Carmelo Anthony, who did not play in the NBA this season, has retired as a player after 19 years in the league. He led Syracuse to an NCAA title in his only season and retired as ninth in career NBA points.
He is in an elite scoring group behind only LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Wilt Chamberlain, and Shaquille O’Neal. In addition, Anthony was selected as one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history, as well as a six-time All-NBA selection.
Despite his individual success, Anthony never appeared in the NBA Finals and only played in the conference finals once, losing to the Lakers while with the Nuggets in 2009.
Anthony was part of three Olympic gold medal teams in Beijing in 2008, London in 2012, and Rio in 2016. He played in more Olympic games for the United States than anyone in history. Anthony holds the USA Basketball record for most points in a game with 37 against Nigeria in 2012.
Anthony will be part of international Basketball this summer, but not as a player. He is one of the ambassadors to the Basketball World Cup, which takes place this year in three locations, Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines.
Growing up, Anthony remembered when he didn’t have anything except for a ball on a court. He had big visions of great things in life. He said, “Basketball was my outlet. My purpose was strong, my communities, the cities I represented with pride, and the fans that supported me along the way.”
A storied freshman season at Syracuse it led to Anthony being the third pick by the Denver Nuggets in the 2003 NBA draft. It was a distinguished draft class that included LeBron James (1st overall), Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
He played his first seven-plus seasons in Denver and is the third-highest scorer in franchise history behind Alex English and Dan Issel. The Nuggets posted a winning season in each of his seven full seasons. Anthony spent the majority of the remaining of his career with the Knicks, and it was a dream come true to play at Madison Square Garden after growing up in Brooklyn. His best season in New York was in 2012-13, when he averaged a league-best 28.7 points per game, leading the Knicks to 54 wins.
Anthony will now focus on the progress of his son Kiyan, who is a top-rated high school shooting guard. His legacy is not what he did on the court, but as he quoted, “My story has always been more than Basketball. My legacy, my son. I will forever continue through you. The time has come for you to carry this torch.”
Anthony will be on center stage once again when it’s time for him to enter the Hall of Fame, for which he will be eligible in 2026. He made 10 All-Star appearances and averaged 22.5 points, six rebounds, and three assists per game over 19 seasons with the Nuggets, Knicks, Thunder, Rockets, Trail Blazers, and Lakers.
Carmelo Anthony’s retirement marks the end of an era, yet the NBA journey continues with new challenges, such as LeBron James’s recent foot injury.