This is the first of a three-part series that will reveal my top-3 overrated NBA players in today's game. At number three - Carmelo Anthony.

Many say that Carmelo Anthony has underachieved, that he has not fulfilled his potential. The number three pick in the 2003 NBA Draft was expected to become the ultimate rival of the number one pick in that draft, LeBron James. The two were dynamic 6ft 8in forwards, but they certainly have taken two very different NBA paths.

Carmelo, 33, is one of the best scorers of his generation, there is no question about that, but that's about it.

Carmelo's little success

Carmelo Anthony has not had the ability to carry a team on his back and lead it to success. He has gone as far as the Western Conference Finals with the Denver Nuggets. But those Nuggets also had the champion that was Chauncey Billups and notable players like Kenyon Martin and Jr Smith. Carmelo was the team's most valuable player and scorer, but that team reached those heights because of a collective effort and great coaching. Carmelo did not drive the team. When things started to get shaky in Denver, it became apparent that Anthony was eager to change jump out of the ship.

Anthony's next ship, the New York Knicks, proved to be an even bigger failure in his career as he was only able to make the second-round of the playoffs once.

The countless Melo-drama and criticism of his leadership followed his during his years there. In addition, his departure liberated Kristaps Porzingis, who was finally able to prove that he was eager to become the face of the franchise. Carmelo's presence was holding the Unicorn back.

Carmelo Anthony, the liability

Carmelo Anthony is a liability on the defensive end and has been for some time now.

One can recall some famous battles with Kobe Bryant in the Western Conference playoffs, but his effort on defense was sporadic even at that young age. He has rarely embraced the challenge of going one-on-one against the other team's best player. More than ever, the Carmelo in New York was happy in a comfort zone that allowed him to merely focus on scoring.

At the small forward position, Anthony has usually suffered to stay in front of quicker small forwards. And, at the power forward position, Anthony has usually had problems with bigger and stronger power forwards. But if only Carmelo had adopted an aggressive mindset, it would have compensated for the lack of other attributes. In help-side defense, he is also nowhere to be found. Communication is vital in these situations, but mellow Melo has shown little interest to bring his teams together at that end of the floor. Many champions have said that defense wins championships. Many can understand now why Carmelo Anthony has had little success at contending for an NBA title.

Superstars make their teammates better.

To do so, they need to be leaders that push the rest of the team, set high standards, and look for their teammates to stand out. Carmelo does not possess that leader's voice, demeanor, or behavior. He is laid-back, and while people who are laid-back can certainly also convey leadership qualities in other ways, Carmelo has failed to do so. He has shied away from these responsibilities. Everyone wants to win, but not everyone is willing to put in the necessary work in order to make it happen. Anthony has failed to drive his teams and make his teammates better.

First and foremost, Anthony has never been a good playmaker. His career average of three assists per game is not enough for someone who wants to call himself a superstar.

This season with the Oklahoma City Thunder has been even worse, it is an extremely poor 1.3 assists per game. Carmelo is comfortable being only an isolation player. His individualist game and apathetic attitude are contagious.

Why have the Thunder struggled this season against all the odds? The apparent 'Big three' of Russell Westbrook, Paul George, and Carmelo Anthony has not been able to figure it out so far. The defense is working, but on the offensive end, the Thunder are not moving the ball. Carmelo has refused to definitely take a back seat and accept a different role that can elevate the level of the rest of the team. He has also declined to come off the bench. Carmelo is clearly the weaker player of the three stars.

Many ask of Carmelo to adopt a Chris Bosh-like role. Bosh recognized that he needed to take a lesser role with the Heat and was still able to impact the game with his rebounding, defense, spacing, jump-shooting, etc. Especially at this stage of his career, people should not ask more of Carmelo, nor should he ask more of himself. Bosh was smart enough to understand that he had to let LeBron and Wade do their thing. If the Thunder intend to meet the expectations set early on this season and go far in the western conference playoffs, Anthony will need to take a backseat and try to complement rather than match Westbrook and George's efforts.

There is no denying that Carmelo Anthony has been and is still a special offensive player.

When he is locked-in in a situation of isolation offense, defenders still cannot do much to stop his smooth jump-shot or vigorous drive to the rim. But it is also time to recognize that 'special' is not 'great.' The Thunder does not have a 'Big three,' they instead have a 'Big two-point-five.'