*

Maybe ns was getting far better at handling eccentric players. But then: Carmelo.

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Did I manage him as well? The volume of questions about Carmelo eventually wore me down. Sometimes I acquired so sick of talking about him that I’d just throw up mine hands and also say, “I don’t recognize what he is and I don’t care.”

Carmelo to be a true conundrum because that me in the six years I had actually him. He was the ideal offensive player I ever before coached. That was also a user the people, addicted to the spotlight, and an extremely unhappy once he had to re-publishing it.

Wait. Yes sir more.

He yes, really lit my fuse through his low need of self on defense. He had no commitment come the hard, dirty work of avoiding the other guy. My ideal—probably every coach’s ideal—is when your finest player is also your leader. But since Carmelo only played hard on one side of the ball, that made it plain he couldn’t command the Nuggets, also though he stated he want to. Coaching him expected working roughly his defense and also compensating because that his attitude. I’d have actually to try to number him out, too. How could I get much more from him?

Carmelo flourished up poor in West Baltimore. Single-parent home; his father died when he was two. V the drugs and also violence in his neighborhood, that must have actually been choose a combat zone. However like Kenyon, he uncovered a safe place under a hoop top top the playground. Tough work, skill, talent, and also lucky DNA gained Carmelo into a exclusive high school and onto one AAU team.

He put himself ~ above the map once he averaged 25 a game at the AAU’s Adidas large Time competition in Vegas. Syracuse winner the competition for his services, and he play one year in college, together mentioned, and won an NCAA championship. His resolve the Nuggets as a nineteen-year-old rookie was for five years and also $80 million.

He was such a talented kid. If he’d decided to lead the league in rebounding, or to end up being the best defender in ~ his place in the NBA, he can have done either one.

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But Kenyon and also Carmelo brought two huge burdens: all that money, and no father to display them exactly how to act prefer a man. Together you’ve read, I prospered up in a safe suburban neighborhood, with both mine parents. I had a second father in my university coach, the many moral, decent man I ever before knew. And also I never made sufficient money together a player to obtain confused about who ns was. As soon as I compare my background come Kenyon’s and Carmelo’s, that no wonder we had a couple of problems.