Carmelo Anthony was the third overall pick in the legendary 2003 Draft out of Syracuse. He’s carved out a Hall of Fame career and will go down as one of the best pure scorers in NBA history.
Anthony’s NBA career, though, hasn’t been smooth sailing by any means. The 10-time All-Star has never played in the Finals and was even out of the league for a while.
That’s why what Carmelo Anthony accomplished on Friday against the Golden State Warriors was such a special moment for the Brooklyn, New York native.
Carmelo Anthony was a superstar with the Nuggets and Knicks
The late great Kobe Bryant once said that Carmelo Anthony was the toughest player he had to guard in the NBA. The one-time scoring champion has an array of scoring moves in the post and a beautiful jump shot.
Anthony began his career with the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 24.8 points in 564 games with the franchise before requesting a trade and getting dealt to the New York Knicks during the 2010-11 season. Playing for the Knicks was a dream come true for Anthony since he was born in New York.
In 412 games with the Knicks, Anthony put up 24.7 points a night. In 2012-13, Melo led the NBA in scoring and finished third in MVP voting. New York won 54 games and got to the second round of the playoffs, where the team lost to the Indiana Pacers in six games.
The 2012-13 season was the final campaign Carmelo Anthony played in the playoffs with the Knicks, who became a walking disaster. New York traded Anthony to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer of 2017, ending his run with the Knicks.
Carmelo Anthony struggled with the Thunder and Rockets
Carmelo Anthony played one season on the Thunder with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. He averaged 16.2 points per game during the 2017-18 regular season and struggled in the 2018 playoffs versus the Utah Jazz. After OKC lost to the Jazz in the first round, Thunder general manager Sam Presti traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks, who then waived the former Knicks star.
The Houston Rockets signed Anthony for the 2018-19 season. James Harden and Chris Paul were excited to play with Melo, but things were bad from start to finish for Anthony in Clutch City. He only lasted 10 games with the Rockets before getting exiled from the team.
Anthony was told to stay away from the Rockets while general manager Daryl Morey searched for a trade partner. Houston wound up trading Anthony to the Chicago Bulls in January of 2019, but the small forward didn’t appear in a single game for the Bulls. The Windy City franchise waived Anthony in February, and no other team signed the 6-foot-8 scoring machine for the remainder of the 2018-19 season.
After being one of the faces of the NBA for so many years, Carmelo Anthony was now jobless. He contemplated retirement since no team was even taking a free-agent meeting with him. Fortunately for basketball fans, the Portland Trail Blazers signed Melo during the 2019-20 season, allowing the basketball purist to continue playing the game he loves.
Melo recently passed Tim Duncan for 14th in career scoring
Against the Warriors, Carmelo Anthony passed Hall of Famer Tim Duncan on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. It’s been incredible to watch Anthony go from being jobless to getting back in the NBA and play at a high level.
The Blazers are bringing Anthony off the bench this season. Thus far, the swingman has appeared in four games and is averaging 13.3 points while shooting 42.9% from the field and 50.0% from beyond the arc.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.