Yesterday, May 22, the living legend of American basketball, multiple All-Star Carmelo Anthony, announced his retirement from the game. In a week he will be 39 years old. And Melo spent 19 of them playing in the NBA.
Anthony spent eight years with Denver, where he finished fourth in franchise points, and six more years with the New York Knicks, where he became the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in 2013. Two years in Portland, and one season in Oklahoma, Houston and the Los Angeles Lakers. Last summer, the veteran tried to return to New York, sign a contract with his native Brooklyn, but sadly, he went undrafted in either the offseason or regular season. Now is the time to officially announce his retirement from the sport.
carmelo anthony in denver
Photo: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
Carmelo retires as the ninth player with the most goals in league history. He scored 28,289 points, only LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal scored more.
For almost two decades, Carmelo never became a champion and never even played in the NBA Finals. In 2009, with Denver, he reached the Western Conference Finals for the first and last time, but unlike this season, the Lakers won the series then.
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At the same time, Anthony still has four championship titles.
In 2003, he led the Syracuse University team to its first NCAA victory. It was Carmelo’s first and last season in college basketball, in which he averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds per game. In the first game of the Final Four he scored two double-doubles of 33 points and 14 rebounds, and in the second game of 20 points and 10 rebounds, he ended up being named the most outstanding player of the decisive phase. Success at Syracuse secured Anthony the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft, behind LeBron James and Darko Milicic.
In his rookie season, he became Denver’s highest scoring player. Melo helped the team, which had finished last in the West the year before he joined, reach the playoffs for the first time in nine years. According to the results of the draw, he was included in the symbolic five of the league’s newcomers, and was also called up to the United States team, with which he won his first medal at the Olympic Games.
Two years later, he entered the symbolic NBA team for the first time, where he later joined five more times, and a year later he played his first All-Star Game, of which there were 10 in Anthony’s career. Already in 2008, he became a first-time Olympic champion on the American team. Moving forward, Carmelo will add two more gold medals to his piggy bank, in 2012 and 2016.
In all, he participated in 31 Olympic Games games, more than any other basketball player in the country’s history. In a match with Nigeria in 2012, Anthony also set two records that are valid to this day: for performance (37 points) and number of three-pointers made (10).
Carmelo Anthony on Team USA
Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images
“I remember the days when I had nothing but a ball on the court and a dream of something more. Basketball was my outlet, my intentions were determined. I had communities with me, cities that I proudly represented, and fans that supported me along the way. I will always be grateful to these people and places because they made me who I am.
But now it’s time to say goodbye: to the playground where I made my name, to the game that gave me purpose and pride. But it’s a bittersweet goodbye to the NBA, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for me. When people ask me what I consider my legacy, what comes to mind is not my feats, awards and accolades on the court. My story has always been about more than basketball. My son… I will always continue to carry my legacy through you. It’s time for you to carry this torch,” Carmelo said in the farewell video.
His son, Kiyan, is ranked 62nd in four-star college basketball prospects. He has already received offers from 11 universities, including Syracuse. In the NCAA, Kiyan will be able to enter in 2025, as will Bryce James, LeBron’s middle son, who is a close friend of Carmelo’s.
“I want to say one thing: congratulations, brother. Where do I start? Since we first played against each other in high school, how do we spend hours outside the hotel before the game or the battles we fight together? I can sit and talk for hours. I am so proud of you! I have been fortunate to be a part of his journey. You are one of the best players I have ever seen. From the moment I saw you in Colorado Springs on Team USA to the moment we played the Lakers together, you have always been one of the best in the game. And I just want to congratulate you, your family and celebrate all that you’ve accomplished,” said LeBron, who learned of Anthony’s retirement a week before everyone else.
Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James
Photo: Justin Ford/Getty Images
“I swear I shed a tear… The game will miss you legend! Thank you Carmelo,” wrote Trey Young from Atlanta.
“Thank you for propelling me to new heights and congratulations on a legendary career,” said Milwaukee star Giannis Antetokounmpo.
“One of the most authentic superstars to ever play basketball! I appreciate everything you’ve done for the game, assassin,” added the legendary Isaiah Thomas.
“A defensive nightmare that is a joy to play with. Congratulations on an amazing run. You are a great player and an even better person. Enjoy the next chapter!” —Jason Kidd.
“Carmelo, thank you for everything you have given to this game. It was an honor to compete with you.” –Carl-Anthony Towns of Minnesota
“A run for the record books, brother! Congratulations.” – Dwyane Wade
Thank you for the countless memories in Denver. Congratulations on a Hall of Fame career, Carmelo,” the Nuggets said in a statement.
By the way, about the Hall of Fame. Carmelo will be able to join him very soon: A member of the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team will be eligible to be featured starting in 2026. Commissioner Adam Silver said the league was “excited” about the event.
Anthony hasn’t shared his plans for the future yet, but he’s definitely not going off the radar, at least not yet. He is the ambassador for the upcoming World Cup, which will take place from August 25 to September 10 in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. Well, then in basketball, perhaps, a new star with the last name Anthony will emerge, whose career growth Carmelo “cannot wait” to see, but already from the stands.