Carmelo Anthony, one of the greatest scorers the NBA has ever seen, has announced his retirement from basketball at the age of 38.
The third pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Anthony enjoyed an illustrious 19-year career that included 10 NBA All-Star appearances, six All-NBA selections, a scoring title and a place on the NBA’s 75th anniversary team.
His ability to score the basketball made him one of the most feared and box office players in the league for much of his time in the NBA and his 28,289 career points places him ninth on the all-time scoring list.
During his college career, Anthony famously led Syracuse to its first national men’s basketball title when he was a freshman, before going on to play for the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA.
As a member of Team USA, Anthony won three Olympic gold medals – Rio in 2016, London in 2012 and Beijing in 2008 – and one bronze at Athens 2004.
“I remember the days when I had nothing, just a ball on the court and dream of something more,” Anthony said in his retirement video. “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.
“But now the time has come for me to say goodbye – to the court where I made my name to the game that gave me purpose and pride, but this is a bittersweet goodbye to the NBA. I am excited about what the future holds for me.”
Anthony began his career with the Nuggets and quickly cemented his place among the league’s leading talents.
In 2009, he guided Denver to its first Western Conference Finals appearance since 1985 where they were eliminated by the eventual champions, the Los Angeles Lakers.
During the 2010/11 season, he moved to the New York Knicks in a highly publicized trade but would advance past the first round of the Playoffs just once in his time at Madison Square Garden.
Anthony recorded his career high and the Knicks’ franchise record with a 62-point performance in the Garden against the Charlotte Bobcats in January 2014.
He was traded to the Thunder in 2017 and then to the Rockets in 2018, where he played just a few games before being held out of the team.
In November 2019, more than a year after he last played in the NBA, he signed a deal with the Trail Blazers and enjoyed something of a renaissance, going on to play a crucial role in the team reaching the playoffs during the NBA bubble.
After two seasons in Portland – during which Anthony broke into the top 10 of the NBA’s all-time scoring list – he signed for the Lakers for the 2021/22 season for what would be his final active year in the NBA, as the team finished 11th in the Western Conference.
“You’re such a legend and beyond my brother,” LeBron James, who went No. 1 overall in the same draft class, wrote on an Instagram story.
“Congratulations on a helluva ride.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a tweet, “Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA’s all-time great players and ambassadors. We congratulate him on a remarkable 19-year career and look forward to seeing him in the Hall of Fame.”
Life after basketball
During his time in the NBA, Anthony began a venture into the winemaking industry and is hoping to build a legacy well beyond the basketball court.
But his journey as a wine lover started off as a lonely one.
“I was drinking wine, going to a restaurant, sitting at the bar, asking for a glass of wine with [teammates] just looking at me like, ‘Man, what is he doing?’”
Anthony recalled how most players would laugh and tell him it was not a healthy habit.
He began to understand the value and quality of wines during road trips to Sacramento, California, where he’d visit wine clubs serving varieties from nearby Napa Valley and other parts of the world.
In 2011, when Anthony was traded from the Nuggets to the Knicks, his appreciation for wine heightened.
“It just exposed me to a whole new world of wine lovers, different wines, different chats, different palates. And from that point on, I knew this was a genre that I wanted to be a part of.”
Slowly, Anthony said, other players around the league came around to appreciating Burgundy, Bordeaux and Beaujolais.