Carmelo Kyam Anthony (born May 29, 1984), nicknamed “Melo”, is an American professional basketball player who plays for the New York Knicks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful high school career at Towson Catholic High School and Oak Hill Academy, Anthony attended Syracuse University for college where he led the Orangemen to their first National Championship in 2003. He earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player award and was named the Most Valuable Player of NCAA East Regional. After one season at Syracuse University, Anthony left college to enter the 2003 NBA Draft, where he was selected as the third pick by the Nuggets. He was traded to the Knicks several days prior to the 2011 trade deadline.
Since entering the NBA, Anthony has emerged as one of the most well-known and popular players in the league. He was named to the All-Rookie team, to the All-Star team six times and to the All-NBA team six times. Anthony led the Nuggets to two division titles and to the playoffs every year from 2004 to 2010. In 2009, he helped the Nuggets advance to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1985. As a member of the USA National Team, Anthony won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and gold medals at the 2008 and 2012 Olympics. On August 2, 2012, Carmelo Anthony broke the United States men’s Olympic team’s record for most points in a single game when he scored 37 points against Nigeria.
Early life and high school
Anthony was born in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, New York City. He was born to a Puerto Rican father and an African American mother. His father, after whom he is named, died of cancer when Anthony was two years old. When Anthony turned eight, his family moved to Baltimore, where he honed not only his athletic skills, but his survival skills. Kenny Minor, one of Anthony’s childhood friends, said, “from drugs, to killings, to anything you can name that goes on in the roughest parts of town, we’ve seen and witnessed hands on. Those are the things that teach you toughness and keep you mentally focused on your goals.” Sports would serve as an important diversion from the violence and drug dealing that were pervasive in the housing projects a few blocks from the homes of Anthony and his friends.
Anthony commuted to Towson Catholic High School for his first three years of high school. During the summer of 1999, Anthony grew five inches into the frame of a 6–5 swingman. He suddenly became one of the area’s top players and made a name for himself in the area, being named The Baltimore Sun’s metro player of the year in 2001, as well as Baltimore Catholic League player of the year. During his sophomore year, he averaged 14 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals. Towson Catholic surged to a record of 26–3 and finished third in the state tournament. Anthony enjoyed a successful high school basketball career as a junior, almost doubling his numbers in scoring and rebounds, averaging 23 points and 10.3 rebounds. Despite his successful year, Anthony was distracted from by all of the attention, and was suspended on several occasions for skipping classes. He barely registered a blip on the radars of pro scouts with his skinny frame and lack of strength; many scouts felt that he was not ready for the physical demands of the NBA. In the end, Towson Catholic fell short of the state title, although he was named Baltimore’s County Player of the Year, All-Metropolitan Player of the Year and Baltimore Catholic League Player of the Year.
After his junior year, Division I coaches were lined up to recruit Anthony to a school on the East Coast, which included University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Syracuse University. In contrast to contemporary prep-to-pro players like Kevin Garnett, Jermaine O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Tracy McGrady or Amar’e Stoudemire, he decided to declare early and announce that he would attend Syracuse University before his senior year. As Anthony’s grades dropped under a C average and his scores on the ACT were below acceptable standards, he knew that he needed to improve in the classroom to qualify academically for Syracuse. For his senior year, his mother considered transferring him to a different school. Anthony first thought of Virginia’s Hargrave Military Academy but after talking to Steve Smith, the head coach at basketball powerhouse Oak Hill Academy, he eventually transferred to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia—winner of the USA Today 2000-01 high school championship—for his senior campaign. During the summer of 2001, Anthony led an AAU Baltimore Select team to the Final Four of the Adidas Big Time Tournament in Las Vegas, Nevada. Anthony attracted attention from the NBA by averaging 25.2 points a game in the tournament, which was also attended by Amar’e Stoudemire (who was already being touted as a future lottery pick). Anthony played at the USA Basketball Youth Development Festival where he helped the East Team win the silver medal. He tied LeBron James for the tournament scoring lead at 24 points per game and shot 66 percent from the field. It was there that Anthony and James struck up a friendship.
Oak Hill Academy entered the 2001-02 campaign boasting a 42-game winning streak. The team’s first tournament win came in The Les Schwab Invitational against Mater Dei High School from Santa Ana, California, with Anthony winning the tournament MVP. Oak Hill won two more big-time tournaments, including the Nike Academy National Invitational where they knocked off then-No. 1 Westchester High School 77–61 in the final, and an anticipated game against St. Vincent — St. Mary High School of Akron, Ohio, where he was matched up with high school phenom LeBron James. James scored 36 points, while Anthony scored 34 points and 11 rebounds to lead Oak Hill to a 72–66 win. The team ended the season ranked third in the country at 32–1, with their only loss coming in a rematch against Mater Dei, which ended their unbeaten streak at 67. He averaged 21.7 points, 8.1 rebounds and 4.0 assists during his senior year at Oak Hill and named a USA Today All-USA First Team and a Parade First-Team All-American. He was selected to play in the Jordan Brand Classic, scoring a game-high 27 points, and the 2002 McDonald’s All-American Game, where he played on the same team with two future New York Knicks teammates, Raymond Felton and Amar’e Stoudemire. In that game, he scored 19 points and won the Sprite Slam Jam dunk contest. His performances at the high school All-Star games, helped lift his reputation with HoopScoop ranking him as the nation’s No. 1 high school senior in the class of 2002, ranked 2nd by College Basketball News and 3rd by All-Star Sports. Due to his struggles with the ACT, his family and friends wondered whether Anthony would forget about his college plans to attend Syracuse and move on to the NBA. He had yet to produce the minimum score of 18, however, in late April Anthony got a 19 and decided to stick with college and prepared for his freshman year at Syracuse. In April 2009, he was named to the ESPN RISE’s all-decade team and was honored as one of the 35 Greatest McDonald’s All-Americans in January 2012.
Anthony played one season at Syracuse University, during the 2002–2003 season, where he averaged 22.2 points (16th in the NCAA, 4th in the Big East) and 10.0 rebounds (19th in the NCAA, 3rd in the Big East, 1st among NCAA Division I freshmen). He helped guide the Orangemen to their first ever NCAA tournament title in 2003. He led the team in scoring, rebounding, minutes played (36.4 minutes per game), field goals made and free throws made and attempted. Anthony’s 33-point outburst against the University of Texas in the Final Four set an NCAA tournament record for most points by a freshman. In the championship game against the University of Kansas, Anthony had 20 points and 10 rebounds. For his efforts during the NCAA tournament, Anthony earned the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player Award. Afterwards, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim described Anthony as “[…] by far, the best player in college basketball. It wasn’t even close. Nobody was even close to him last year in college basketball. That’s the bottom line”.
Anthony said that he originally planned to stay at Syracuse for two to three seasons, but having already accomplished everything he set out to do, he chose to abandon his collegiate career (with Boeheim’s blessing) and declared himself eligible for the 2003 NBA Draft. Some of Anthony’s highlights in his time with Syracuse include being named Second-Team All-American by the Associated Press as a freshman, leading his team to a 30–5 record, capturing the school’s first ever NCAA title and being the consensus pick for NCAA Freshman of the Year. He was also named to the All-Big East First Team and was the consensus selection for the Big East Conference Freshman of the Year.
Anthony’s NBA career began on June 26, 2003, when he was chosen in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft draft by the Denver Nuggets. He was selected behind LeBron James (1st overall, Cleveland Cavaliers) and Darko Mili?i? (2nd overall, Detroit Pistons). He made his NBA regular season debut on October 29, 2003, in an 80–72 home win against the San Antonio Spurs. Anthony finished the night with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. In just his sixth career NBA game (November 7 versus the Los Angeles Clippers), Anthony scored 30 points, becoming the second youngest player in NBA history to score 30 points or more in a game (19 years, 151 days; Kobe Bryant was the youngest). It was the fewest number of games a Nuggets rookie took to score 30 points in a contest since the ABA-NBA merger. On February 9, 2004, against the Memphis Grizzlies, Anthony became the third-youngest player to reach the 1,000-point plateau in NBA history with a 20-point effort in an 86–83 win.
On February 13, 2004, Anthony participated in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend. On March 30, 2004, he scored 41 points against the Seattle SuperSonics to set a new Denver Nuggets franchise record for most points in a game by a rookie. He also became the second-youngest player (19 years, 305 days) to score at least 40 points in a game in NBA history. After winning the Rookie of the Month award for the Western Conference in the month of April, Anthony became the fourth player in NBA history to capture all six of the Rookie of the Month awards in a season. The others to do so were David Robinson, Tim Duncan and fellow rookie LeBron James. Anthony was also named NBA Player of the Week twice (March 10, 2004 – March 14, 2004 and April 6, 2004 – April 10, 2004) and was a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection. Anthony averaged 21.0 ppg during the season, which was more than any other rookie. Anthony was second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, finishing as the runner-up to the Cavaliers rookie standout, James.
Anthony was a major part in the turn around of the Denver Nuggets from league laughingstock to playoff contender. In the season before Anthony was drafted by the team, the Nuggets finished with a 17–65 record, which tied them for worst in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They finished the 2003-04 campaign with a 43–39 overall record, qualifying them as the eighth seed for the post-season. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989–90 season. In the 2004 NBA Playoffs, the Nuggets faced the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round. In Anthony’s first career playoff game, he had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, in a 106–92 loss at Minnesota. The Timberwolves eliminated the Nuggets in five games.
In Anthony’s second season, he averaged 20.8 points per game, ranking him 19th in the NBA. Anthony placed 16th in the NBA for points per 48 minutes. On December 4, 2004, versus the Miami Heat, Anthony became the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career points. Only James and Bryant were younger when they reached that plateau. Anthony played again in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge, this time suiting up for the sophomore squad. In front of his home fans of Denver (who were hosting the 2005 All-Star Game), Anthony scored a game-high 31 points to go along with 5 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals, en route to becoming the MVP of the game.
With Anthony’s help, the Nuggets improved their season record by six games from the previous season, ending with a mark of 49–33. The Nuggets finished seventh place in the Western Conference (one spot higher than they finished the previous season). Denver faced the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round, winning the first game in San Antonio, 93–87. However, the Spurs won the next four games, eliminating the Nuggets from the playoffs.
Anthony played and started in 80 games during the 2005-06 season. He averaged 26.5 ppg (8th, NBA), 2.7 apg, 4.9 rpg and 1.1 spg. His eighth place finish in NBA scoring was the highest finish by a Denver player since the 1990–91 season, when Nuggets guard Michael Adams finished the season sixth in NBA scoring. On November 23, 2005, with the Nuggets facing the two-time defending Eastern Conference Champion Detroit Pistons, Anthony hauled down his 1,000th career rebound. A month later, Anthony recorded a then career-high 45 points in a losing effort against the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 17, 2006, versus the Memphis Grizzlies, he scored 33 points to push his career point total over the 5,000 mark. Also, in doing so, he became the second youngest player to accomplish that feat (behind James). As the month of March came to a close, the Nuggets finished 11–5, and Anthony was named as the NBA Player of the Month for March. He also took home Player of the Week honors for March 13, 2006 – March 19, 2006.
During the season, Anthony made five game-winning shots in the last five seconds: at Houston on January 8, 2006; at home versus Phoenix on January 10; at Minnesota on February 24; at Indiana on March 15; at home versus the Los Angeles Lakers on April 6. All five of those game-winners were made on jump shots, while the shot against Minnesota was a three-point field goal. Anthony also made a shot in the final seconds to force overtime vs. the Dallas Mavericks on January 6. He made shots in the final 22 seconds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 18, 2006, and the Philadelphia 76ers on March 9, which gave the Nuggets leads they would never lose. Anthony was named to the All-NBA Third Team for the season, alongside Phoenix’ Shawn Marion, Houston’s Yao Ming, Philadelphia’s Allen Iverson and Washington’s Gilbert Arenas.
The Nuggets finished the season in third place, winning the Northwest Division for the first time in Anthony’s career. Denver faced the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers held home court advantage in the series, due to ending the regular season with a better record (Denver finished 44–38; Los Angeles finished 47–35). The Clippers won the first two games of the series on their home floor. The Nuggets split their games at home in Denver (winning game three; losing game four). Denver then lost game five at Los Angeles, which eliminated the Nuggets from the playoffs. After the season, Anthony signed a 5-year, $80 million extension with the Nuggets.
In the eighth game of the season (a 117–109 home win against the Toronto Raptors), Anthony tied the franchise record of six-straight 30-point games recorded by Alex English (1982–83 season). Coincidentally, Alex English witnessed Anthony tie his record as English is now an Assistant Coach with the Toronto Raptors. Anthony fell short of establishing a new record in his ninth game (a 113–109 home victory over the Chicago Bulls) on November 21, as he finished with 29 points. After the Chicago victory, Anthony again tied the club record of six-straight 30-point games, failing to break it the second time around, as he scored 24 points in his 16th game (a 98–96 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks) on December 6. During a game at Madison Square Garden on December 16, Anthony was one of many players involved in the infamous Knicks–Nuggets brawl. Footage showed Anthony laying a punch on the face of New York’s Mardy Collins and subsequently backing away. As a result of his actions, Anthony was suspended for 15 games by NBA commissioner David Stern. Shortly thereafter, the Nuggets traded for Allen Iverson in a bid to form a deadly combination with Anthony. The duo didn’t get to play alongside one another until a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 22, which was the day Anthony was allowed to return from his 15-game suspension. Anthony finished the game with 28 points, as he and Iverson combined for 51 points.
On February 2, 2007, Anthony and teammate J.R. Smith were involved in a minor car accident. Neither player was injured in the collision. The only information released by the team was that the car Smith was driving belonged to Anthony. Three days later, Anthony recorded his first career triple-double, with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, in a 113–108 loss to the Phoenix Suns. When the reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team were announced, Anthony was not included on the roster. However, with Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer out with injuries, NBA commissioner David Stern chose Anthony as a replacement (along with Josh Howard). Anthony scored 20 points with 9 rebounds in his All-Star debut. Anthony was the first Denver Nugget to be named an All-Star since Antonio McDyess in 2001.
Anthony won Player of the Week honors three times during the season (November 20–26; November 27 – December 3; and February 5–11), and received Player of the Month honors for April, after leading the Nuggets to a 10–1 record for the month and into sixth place in the final regular season standings of the Western Conference. Anthony finished the season as the league’s second leading scorer behind Bryant, with an average of 28.9 ppg, while adding 6.0 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.2 spg. He was named to All-NBA Third Team for the second straight year, along with Miami’s Dwyane Wade, Detroit’s Chauncy Billups, Minnesota’s Kevin Garnett and Orlando’s Dwight Howard. For the second time in three years, Anthony and the sixth-seeded Nuggets faced the third-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. In a virtual repeat of the 2005 first round playoff matchup between the two teams, Denver won the first game in San Antonio, 95–89, only to lose the next four games. The Nuggets were eliminated in the first round for the fourth straight year. In the playoff series against the Spurs, Anthony averaged a team-high 26.8 ppg to go along with 8.6 rpg, 1.2 apg and 1.0 spg.
On January 24, 2008, Anthony was named to his second consecutive NBA All-Star Game—his first as a starter. He finished as the leading vote-getter among Western Conference forwards (1,723,701 votes) and second in overall voting to Kobe Bryant (2,004,940 votes) among all Western Conference players. On February 8, Anthony scored a then career-high 49 points in a 111–100 home win over the Washington Wizards. He had a field goal percentage of .760 on a 19-of-25 shooting effort, and his shooting percentage was the second highest in the last 13 years for a player who took 25 or more shots in a game (Bryant was first with a .769 field goal percentage on a 20-of-26 shooting effort, in a 99–94 road victory over the Houston Rockets on December 21, 2000). On March 27, in a home win over the Dallas Mavericks, Anthony scored his 9,000th career point. He played in 77 games during the regular season, finishing as the NBA’s fourth-leading scorer with 25.7 points per game, and had career-highs in rebounds per game (7.4) and steals per game (1.3). He tied his career-high in blocks per game (0.5), and ended the season with 3.4 assists per game, which was the second-best mark of his career.
The Nuggets finished the 2007-08 season with exactly 50 wins (50–32 overall record, tied for the third-best all-time Nuggets record since the team officially joined the NBA in 1976), following a 120–111 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the last game of the season. It was the first time since the 1987–88 NBA season that the Nuggets finished with at least 50 wins in a season. Denver ended up as the 8th seed in the Western Conference of the 2008 Playoffs, and their 50 wins marked the highest win total for an 8th seed in NBA history. It also meant that for the first time in NBA history, all eight playoff seeds in a conference had at least 50 wins. The Nuggets faced the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers (57–25 overall record) in the first round of the Playoffs. The seven games separating the Nuggets overall record and the Lakers overall record is the closest margin between an eighth seed and a top seed since the NBA went to a 16-team playoff format in 1983–84. The Lakers swept the Nuggets in four games, marking the second time in NBA history that a 50-win team was swept in a best-of-seven playoff series in the first round. For the series, Anthony averaged 22.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg (playoff career-high), 2.0 apg and 0.5 spg.
The 2008-09 campaign began with Allen Iverson being traded to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for guard Chauncey Billups. On December 10, 2008, in a 116–105 home win over the Timberwolves, Anthony tied George Gervin for the most points scored in one quarter in NBA history by scoring 33 points in the third quarter. Gervin had set the record when he was competing against David Thompson for the scoring title on the last day of the 1977–78 season. Anthony shot 12 of 15 (80%) in the third quarter and finished the game with 45 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. On January 4, 2009, Anthony broke a bone in his hand in a game against the Indiana Pacers. He opted to have the hand splinted rather than have surgery; his recovery time was estimated at three to four weeks. He had already missed three games in late December with a sore elbow. Anthony returned from injury and to the Nuggets starting lineup on January 30, 2009 in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats in which he scored 19 points. Anthony was suspended for one game by the Nuggets for staying on the court and refusing to leave the game after coach George Karl benched him during a game against the Pacers.
The Nuggets won the Northwest Division and placed 2nd in the Western Conference, finishing the season with a franchise record-tying 54 wins (54–28 overall). Anthony averaged 22.8 ppg and made a career high 37.1% of his shots from three-point range. After losing in 5 straight playoff appearances (2004–2008), on April 29, 2009, Anthony won his first playoff series when the Nuggets beat the New Orleans Hornets at home 107–86 where Anthony finished with a playoff career high 34 points and 4 steals. In a post-game conference Anthony said “Yeah, finally.. Took me 5 years to get that gorilla off my back, it’s a great feeling.” The Nuggets beat the Hornets in five games in the first round of the playoffs and proceeded to beat the Dallas Mavericks 4–1 in the conference semifinals with Anthony scoring 30 points in a solid game 5 performance. In the third game of the semifinals, Anthony made a last second three-point shot to give the Nuggets the win after being down by 2 points (103–105). Denver advanced to the conference finals, but was eliminated, 4–2, by the Los Angeles Lakers on his birthday.
In the opening two games of the 2009-10 season, Anthony totaled 71 points, scoring 30 points in the home opener and 41 the next night, in wins against division rivals Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers respectively. Anthony became one of three players in the Nuggets’ history to open with 70 or more points through two games—tied with Nick Van Exel with 71 points—surpassed only by Alex English who did it twice, in 1985 (79) and 1988 (74). It was also only the second time since 1987 that the Nuggets started the season 2–0. In their third game, Anthony scored 42 points, a game after his 41-point explosion against the Blazers, becoming the first Nugget to have scored back-to-back 40-point games since Michael Adams did it in 1991. It was the first time they went 3–0 since 1985. In the month of November, Anthony was named the NBA player of the week and Western Conference Player of the Month, leading the Nuggets to a 12–5 start.
In the fifteenth regular season game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Anthony entered the game leading the league in points per game (30.2) and was the only player in the league to score at least 20 points in every game. He finished the game with 22 points which was his fifteenth consecutive game with at least 20 points breaking the previous franchise record of 14 straight set by English. The following game, Anthony scored a career-high 50 points in a home game against the New York Knicks while teammate Chauncey Billups added 32 points in the game, making them only the third duo in NBA history to score at least 50 and 30 points respectively. Two days later, Anthony scored 19 points in the first quarter—tying a season-high he made in the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers—in a home loss to the Timberwolves. On January 21, 2010, Anthony was named as a starter for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game leading the Western Conference ballots in votes for forwards. This was Anthony’s third All-Star appearance and second as a starter. He finished the game with a team-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, in a losing effort as the team bowed to the Eastern Conference team.
In the team’s first game after the All-Star Game, the Nuggets visited the Cleveland Cavaliers in a highly anticipated game with the Cavaliers having a 13-game winning streak. While LeBron James posted a triple-double of 43 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists, Anthony compiled 40 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in an overtime win as Anthony nailed a jumper over the outstretched arms of James with just 1.9 seconds left in the game, ending the Cavaliers’ win streak. On March 26, 2010, Anthony made a game-winning shot at the buzzer, after missing his first attempt, against the Toronto Raptors. The Nuggets concluded the 2009-10 regular season with a 53–29 record and the Northwest Division title for the second straight season facing the Utah Jazz in the first-round. In Game 1, Anthony scored a playoff-career high 42 points. This also matched a franchise-playoff high for scoring in a single playoff game, tied with Alex English. However, the Nuggets lost the series to the Utah Jazz 4–2, with Anthony averaging a playoff career-high 30.7 points per game, along with 8.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals.
2010-11 season: Traded to the Knicks
The 2010-11 season began with speculation, as several sources reported that Anthony had requested a trade. Anthony refused to sign a proposed contract extension the Nuggets had offered him. Sources also reported that Anthony’s preferred destination was the New York Knicks, with other teams such as the New Jersey Nets, Houston Rockets and Atlanta Hawks said to be interested. Anthony’s trade request was not initially fulfilled, and he began the season on the Nuggets’ roster. On November 15, 2010, Anthony had 20 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for the first 20–20 game of his career against the Phoenix Suns.He also hit game-winning jumper at the buzzer against the Bulls on November 26, 2010. In December 2010, Anthony missed five games, including a game on Christmas Day due to the death of his sister Michelle. He returned to the lineup in a game against the Kings on January 1, 2011.
On February 22, 2011, Anthony, along with point guard Chauncey Billups, were traded to the New York Knicks in a multi-player deal also involving the Minnesota Timberwolves. Anthony chose to wear number 7 with the Knicks, as his former number 15 was retired by the Knicks for Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire. Anthony’s first game with the Knicks was a 114–108 win against the Milwaukee Bucks in which he scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds and an assist. After Anthony’s acquisition the Knicks qualified for the playoffs as the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, and were matched up against the Boston Celtics. During the series the Knicks struggled with injuries as Amar’e Stoudemire and Chauncey Billups both went down. In game 2 of the NBA playoffs in Boston, Anthony tied a playoff career high with 42 points and also had 17 rebounds and 6 assists in a Knicks loss. The Knicks ended up losing to the Boston Celtics in 4 games in the first round of the playoffs.
The 2011-12 season brought new expectations, as the season would be Anthony’s first full season as a Knick. The Knicks struggled throughout the season, as injuries derailed the team. Anthony himself missed 11 games; during this stretch the Knicks inserted Jeremy Lin as the team’s starting point guard. This led to a historic stretch of games by Lin, and a period of basketball hysteria known as Linsanity. However, the team found themselves with an 18–24 record, leading to the resignation of coach Mike D’Antoni. Anthony was assumed to have a role in the coach’s departure as he was not a good fit in D’Antoni’s high paced offense. Mike Woodson took over for D’Antoni; this led to an improvement in Anthony’s play as he was more suited for Woodson’s halfcourt offense. On Easter Day, Anthony had arguably his best game in a Knicks uniform as he scored 43 points and hit two clutch three pointers in a victory over the Chicago Bulls. Under Woodson, the Knicks finished the season at 18–6, a vast improvement from the 18–24 record they had under D’Antoni.
The Knicks qualified for the playoffs as the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, and faced off against the eventual champions, the Miami Heat. During the series the Knicks were hampered by injuries as they were a season before. In the series, Tyson Chandler was diagnosed with the flu for game one, Iman Shumpert tore his ACL, Baron Davis tore his patella tendon, and All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire suffered a laceration on his hand after punching a fire extinguisher out of anger after a loss. In addition, Jeremy Lin had torn his left meniscus before the playoffs started. Despite the injuries, Anthony was able to lead the Knicks to their first playoff win since 2001. In the game, Anthony scored 41 points. The Knicks were eventually eliminated in 5 games, 4–1. Anthony was voted to the All-NBA Third Team.
On December 3, 2012, Anthony was named Eastern Conference Player of the Week for the period November 26 to December 2, 2012. For the said period, Anthony led the Knicks to a 3–1 mark, averaging a league-best 29.5 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.3 blocks. Anthony scored over 30 points in two contests. In New York’s 106–99 home victory over the Phoenix Suns on Dec. 2, Anthony scored a game-high 34 points, and added six rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. On January 7, 2013, Anthony received his second Player of the Week citation for games played from December 31, 2012 to January 6, 2013. During that time, he led the team to a 2–1 record, tallying a league-best 36.0 ppg. The week was highlighted by a pair of 40-point games, first in a loss to Portland (45 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists) on January 1, and then in a victory over Orlando (40 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists) on January 5. On January 9, 2013, Anthony was suspended for one game without pay for confronting Kevin Garnett after a game on January 7. On January 30, 2013, in a game against the Orlando Magic, Anthony set the Knicks’ team-record with 30 straight 20-point games, breaking the old record set by Richie Guerin (29 games). Anthony later extended the record to 31 games after he scored 25 points in a 96–86 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks.
On March 29, 2013, Anthony recorded 32 points and 11 rebounds in a 111–102 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats. His teammate J. R. Smith scored 37 points in the game. On March 31, 2013, Anthony scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in a win against the Boston Celtics as he recorded a rare double-double in consecutive games. With the victory, the Knicks won the season series against the Celtics (3−1) for the first time since the 2003-04 season. On April 2, 2013, Anthony tied his career high by scoring 50 points in a 102–90 win over the Miami Heat. He followed the next night with 40 points in a 95–82 victory over the Atlanta Hawks, and then 41 points against the Milwaukee Bucks two days later, becoming the first Knicks player since Bernard King to score 40+ points in three consecutive games. He also became only the third NBA player to score at least 40 points on at least 60% FG shooting in 3 consecutive games, joining King and Michael Jordan. On April 7, 2013, Anthony scored 36 points and 12 rebounds, 9 offensive, as the Knicks tallied their 12th straight win in a 125–120 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder. It was the team’s 50th win of the season, and it marked the first time they posted that many wins in 13 years. By scoring 36 points to Kevin Durant’s 27 points, he overtook the latter in the scoring race, upping his season average to 28.44 to Durant’s 28.35 ppg.
On April 8, 2013, Anthony and Minnesota’s Nikola Pekovic were named Eastern and Western Conference Players of the Week, respectively, for the period April 1–7, 2013. Anthony led the Knicks to a 4–0 record as part of their 12-game winning streak, during which he averaged 41.8 ppg. On April 9, 2013, Anthony kept up his torrid pace as he once again scored 36 points on 13–21 FG shooting (3−4 from 3-point distance) as he became the first Knick since King to post five consecutive games of at least 35 points in a 120–99 victory over the Washington Wizards. It was also the team’s 51st win, and 13th straight win, and they clinched their first Atlantic Division title since the 1993–1994 season. No NBA player had scored at least 35 points in 5 straight games since Kobe Bryant in the 2006–2007 season. In 2013, Anthony became the first Knicks player with the highest-selling jersey in the NBA, based on sales at the NBA Store and NBAstore.com, since the league started tracking jersey sales in 2001.
On April 11, 2013, the Knicks’ 13-game winning streak ended with a loss to the Chicago Bulls, 118–111. Despite the loss, Anthony scored 36 points on top of a season-high 19 rebounds, and he set a franchise record with six straight games with at least 35 points. The following day, the Knicks bounced back with an easy 101–91 victory over the struggling Cleveland Cavaliers. Anthony again led the way with another double-double game of 31 points and 14 rebounds in just under 30 minutes as he sat out the entire fourth quarter for the second time in 3 games. On April 15, 2013, Anthony won his 2nd straight Eastern Conference Player of the Week award for games played from April 8 to April 15, 2013, when he led the team to a 3–1 record. For the week, he averaged a conference-best 32.0 ppg and a seventh-best 11.5 rpg. He became the 2013 NBA scoring champion with 28.7 ppg after second place scorer and three-time reigning scoring champion Kevin Durant decided to sit out his last regular season game against the Milwaukee Bucks, ending his season with an average of 28.1 ppg. At the close of the regular season, Anthony was named as the Eastern Conference Player of the Month for April, with Stephen Curry earning the Western Conference award. Anthony broke LeBron James’ stranglehold on the monthly award, after James had received such honors five times that season.
In the 2013 NBA Playoffs, Anthony scored 21 points to go with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 block in the Knicks’ series-clinching 88–80 Game 6 victory against the Boston Celtics in their first-round playoff series. It was the Knicks’ first playoff series win since 2000 (during the time of Patrick Ewing and Latrell Sprewell). Anthony averaged a team-high 29.2 ppg in the series. This was the second highest playoff series average of a Knick player against the Celtics, behind Ewing’s 31.6 during their 1989–1990 first-round series. In the next round, the Knicks were defeated by the Indiana Pacers in six games. On May 23, 2013, Anthony was named to the All-NBA Second Team, alongside Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook, San Antonio’s Tony Parker, the LA Clippers’ Blake Griffin and Memphis’ Marc Gasol. It was the second time in Anthony’s career that he made the Second Team.
United States national team
Anthony was one of 12 players named to the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team in the summer of 2002. He was a member of the bronze-medal winning Team USA at the 2002 4th Junior World Championship Qualifying Tournament held in La Asuncion, Margarita, Venezuela. He started all five contests and averaged a team-best 15.6 ppg despite playing an average of just 22.2 minutes an outing. His 6.2 rebound mark ranked second on the club behind Chris Bosh. He also averaged 1.8 apg, 1.2 spg and 0.2 bpg. Anthony had 15 points and nine rebounds in a first-round win against Dominican Republic. He had 21 points and seven boards in 21 minutes versus Mexico, another Team USA triumph. He keyed a 75–73 victory against Argentina with a team-leading 23 points. In a two-point semifinal loss to host Venezuela, Anthony contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. Team USA earned the bronze by beating Argentina, 71–65. The squad was coached by Oregon mentor Ernie Kent. Anthony had previous USA Basketball experience as a participant in the 2001 Youth Development Festival.
After his rookie season, Anthony, along with fellow 2003 draftees LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, was chosen as a member of the 2004 USA Olympic basketball team alongside veterans Allen Iverson, Stephon Marbury and Tim Duncan that won the bronze medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. He averaged 2.4 ppg 1.6 rpg and 6.8 minutes of playing time while playing in 7 of the team’s 8 games.
In 2006, Anthony was named co-captain (along with James and Wade) of Team USA at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. The team won the bronze medal. On August 23, 2006, Anthony set the U.S. scoring record in a game with 35 points against Italy in the said FIBA tournament. The record was previously held by Kenny Anderson with 34 points in 1990. Anthony was named to the FIBA World Championship All-Tournament Team, posting averages of 19.9 ppg (led team), 3.7 rpg and 1.6 apg. On January 16, 2006, Anthony was chosen as USA Basketball’s Male Athlete of the Year after his performance at the FIBA World Championship.
Anthony was also a member of Team USA during the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship. The team went undefeated, going 10–0. Anthony ended up as the team’s leading scorer and tournament’s second-leading scorer with a 21.2 ppg average (191 points in 9 games), which was behind Leandro Barbosa of Brazil. Anthony also added 5.2 rpg, 1.4 apg, 0.7 spg and 0.3 bpg. He equalled the previous record of 28 points set by Allen Iverson in a qualifying tournament, which was later broken by James, who scored 31 points in the title-clinching win against Argentina.
Anthony was also named to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, again alongside James and Wade, with Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd among others. The team won its games by an average winning margin of 32.2 points, eliminating Australia in the quarterfinals by 31 and beating Argentina by 20 points. Anthony scored 21 points against Argentina, making 3 of 14 field goals and 13-of-13 in free throws, setting USA Olympic game records for made free throws and free throw percentage. In the gold medal game, the United States defeated 2006 World Champion Spain, with Anthony scoring 13 points. Anthony posted averages of 11.5 ppg (92 points/8 games), 4.3 rpg (34 rebounds/8 games) and 1.0 spg (8 steals/8 games).
Anthony, along with LeBron James, also participated in the 2012 Summer Olympics held in London. It was his third straight Olympiad (2004, 2008, 2012), as he joined James and David Robinson (1988, 1992, 1996) as the only American basketball players to play in three Olympiads. Anthony played in all 8 games, serving as Team USA’s sixth man. He posted averages of 16.3 ppg (130 points), 4.8 rpg (38 rebounds), 1.3 apg (10 assists) and 0.5 spg (4 steals), built around 50% shooting from 3 PT range (23–46), 53% FG shooting (46–86) and 79% FT (15–19). In a 156–73 victory over Nigeria, Anthony connected on 10–12 3-point attempts, both US Olympic records for made and attempted shots, on the way to 37 points, another Team USA record (breaking the 31 of Stephon Marbury set in the 2004 edition). Team USA won the gold medal as they defended their 2008 title against Spain, winning 107–100. Anthony’s 16.3 ppg average was the second best for Team USA behind Kevin Durant’s record-setting 156 points (19.5 ppg). Anthony’s 23 made 3-point shots was second-best to Durant’s record 34 as they both broke the previous Team USA record of 17 made 3-point shots.
Anthony has two brothers, Robert and Wilford, and a half-sister, Daphne. He had another sister, Michelle, who died in 2010. His mother, Mary, is African American and his father was Puerto Rican. In 2004, Anthony became engaged to La La. Their son, Kiyan Carmelo Anthony, was born on March 7, 2007. Anthony and La La were married by Michael Eric Dyson on July 10, 2010 at Cipriani’s in New York City before 320 guests. The ceremony was filmed by VH1 for use in a reality series on the couple, titled La La’s Full Court Wedding. Anthony resides on the Upper West Side.
In Denver, Anthony was a spokesman for the Family Resource Center and helped organize a Christmas party, entitled “A Very Melo Christmas,” for less well-off children. In Baltimore, Anthony hosts an annual 3-on-3 tournament, known as “Melo’s H.O.O.D. Movement 3 on 3 Challenge (Holding Our Own Destiny)” and is helping fund the revitalization of a local community center for local youth. Anthony opened “The Carmelo Anthony Youth Development Center” in Baltimore on December 14, 2006. He contributed $1.5 million to the Living Classrooms Foundation, a non-profit organization that “provides innovative hands-on-education, job-training and community service programs for over 35,000 children, youth and young adults in the east Baltimore community.”
After the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Anthony donated $35,000 to relief efforts. He donated $1,000 per point scored against San Antonio and Houston on January 8 and 9, 2005 respectively Anthony also committed $3 million toward the construction of a newly planned basketball practice facility at his alma mater, Syracuse University. According to the NBA’s official website, “Anthony’s gift represents one of the largest individual donations to Syracuse University Athletics and is also believed to be one of largest by a current professional athlete to the school they attended.” The practice facility will be called the Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center. For charitable contributions totaling $4,282,000, Anthony was listed as number eight in “The Giving Back 30 List of Largest Charitable Donations by Celebrities in 2006”