NBA Basketball

Draymond on Melo's ESPN ranking: 'He ain't f—ing 64'

Carmelo Anthony isn’t the only one who thinks ESPN did him dirty.

The New York Knicks forward said it was “blatantly disrespect” that he was ranked the 64th-best player entering the 2017-18 season, and Draymond Green agrees.

“I think when you look at Melo, Melo has been a great player in this league for some time now,” the Golden State Warriors forward told ESPN’s Chris Haynes.

“Obviously, I think no one thinks that he’s the Melo he was five years ago, and that happens to everyone. That’s just the nature of the career that we’ve all chosen. At some point, you start to slow down and you’re not who you once were. So, I’m not going to sit here and lie and act like he is the Melo he was five years ago, but the 64th-best player in the NBA? All right, five years ago he was maybe sixth. He ain’t f—ing 64 (now).”

At 33, Anthony is a shadow of the 2013 scoring champ he used to be, but he remains one of league’s best at getting buckets. Green elaborated on why he thinks the 10-time All-Star deserves to be higher on the list, especially over far less proven players.

Related: Why DeRozan and Melo got squeezed, and the problem with rankings

“I’m a firm believer in guys earning what they get, and I know he’s earned more than a 64,” said Green, who slots in at No. 10. “And when you see rookies coming in who haven’t played a game, that’s just clear-cut disrespect. You’ve got guys who have given everything they had into this game and has proved s— year in and year out and then people just walk in and are ranked higher than someone? Let them get out there and prove something first.”

Green admitted his stance is probably rooted in his past, being a second-round pick for whom nothing came easy.

“Everything I’ve gotten in this league I’ve worked for and earned,” he said. “I think it’s clear disrespect. … He’s for damn sure not the 64th-best player in the league. I know that. There aren’t 63 players better than Carmelo Anthony.”

Melo put up 22.4 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 2.9 assists last season in his 14th campaign.

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