Former New York Knick Carmelo Anthony does not have a job in the NBA. The free agent has been without a club since getting cut by the Chicago Bulls in January despite working out for teams during the summer.

The reason? A smear campaign, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who made his case on Thursday’s ‘First Take.’

“I’m hearing that there’s chitter-chatter going on behind Melo’s back. I don’t know from who, but it’s not players. It’s coaches, it’s (general managers). And a lot of people don’t realize that sometimes these coaches and GMs have the same reps as one another. So you say, one person could say something, and it can circulate because that clique is intact and they don’t even know whether it’s true or not. They’re just going on word of mouth.”

Co-host Max Kellerman added, “It doesn’t seem like Carmelo deserves to have his reputation smeared behind the scenes. If that’s what’s keeping him out of the league it doesn’t appear to me to be fair.”

One suggestion to solve the issue is that Anthony’s banana boat friend LeBron James should get him on board with the Los Angeles Lakers.