Carmelo Anthony: A Fading Legacy

Carmelo Anthony: A Fading Legacy image

📖 Published on: June 13th, 2024

✍️ Updated: June 17th, 2024

⏳ 7 mins read


Whether you’ve been a fan of Carmelo Anthony or not, it goes without saying that he has been one of the best lethal scorers in the game, and he has definitely secured his place amongst the legends of the NBA, but is his legacy falling and fading fast than others?

When you look at his co-draft class players, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, it goes without saying that he is in good company, and he has definitely established his own name. But when we look at one of the biggest stories in the game, it does seem that his name is fading away among the teams that he has played for over the years.

What is Melo’s Legacy in the NBA?

Carmelo Anthony was selected with the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. Since then, he has played a total of 19 seasons in the NBA, being named an All-Star 10 times, twice in the All-NBA Second Team and four times in the Fourth Team. Melo finished his career as an elite scorer in the game, averaging 22.5 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.7 assists in his 19 seasons in the NBA, amassing a total of 28,289 points, 7,808 rebounds, and 3,422 assists for his whole career.

Carmelo Anthony was a franchise player for the Denver Nuggets image

Melo led the Nuggets to the Playoffs right from the first run from 2004 to 2010, winning two division titles in that span but never reaching the NBA Finals – failing to bring Denver its first NBA championship. He was then traded to the New York Knicks in 2011, where his career was mostly defined with high scoring bursts, especially when he scored his career-high of 62 points against the Charlotte Bobcats in 2014 – which was also the single-game scoring record for both the Knicks and the entire Madison Square Garden as a whole.

Carmelo Anthony established his legacy with the New York Knicks image

But with a lack of playoff success with the Knicks, Anthony would later get traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder for just one season before joining the Houston Rockets in a short stint – not making the playoffs in that span. He would go on to team up with Damian Lillard in the Portland Trail Blazers and would enjoy two late playoff runs before coming up empty in back to back campaigns with the team. In the closing year of his career, Anthony signed with the Los Angeles Lakers with the hopes of forming a super team that includes LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, only to miss out on the playoffs in 69 games in the 2021-22 season. Melo would then announce his retirement on May 22, 2023 – the same year the Denver Nuggets won its first league title.

A Fading Legacy: Is Melo Being Written out of Team Histories?

As hinted above, Anthony’s retirement coincidentally went on to be in time for the Nuggets to win its first league title in franchise history, and that really proved to be a pivotal in the current narrative that Carmelo Anthony’s legacy in the NBA is actually being written out of the previous teams that he’s played for.

Melo opted to retire before Denver went on to win its first title image

But is Carmelo Anthony’s legacy really fading out just a few years after his retirement? Let’s break it down right now.

Denver With Nikola Jokic

Nikola Jokic helped Denver win its first franchise title and wore number 15 image

Nikola Jokic was drafted in the second round of the 2014 NBA Draft with the 41st overall pick, and it even took place during a Taco Bell commercial. However, it would go on to be defined in history that Jokic was the best player to ever play for the Nuggets, leading them to their first championship in 2023 and winning the MVP award three times in his career and already being an All-Star for six straight seasons. So what does it implicate with Carmelo Anthony’s career and legacy with the Denver Nuggets?

Well, Anthony wore number 15 in his time with Denver, which was considered a successful one even if they didn’t made it to the NBA Finals back then. However, Jokic has also been allowed to wear the same jersey number. While it doesn’t have any implications now, it will do when Jokic retires from the game soon, considering that he is already at the age of 29 – so whose jersey will Denver retire, will it be Jokic’s or Anthony’s? Given the impact of both players for the same team, it is a no-brainer that Jokic would be highly favored to be retired by the team at the end of the day.

New York With Jalen Brunson

As if being rewritten in Denver wasn’t enough, Jalen Brunson is already making waves in the game as the main star for the New York Knicks. Melo set his career-high in NYC with 62 points – and Brunson scored 61 in the 2023-24 season, which just means that he can definitely do that again and come up with a bigger number than Anthony did. Melo spent seven seasons with the Knicks, and yet he only managed to come up with a few points in his playoff runs with New York, only amassing 589 points in his stay with the Knicks back then.

Jalen Brunson is starting to become the new face of the franchise image

Brunson, by the end of their Game 7 loss to the Indiana Pacers in the East Semis, has already scored 727 points in the postseason in just two runs alone – which says a lot about how Carmelo Anthony’s legacy in the game is starting to be replaced and rewritten by two different players at once. It is worth noting that Anthony retired in 2023, and yet the Knicks have seen more success in two years with Brunson than they did with him from 2011 to 2017.

Will Carmelo Anthony be Forgotten in the History of the NBA?

There’s no denying that Carmelo Anthony will soon be integrated into the Hall of Fame come 2026, which is when he will be eligible to be inducted into the said class. While he ranks 10th among NBA career-scoring leaders, it still goes without saying that Anthony’s legacy with his teams, especially the Nuggets and the Knicks, which are the two main clubs that he has established his career with. This just says a lot about how the game continues to evolve in the NBA, and some players will definitely be replaced by better ones in the long run.

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