After quality time with MJ, 'Melo soaring in his shoes
Todd Boyd is a professor of film at the University of Southern California and a commonly sought-out expert on the intersection of hip-hop culture and pro athletes. When he hears that Carmelo Anthony wants to be a leading voice of urban America, he thinks of Michael Jordan, who went a different direction and became a voice of corporate America.Without all those NBA championships, Jordan's influence would have been limited.
"If 'Melo's successful on court, if his team is successful, people will embrace him," Boyd says. "The street will embrace him. Madison Avenue will embrace him. The suburbs embrace him. It all really depends on how 'Melo plays."It would be hard to play much better than Anthony has lately. Coming into Wednesday's game against the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James, the Nuggets forward is on a month-long roll. He is consistently piling up big numbers, leading his team to tough victories and showing all the hallmarks of a superstar. The NBA's eighth-leading scorer at 25.7 points a game, he went for 39 at Chicago on Monday and 38 the game before that at Milwaukee, both Denver wins. His jumper is falling at all the right times, too, providing game winners the previous week against Houston and Phoenix. He also stuck a 3-pointer to force overtime at Dallas in an eventual loss. The Denver media has likened his clutch play to that of John Elway, the retired Bronco who was famed for his late-game drives. With the Nuggets limited by injuries to several key players, teams have tried double-teaming Anthony. They've stacked his side of the court. They've gone big. They've gone small. Played him more physically. The way to limit Anthony is to "entice him into a bad-shot game," Bulls coach Scott Skiles says. Not much has worked.