All-Alter Ego Five

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On the verge of his 16th season in the association, it’s fair to say Carmelo Anthony has begun the twilight phase of his career, as his prime has officially come to a close. Melo can still average 20, but he’s well beyond his years of leading a team and would have to realistically be the third-best option on a championship contender; Father Time will remain undefeated.

Hoodie Melo, Anthony’s alter ego, on the other hand, has proven that he’s both a different animal and the same beast.

Hoodie Melo defies the work of Father Time and would hit him with his patented quadruple jab-step followed by a silk smooth if he had the chance. Hoodie Melo will knock down a hesi pull-up (jimbo) one possession then drain a left-handed, Kareem-esque sky hook the next. You can’t stop Hoodie Melo. You can’t even hope to contain him. Hoodie Melo plays without a conscience, and Hoodie Melo will get the bucket.

Part of Hoodie Melo’s allure is that, outside of his height, he looks the part of an ordinary guy. He’s not donning a Knicks jersey and taking jumpers in the Garden, but rather a simple hoodie and sweats. Everyone who has ever picked up a basketball can all see a little bit of themselves in Hoodie Melo.

Melo’s alter ego has taken the offseason by storm with his collection of Instagram highlight tapes, but who else is worthy of joining him on the All-Alter-Ego squad?

1) Black Mask LeBron James: The LeBron James-led Miami Heat team was the perfect storm of pure villainy. From the “superstar golden boy gone corrupt” storyline to the black jerseys, the Heatles were universally hated, and the entire sporting world wanted its ringleader to fail. By his fourth and final season with Miami, The Chosen One completely channeled his inner dark side, and no game exemplified that more than when he donned a black mask to protect his broken nose, coupled with retro black jerseys. He played the part as well, dropping 31 against the New York Knicks on 13-of-19 shooting. The NBA forced him to revert back to the traditional clear masks after that game, but Black Mask LeBron will forever live down in infamy.

2) Rucker Park Kevin Durant: Kevin Durant is unequivocally the most difficult player to guard in today’s NBA. The league has never seen a player of his caliber: a 7-footer who can dribble and shoot like a guard or post up and yam it home like a big man.

While NBA Kevin Durant is primarily concerned with wins and losses, Rucker Park Kevin Durant is a showman. The Rucker in Harlem, New York is home to legendary street ballers, but audiences young and old seldom have the opportunity to witness a Hall-of-Fame talent live. The crowd salivates when he touches the ball and collectively hope to witness magic live. The MC proclaims Durant is the best. Durant gives the people what they want. Durant shoots the lights out and shuts it down, all without saying a word.

3) Jersey-Biting Kobe Bryant: Kobe Bryant is competitiveness personified, and fans couldn’t get enough of his cold-blooded nature. If there’s a winner and a loser, Bryant has proven since his first year in the league that he’ll find a way to come out on top. He’s a villain, but a villain everyone loves; you may not like him, but you have to respect him. Jersey-Biting Kobe is the epitome of Bryant’s determination to get a bucket doubling as the ultimate form of intimidation. There’s a method to the madness; Bryant chews his jersey to suck the sweat out and keep his mouth from drying up, calling it “a disgusting little trick.” The willingness to find the smallest edge over his competitors speaks to the Mamba’s psychotic, competitive nature. Sounds completely ridiculous, right? Then again, this is Kobe.

4) Pro-Am Jamal Crawford: Jamal Crawford’s game was built for the playground. With some of the flashiest handles in the game’s history, Crawford made a career in the NBA breaking ankles, but at his Pro-Am in his hometown of Seattle, he unleashes and executes moves that blur the line between reality and NBA Street. With their team unjustly uprooted and turned into the Oklahoma City Thunder, the chance for rabid basketball fans in the Pacific Northwest to witness greatness up close has become a rarity. But when Crawford and his unl

Melo’s alter ego has taken the offseason by storm with his collection of Instagram highlight tapes, but who else is worthy of joining him on the All-Alter-Ego squad?

imited assortment of dribble moves comes to down, for a brief moment, Seattleites forget the harsh reality of the professional team and immerse themselves in the guard’s tantalizing moves. He may couple his signature hesitation with a crossover. He may leave a defender in the dust with his unparalleled shake-and-bake. He may bust out the Shammgod. Crawford will never have the opportunity to finish his professional career in Seattle, but every summer, you better believe he’s going to put on for his city. It’s not just the ankle breakers that make summertime Jamal Crawford a beloved figure, but the unique bond he went out of his way to create with his hometown.

Justice delos Santos is an assistant sports editor. Contact him at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @jdelossantos510