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Carmelo Anthony comments on Hawks racism controversy

Real Melo talk regarding recent racism, basketball fallout, and human universality.

Al Bello

In an interview with the New York Post, Carmelo Anthony condemned the Atlanta Hawks organization as a franchise non grata, one that any player potentially on the move "would never look at" in light of recent revelations of racist comments by soon-to-be-ex-owner Bruce Levenson and suspended-GM-and-not-gone-quite-as-soon-as-Levenson-but--it's-coming Danny Ferry.

"[There] ain't nobody [who] would want to go there," Anthony said at the Citi Carmelo Anthony Basketball ProCamp at Baruch College Saturday morning. "At the end of the day, Atlanta ... I think it puts Atlanta back even further now, from that standpoint."

Suggesting the Hawks could somehow be even less attractive an option to players than they already were seemed mathematically absurd, until Carmelo pulled a piece of string and an ant from his pocket and made a crude model of a tesseract which confirmed it was indeed possible for the Hawks to slip beneath their current ignominy.

Melo's words were welcomely frank and to my ears sound like they passed pretty seamlessly from his brain to his mouth, a welcome effortlessness and candor from a guy who sometimes sounds like he's taking the SATs and waiting for the best possible answer to emerge before choosing one. Sometimes, he sounds realer, though. To wit: notice how everyman he sounds even when discussing a narrower focus:

"As a player, as an athlete, we're looking for a job, we're trying to find a place where we can move our family, we can make our family comfortable, where we can be comfortable in a comfortable environment, but those comments right there, we would never look at. I'm speaking on behalf of all athletes. We would never look at a situation like that, I don't care what it is."

That's some Unambiguous Melo and some Preach! Melo.

"It's going to take a collective effort," Anthony said. That's not going to change overnight. I don't think that just happened overnight. That's been an accumulation over the past couple years. A lot of people think that it just happened, but it's been going on for the past two or three years now ... these are conversations that have been ongoing.

That's some Insider Melo.

I always like evidence of social consciousness that seems to stem directly from someone's set of values, rather than yet another self-congratulatory NBA Cares! commercial or public statements that were clearly written by someone other than the person they're credited to. I like Unambiguous Melo. I like Insider Melo. I dream of Preach! Melo being around in 2 years the way some people dream of Kevin Durant being here.

Carmelo reminds me of Patrick Ewing. Perhaps #7''s the digital to #33's analog? These glimpses of what feels closer to the real Anthony are rare. And welcome.