Let’s take some time to give a legend their flowers.
Carmelo Anthony entered the top ten in NBA scoring last night against the Hawks with 14 points to bring him to 27,318 total for his career. He bumped Elvin Hayes from the elite list, and now sets his sights on Moses Malone at No. 9, just 91 points ahead of him.
To be among the ten greatest individuals to put the ball in the basket is not only admirable, but astonishing, considering the journey of this all-time great.
“A couple years ago I ain’t think I was gonna be in this moment,” said Anthony. “I was out the league for whatever reason… I’m back. I persevered. I stayed strong I stayed true to myself & now I’m here in the top 10.”
The career accolades for Anthony are numerous. He’s a ten time All-Star, scoring champion, six-time All-NBA selection, 2003-04 All-Rookie squad member, and an NCAA champ who was the 2003 tourney’s Most Outstanding Player, to boot. (Despite his collegiate heroics, he didn’t go No. 1 in the draft that year — some guy named LeBron did. While that pick may not be debatable, Darko Miličić going ahead of him at No. 2 will forever be a Detroit doink!)
At his prime in Denver, Anthony was one of the most feared offensive players in the league. He had size, athleticism, and undeniable skill. He averaged 24.8 points per game during his eight seasons in Denver and then went to New York, and was giving the Knickerbockers that same production. He even led the league in minutes in 2013-14.
After that is where it all started going downhill for Anthony. His athleticism started to decline, and he couldn’t find a good fit in Oklahoma City or Houston. Rumors about Anthony started to surface around the league and after Houston let him go after only 10 games, many people thought his career was done. He was then ostracized by the league for the rest of that season.
Now, he’s in his second season with Portland, and is thriving in his role.
It takes a special person to persevere through times when everyone and their grandaddy is saying that you aren’t worth anything — and that’s exactly what Anthony did. He’s obviously not the same player he once was, giving you 25 a night, but he’s an obviously above-average NBA shooter playing for a playoff team and contributing to their success.
He’s always been one of the greatest scorers to ever pick up a basketball, and will be a first-ballot Hall of Famer — without question. Now, he’s a top ten scorer of all time and deserves to have his moment in the sun.