Hey Carmelo: Put Up Or Shut Up

Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Dear Carmelo:

Hey buddy, you may not know me.

Okay, I probably don’t even exist to you.

But that’s not the point. My name is Mark Gilbert and I am a sports fan and writer, and I need you to know that I’m sick and tired of you.

So you opted into your 27.9 million dollar contract recently with the Oklahoma City Thunder. I get it, bro, secure the bag because you wouldn’t have got that anywhere else in the league, mainly because you were hot garbage not great in your inaugural season with the Thunder franchise.

I’m a capitalist, and I’m all for getting your money but with that, hard work and dedication needs to come in. You have been carrying this reprehensible reputation since Phil Jackson castigated, denigrated, and demoralized you in New York, and one would think that enough is enough.

The trade from the Knicks should have galvanized you to prove all of the haters and talking heads wrong, and be the “Melo” that I grew up loving to watch.

Instead, we got: a career low in points (16.7), assists (1.3), field goal percentage (40.4), and Player efficiency rating (12.7). Did you know that 15 is actually considered the threshold for an AVERAGE NBA player efficiency rating?

Who exactly do you think you are?

I heard stories about you falling asleep during mandatory meditation sessions in New York. Do you realize that is the same method that Jackson employed with Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant right? Which they did buy into and both attribute to their success and rings, might I add.

But maybe that’s what we should expect from the same guy who’s perfectly fine with having three gold international medals and no NBA championship.

Look at your closest friends around the league; Lebron James and Dwyane Wade have rings and Chris Paul is still playing at a championship contending level with the Houston Rockets.

You’re the odd man out.

I was the optimist. I vouched for you earlier this season because I thought that you would be able to channel your inner ‘Melo and be the clutch scoring punch that the Thunder needed this season but you failed time and time again, missing key shot after key shot.

No one in Oklahoma City wants you, not management or your own teammates, yet you’re flaunting on social media with wine glasses and shades like you’re that guy, antagonizing fans for justifiably expressing discontent with you.

Nobody likes the rich snobby guy.

I just hope that with all of this trash you’re talking, you have the existential awareness to really make a comeback next season, regardless of whether you’re a part of the Thunder or not.

That doesn’t mean posting videos of yourself with a hood on, hooping in a New York City gym.

That’s out.

“Hoodie Melo” is dead, and we all fell for that last summer, so my advice is; No gimmicks, no camera. Put the work in the gym privately, and be willing to sacrifice your role because the cold hard truth is you aren’t that guy anymore and you haven’t been for a long time.

You played with Allen Iverson in Denver at the end of his career, and you saw how that turned out after such an amazing start.

It’s not too late to turn it around ‘Melo.

Listen to me, I’m your Jerry Maguire, and you are my Rod Tidwell.

Unfortunately, I don’t need to show you the money because you suckered your way into it, but that’s not the point.

Show me you earned the money!

Don’t be a paycheck player, play the game from your heart.

Your friend,


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