Carmelo Anthony, the star forward who led Syracuse to an NCAA championship in his lone college season and went on to spend 19 years in the NBA, announced his retirement on Monday.
Anthony, who was not in the NBA this season, retires as the No. 9 scorer in league history.
Only LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Wilt Chamberlain and Shaquille O’Neal scored more than Anthony — who finishes his career with 28,289 points.
“Now the time has come for me to say good-bye to the game that gave me purpose and pride,” Anthony said in a videotaped message announcing his decision — one he called “bittersweet.”
Anthony’s legacy has long been secure: He ends his playing days after being selected as one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history, a 10-time All-Star, a past scoring champion and a six-time All-NBA selection.
And while he never got to the NBA Finals — he only played in the conference finals once, with Denver against the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in 2009 — Anthony also knew what it was like to be a champion.
He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2003 Final Four when he led Syracuse to the national championship, and he helped USA Basketball win Olympic gold three times — at Beijing in 2008, at London in 2012 and at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
“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.
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.
“The time has come for you to carry on this torch,” Anthony said. “So Kiy, chase your dreams. Let nothing hold you back. Let nothing intervene. My legacy, now and forever, lives on through you.”
Known for his dazzling offensive moves and silky jump shot, Anthony was one of the hardest players to guard on the hardwood. The 10-time NBA All-Star has collected myriad accolades throughout his career, including ranking ninth on the league’s all-time scoring list and securing six All-NBA selections and the scoring title in 2013.
He was also voted on the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team — a list made up of the best players in the league’s history. Anthony was drafted by the Denver Nuggets and went on to play with the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trailblazers and Los Angeles Lakers.
Anthony, also known as “Melo,” talked with “CBS Saturday Morning” co-host Dana Jacobson in 2021 about his memoir, where he wrote about his upbringing, which included making it out of tough neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Baltimore en route to becoming a basketball star.
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