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Ten-time All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony officially announced his retirement from the NBA following 19 seasons on Monday.
Touted as one of the top 75 players in league history, Anthony’s other accomplishments include six All-NBA selections and the 2013 scoring title.
“We look forward to seeing him in the Hall of Fame,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement following Anthony’s announcement.
Anthony was a key leader on the U.S. Olympic teams that won gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016, helping the U.S. basketball squad to bounce back from a post-Dream Team slump. He holds the all-time record for appearances in Olympics men’s basketball games with 31 and is fourth all-time in total scoring for the Denver Nuggets franchise.
“Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA’s all-time great players and ambassadors,” Silver said. “We congratulate him on a remarkable 19-year career.”
“I remember the days when I had nothing, just a ball on the court and a dream of something more,” Anthony said in a video posted online Monday to announce his decision. “But 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. I am forever grateful for those people and places because they made me Carmelo Anthony.”
Anthony, born in New York’s Brooklyn borough, moved to Baltimore when he was 8. From Charm City, he commuted to Towson Catholic High School for his first three years of high school, where he underwent a growth spurt to become a 6’5″ forward and have a successful high school basketball career with continual improvement in his abilities and stats.
Despite his clear potential, scouts dismissed him because of his small frame.
Anthony was named Baltimore’s County Player of the Year, All-Metropolitan Player of the Year and Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year during his high school career. He eventually chose Syracuse University and arguably was one of the most exciting players in the history of college basketball, leading the Orange to a national championship in his lone season at the school.
In 2003, Anthony was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets in the same draft as LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. He played for Denver for nearly a decade and was consistently among the top scorers in the league during this stretch.
The 6 ‘7″ athlete was traded to the New York Knicks in 2011 and was the team’s scoring leader as they contended in the playoffs, albeit unsuccessfully, until he was traded to Oklahoma City. He also played for Houston and Portland, and most recently played for the Los Angeles Lakers in 2021.
Anthony was among the best scorers in the league for much of his career and finished ninth all-time in scoring, just behind Hall of Fame big men Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal. His main scoring moves were post fadeaways and mid-range shots, a lost art that fellow DMV native Kevin Durant is keeping alive in the modern game.
With Anthony as their lead scorer and drawing defenders away from his teammates, the 2013 Knicks attempted 2,371 three-point shots and made 891, both record-setting totals for a season at the time. By comparison, 2,371 attempted three-pointers would have ranked next to last this season.
Anthony said he is looking forward to supporting his son Kiyan and helping him develop as a shooting guard.
“People ask what I believe my legacy is,” he said in his recorded announcement. “It’s not my feats on the court that come to mind – because 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.”