large bankroll that can afford you to hire “brand experts” (whatever the hell that is).
Arthur Ashe is a visionary, Albert Einstein is a visionary, Nelson Mandela is a visionary, Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King are visionaries, Steve Jobs is a visionary, I would even throw Magic Johnson in the mix as a visionary for the work he has done for AIDS research and his public battle with the HIV virus.
Just because you have a vision, that doesn’t make you a visionary.
Much like most athletes, Carmelo is an opportunist, not a visionary.
You wanna be a visionary and really impress people Carmelo? How about you win a ring for the great city of New York, make your teammates better by being a leader and quit hold the ball on the wing for 10 seconds, jab-stepping your way into a forced shot. You’re driving your teammates and the fans crazy.
written by: Casey S. Gutting