The wait is finally over for former All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony as he inked a deal to join the Portland Trail Blazers this week that brings him back into the league. It marks the fifth stop of his career, which opens up an entirely new chapter. Anthony has embraced this opportunity by choosing a number that he has never worn before in the league, which he has revealed has some special meaning to him.
Blazers bring in Carmelo Anthony
Over the past several months, there had been the building perception that Anthony played his last game in the NBA after being let go by the Houston Rockets 10 games into last year.
The 35-year-old has received another chance to resume his career with the Trail Blazers deciding to bring him on board on a one-year deal. There had previously been rumblings about the team’s interest in acquiring him dating back to his days with the New York Knicks, but that never came to fruition.
It was a move that All-Star point guard Damian Lillard completely signed off on to add another proven scorer to the mix to help them get out of their early-season rut. The Trail Blazers need frontcourt help with big man Zach Collins out for the season as it could open the door for Anthony to step into a prominent role in the offense.
With the situation now in hand, Anthony has taken the time to make his jersey number selection hold significant meaning to him.
Why did Carmelo Anthony pick jersey number 00?
Throughout his NBA career, Anthony has worn three different numbers during previous stops in the league.
He wore No. 15 during his first 7 1/2 seasons with the Denver Nuggets, as it was the same number he had in his lone season at Syracuse, where he led the school to a national championship. He switched things once he arrived to the Knicks as he donned No. 7 as an ode to his son, Kiyan’s birthday, on March 7.
The other reasoning for the number choice was that it was high school number (22) at Oak Hill Academy minus his number with the Nuggets. Anthony has taken this fresh new opportunity with the Blazers to change his number to 00 due to several reasons, as he shared on Instagram on Tuesday morning.
Anthony has some spiritual reasoning behind the choice as it has been a never-ending grind for him to work his way back into the league. It’s a process that has been a difficult process that he has continued to push through to get this opportunity with Portland.
It’s now a constant reminder to him that the internal push must continue if he wants to keep his NBA career going as long as he can.
What to expect from Carmelo Anthony
The next chapter of Anthony’s career with the Blazers could be quite different for him. The team has yet to define his role, but he will likely provide another scoring punch for them alongside one of the best backcourts in the league in Lillard and CJ McCollum.
Anthony will assume playing the majority of his minutes at power forward to help fill the void left by Collins. It may also see him be put into the starting lineup at some point, but for now, the team will ease him into the fold as he gets his legs under him from not playing a game since early last season.
It’s a chance for Anthony to re-establish himself in the league by proving that he still has plenty left in the tank to play at a high level at this stage of his illustrious career.