Carmelo Anthony’s Dad Died of Cancer But He Left Behind an Object the NBA Player Still Cherishes

Since entering the NBA in 2003, Carmelo Anthony has built a career as one of the most lethal scorers ever. He currently sits at No. 20 on the all-time points scored list, with a good chance to move even higher if he can stay in the league another few seasons. By all accounts, Anthony is virtually a lock for an eventual Hall of Fame nomination.

Scoring is not the only way Anthony has established himself as a leader. Off the court, he’s also one of the most charitable players. One inspiration for Anthony’s giving is his father, who died of cancer when he was young. Let’s look at Anthony’s career, his father, and how this influenced his charitable activities.

Anthony’s NBA career so far

The Denver Nuggets drafted Anthony with the third pick of the 2003 NBA Draft. It didn’t take long for the young Anthony to establish himself as a premier scorer. As a rookie, he averaged 21.0 points per game, to go along with 6.8 rebounds, 2.8 assists, and 1.2 steals per game. Within a few seasons, Anthony had pushed his scoring average to a massive 28.9 points per game.

After seven and a half seasons as the bonafide superstar in Denver, the Nuggets traded Anthony to the New York Knicks as part of a three-team deal. Anthony continued his stellar production for seven years in New York. Yet while Anthony was still able to put up huge numbers, his iso-heavy game and reliance on long twos began to a little out of date.

Anthony’s reputation as a somewhat selfish player wasn’t helped by the fact that, in seven seasons with the Knicks, the team only won a single playoff series. Hoping to revive his career, Anthony signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder prior to the 2017-18 season. That was followed by a brief stint with the Houston Rockets, before signing this season with the Portland Trailblazers.

Anthony has career averages of 23.6 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists per game. He has received 10 All-Star selections, two All-NBA Second Team selections, and four All-NBA Third Team selections. He was the league’s scoring champion in 2013.

Relationship with his father

To say that Anthony had a relationship with his father is something of a misnomer. Anthony’s father, who shared his son’s name, was born in Puerto Rico and died when Anthony was only two years old. As a result, Anthony has few memories of his father. Yet that doesn’t mean that Carmelo Sr. has managed to affect his son’s life in numerous ways.

For one thing, Anthony’s father was a poet. After he died, Anthony inherited a book of poems that he wrote, which he has read through time and time again over the course of his adult life. Anthony has also made a concerted effort to learn more about his Puerto Rican heritage, making many trips to the country to dig into his ancestry and roots.

How Anthony has carried his father’s legacy forward


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Anthony’s father died from cancer — a fact that was not lost on Anthony once he became wealthy enough to start making charitable donations. The Carmelo Anthony Foundation has supported a variety of charitable causes, including helping families struggling with cancer. Anthony also has a lot of sympathy for how hard cancer can be on an entire family.

After his father passed away, Anthony’s mother had to raise four children all on her own. That sacrifice took a massive emotional and financial toll. In December 2016, Anthony showed how much he cares about families in similar situations when he gave a brand new car to the family of a young cancer patient. At the time, Anthony had this to say to ESPN:

“This is bigger than sport, bigger than basketball. Two wonderful foundations coming together, making a family happy, making a dream come true. Giving them a day of happiness. The family, as you can see, the mom is still crying. It is a bit of a surprise. They had no idea it was coming, and I am happy that I was able to kind of make this happen.”