The road that started back in 2003 when he was drafted for the Denver Nuggets has finally come to an end. Very close to the 20 year mark.
The Towson Catholic High School in Baltimore witnessed Anthony’s first steps in basketball. There he started playing base and it didn’t take long for him to become one of the best players in the area. Although he didn’t win the state title, he was recognized with several awards, including Player of the Year. Baltimore became his home at age 8, after moving there from his native Brooklyn with his mother and three older brothers.
Despite the interest of several universities to grant him a scholarship, Anthony decided to attend Syracuse University. Prior to his entry, he had to train in different academies that allowed him to dedicate time to his studies, since his grades were not the best. It was a requirement from his mother. School, then basketball. And that’s how he did it.
In Syracuse, Anthony was named Freshman of the Year, Rookie of the Year by the Big East Conference and was included in the best five in the conference and in the second team of the All-America by the Associated Press. After just one season, he ran for the 2003 NBA Draft... everything that came after is history.
The 2003 NBA Draft was perhaps one of the most competitive and important draws in recent times. 2003 marked the start of some of the most important careers in the sport. Let’s review some names. The first pick in the first round was none other than Lebron James. The forward was selected by Cleveland. Second came Serbian Darko Miličić, who arrived at the Detroit Pistons from Memphis. Third? Carmelo Anthony for Denver. The list is completed by some legends such as Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, Kirk Hinrich and Carlos Delfino, among others.
Over the years, he also managed to stand out for the American team. At the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, his debut, he won the bronze medal. Despite the blow it meant for the Dream Team, it was the beginning of the path that would lead Anthony to be captain, together with James and Wayde at the 2006 Japan World Championship where he broke the record for points scored (35) by a player from the United States in a match, surpassing the 34 that Kenny Anderson achieved in 1990. For his performance in that tournament, he was named player of the year in his country.
In the next three Olympic Games, the United States managed to regain its dominance and became Olympic champions in Beijing, London and Rio. Carmelo played all eight games in each Game, reaching a total of 31 games played in four consecutive Olympic Games.
After eight years in Denver, his NBA career continued with seven years playing for the New York Knicks. He then went through Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers to finish his career with the LA Lakers, team where he played during 2021 and 2022.
Among other achievements, Carmelo Anthony was part of the best rookie team in the NBA in 2004, was a 10-time All-Star, the NBA’s top scorer in 2013, holds the record of being the only American player to win four Olympic medals, Knicks player with the most points scored (62) in a game, and player of the year for US Basketball in 2006 and 2016. He also reached 28,289 points throughout his career.
“I remember the days when I had nothing, except for a ball on the court and a dream of achieving something more,” he began narrating in his farewell video. “Basketball was my way out, my purpose was strong, my communities, the cities I proudly represented and the fans who supported me along the way. I am eternally grateful for those people and places because they made me what I am: Carmelo Anthony,” he added.