Carmelo Anthony is the odd one out of a stacked 2003 NBA Draft. His friends from that group have gone on to win multiple NBA Championships while postseason success has proved more elusive for him.
Melo can reach a pinnacle that his peers cannot by winning a record third Olympic medal during this year’s Rio games. LeBron James could have also reached that record but, he needs a break after winning his third NBA Finals.
The 32-year-old has been a constant rudder for a revolving door of NBA talent on the United States National Team since they disappointed by earning a bronze medal in 2004. His game completely syncs up with the FIBA rules that govern international contests.
This could very well be the Syracuse product’s greatest professional achievement. So, its important to understand how he got here. Is Olympic gold really the high point of the elite scorer’s career?
Here is the career rundown on the man that wears number seven in New York City:
Melo in the Mile High City
After college, he was drafted in 2003 by the Denver Nuggets. They had been an afterthought for a long time but Anthony quickly returned their franchise to relevancy. He led the team to the playoffs every year from 2004 until his exit in 2010.
He also led the team to their first Western Conference Final since 1985 during that run. The small forward was a constant scoring threat and became one of the premier perimeter scorers in the league before he was traded.
Even though he left without achieving ultimate victory, he gave Denver and its fans something to cheer for.
Going Home to NYC
The Nuggets’ All-Star forced a trade to the New York Knicks in 2011 and the hype was palpable after his move. The Garden would be electrified in a way that it hadn’t been since the mid-90s teams with Patrick Ewing at the helm.
Injuries derailed the team’s success over the years and despite Melo’s considerable scoring skill he still hasn’t found much postseason success. Teammates like Amar’e Stoudemire and Tyson Chandler have come and gone and he is the only one remaining for the most part.
Now with the additions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, along with the continued development of Kristaps Porzingis, the All-Star forward looks to get the Knicks back to playoffs. An Eastern Conference Finals appearance would do wonders for his legacy.
The Longest Tenured Olympian on Team USA Basketball
The version of Anthony that most fans would love to see is similar to his role on the Olympic team. He is allowed to hit open shots and operates as more of a fulcrum for their ball movement rather than the focal point of their system.
He has played a crucial role as one of three American basketball players to compete in three Olympiads. Now in his fourth, where he stands alone, he can prove again that he is more than just a one-dimensional gunner.
The question becomes can we see this more efficient player when the season tips off in the fall?