By David Aldridge, Nick Kosmider and Joe Vardon
Carmelo Anthony retired from basketball on Monday, wrapping up a career that spanned 19 NBA seasons and included 10 All-Star Game appearances. Anthony announced his retirement in a video posted on social media. Here’s what you need to know:
- Anthony is ninth in the NBA all the time scoring list with 28,289 career points.
- The 38-year-old’s resume features stints with six different teams: Nuggets (2003-2011), Knicks (2011-2017), Thunder (2017-2018), Rockets (2018-2019), Trail Blazers (2019-2021) and Lakers (2021-2022).
- Anthony was the NBA scoring champion in the 2012-13 season with 28.7 points per game.
- A four-time Olympian, he has three gold medals (2008, 2012, 2016) and a bronze (2004).
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How will we remember Anthony?
Anthony’s career could be summed up like this: It was a bucket. For much of his career (until his final years of itinerant wandering from place to place), few players in the game were better at getting the brown ball through the wire hoop. Yet ‘Melo should also be commended for becoming more comfortable with using his voice to draw attention to causes outside of the game. He will be remembered for appearing at the 2016 ESPY opener in July, with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul speaking out against police violence against people of color, as well as mass shootings across the country.
But I also remember what Carmelo did later that year, in Rio de Janeiro, site of the 2016 Summer Olympics. Americans were explicitly told not to go into the “favelas” – the neighborhoods in the hills above the city that were home to many of Rio’s poorest citizens. “Insecure! Crime! Stay Away!” We have been told this over and over again. Yet Carmelo walked in, without any security details, on several occasions, to visit people who were shocked and delighted to see him.
He did it, he said, to give a voice to those who were voiceless, after hesitating earlier in his career to speak out. That he did so after winning his third gold and being the undisputed leader of that 2016 USA team showed how, while he will no doubt be remembered as a great goalscorer, he had become much, much more. — Aldridge
Anthony’s Denver Legacy
When Anthony was selected by the Nuggets with the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, he represented a prospect that hadn’t existed for Denver’s basketball franchise for much of the previous two decades. The Nuggets had missed the playoffs eight straight times and hadn’t won a playoff since 1994. All Anthony did after being selected out of Syracuse was lead the Nuggets to the playoffs in each of his seven full seasons with the team, including a trip to the 2009 Western Conference Finals.
He was a pure scorer with the ability to take control of games and set the Pepsi Center on fire at any time. Although Anthony’s trade request in 2010 stung the fan base, he was unquestionably one of the most talented players to ever don a Denver jersey. In 564 games with the Nuggets, he averaged 24.8 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists. The fact that he wears the same number (15) as the greatest player in the history of the team, two-time MVP Nikola Jokić, will make the logistics of a shirt retirement difficult, but there is no doubt that to Anthony’s profound impact on the franchise. — Kosmider
Anthony is one of the illustrious greatest in USA Basketball history.
Anthony, the organization’s first four-time Olympian and three-time gold medalist, is the U.S. Olympic leader in games (31) and rebounds (125), and is second in a number of categories behind Kevin Durant, including the total points (336). He was perhaps the third most important member of Team Redeem, behind James and Kobe Bryant, and was USAB’s second-highest scorer at the 2016 Games.
Before being drafted by the Nuggets in 2003, Anthony led Syracuse to its first-ever NCAA Tournament title. In his only season with the Orange, he averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds per game.
Anthony is the only player in NBA history to score 50 points without a single point in the paint. He is one of two players in NBA history to score 62 or more points without a single assist, the other being Bryant.
What Antoine said
“I remember the days when I had nothing. Just a ball in the field and a dream of something more. But basketball was my outlet. My purpose was strong, my communities, the cities I proudly represented, and the fans who supported me along the way. I am forever grateful to these people and places because they made me Carmelo Anthony.
“But now the time has come for me to say goodbye. To the field where I made my name, to the game that gave me purpose and pride. With this bittersweet goodbye to the NBA, I’m excited for what the future holds. When people ask me what my legacy is, it’s not my exploits on the court that come to mind, nor the awards or the accolades, because my story has always been about more than basketball. My legacy, my son, is in you. I will continue forever through you as the time has come for you to carry this torch. So (Kiyan), follow your dreams. Don’t let anything hold you back. Don’t let anything interfere. My legacy, now and forever, lives through you. And I will always be proud of everything you do. Peace.”
(Photo: Al Bello/Getty Images)