After shutting it down for the season with left knee surgery, it was announced that New York Knicks superstar forward Carmelo Anthony will be out for 4-6 months. After that, most of us Knick fans were expecting Anthony to be back to his normal dominant self for the 2015 NBA season. More recent reports though indicate otherwise. Could Anthony’s knee be a bigger problem?
The exact procedure Melo is undergoing is a patellar tendon debridement. Two NBA stars recently had the same procedure done, and the results were not at all encouraging.
Danny Granger and Dwyane Wade both have had troublesome knees ever since this procedure. Both underwent multiple surgeries in the affected knee, and neither has exactly been the same since the said surgery.
Granger was a perennial All-Star and one of the leagues best small forwards. He averaged over 20 PPG for four consecutive seasons before undergoing the same surgery Anthony underwent. He began facing the problems in 2011-2012 missing 20 games because of his knee. He then played in only six games the next season. In the three seasons since, Granger has bounced around four teams and averaged just 7.8 PPG on 39.7% shooting. He has been reduced to a bottom of the bench guy after being in MVP discussions in 2008-2009.
While Wade is still an All-Star, he isn’t as good as he previously was. He averaged 25+ PPG for six straight seasons before the knee issues cropped up. He since has failed to surpass 22.1, and has to have “rest days” during the season to preserve the knee. He still is an excellent player, but he no longer can carry a team like he used to be capable of.
Anthony is also over the age of 30 and has played over 30 thousand minutes in his career, both of which are warning signs. Those two numbers when reached sent the careers of stars like Shawn Marion, Reggie Miller, and Vince Carter into a tailspin (more details on that here).
Of course, every surgery is different. Anthony could rebound fine and still be a star player in this league next season. However, the Knicks still do have reason to be cautious.