Carmelo Anthony will go down as one of the greatest scorers in NBA history.
He was the 3rd overall pick in the famed 2003 draft class out of Syracuse University.
Anthony spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Denver Nuggets before being traded to the New York Knicks midway through the 2010/11 season.
On This Date: @carmeloanthony was traded to the NY Knicks.
Should his number be in the rafters? pic.twitter.com/1IV6Gj1tRN
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) February 22, 2019
Carmelo would spend an additional six seasons in The Big Apple.
For the first time in his career, Melo was no longer the #1 option on a team.
He had a tough time adjusting to being the 3rd option and was cut by the Houston Rockets the following year.
Anthony was out of the NBA for over a year before signing with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Doing so has afforded him a second life in the NBA, similar to what Vince Carter did.
Anthony will now join the veteran-laden Los Angeles Lakers for the upcoming 2021/22 season.
As good of a scorer Carmelo has been, he has not had much playoff success.
Anthony Was An Elite Scorer
Some NBA players could average over 20 points per game in their sleep.
Carmelo Anthony is one of those players.
For 16 straight years after being drafted, Anthony was a 20 PPG scorer.
Including 9 seasons averaging over 25 PPG.
He won the scoring title in the 2012/13 season with 28.7 PPG, one of three seasons he topped 28 PPG.
Even though Melo has averaged fewer than 16 PPG the past four seasons, he still has a career average of 23 PPG, good for 27th All-Time.
He is 12th on the all-time scoring list and has a good chance of cracking the top 10 if he plays another two seasons.
Anthony was nearly unguardable from midrange.
Easter Sunday 2012: Melo vs. the Bulls🐣
Carmelo Anthony scores 43 against Chicago including some unbelievably clutch 3’s in regulation and OT😨pic.twitter.com/68I7N83J3k
— PointsBet Sportsbook (@PointsBetUSA) April 12, 2020
Whether it be from the elbow, wing, or baseline, he was practically a guaranteed bucket.
He would hit defenders with a few jab steps and then rise up over them to hit a smooth jumper.
As lethal as he was, Carmelo is a true three-level scorer.
While he is not the walking bucket he once was, Anthony can still go on one of his signature hot streaks at a moment’s notice.
What a Title Would Mean
Even without a title, Anthony will go down as one of the greatest to ever play the game.
A 10x All-Star, 6x All-NBA, and All-Rookie selection, Melo has been great from the moment he stepped on the court.
But he still does not have that elusive ring.
The furthest he ever made it was the Western Conference Finals with the Nuggets in 2009.
Anthony averaged 27.5 PPG during the series but wasn’t enough to get by Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
He has made the playoffs 13 times in his career but simply hasn’t had the talent around him to bring home the title.
Carmelo Anthony is currently the only player in NBA history with 27,000+ career points without a ring or MVP. pic.twitter.com/jxxOjDeOXI
— StatMuse (@statmuse) March 20, 2021
Just like Chris Paul, Anthony’s legacy is somewhat tarnished without a Larry O’Brien trophy.
Winning a title would buff that right out, even if he isn’t the star of the team.
While he will not be the star of the Lakers he should see considerable minutes off the bench.
And if he can come up with some timely offense in the playoffs next year, those moments will be remembered with his legacy.
Anthony will be remembered for his elite offensive game.
If he secures a title with the Lakers, he may be remembered as one of the 50 best to ever do it.