Former Knicks great Carmelo Anthony retires from NBA after 19 years

Carmelo Anthony Knicks
Carmelo Anthony in a Knicks uniform (wikimedia commons)

The original “Melo,” Carmelo Anthony has retired from the NBA after 19 seasons. 

The former Knicks forward who led Syracuse to an NCAA championship in his lone college season announced his retirement in a video he posted on Monday morning.

“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,” Carmelo said in the message. “With this bittersweet goodbye to the NBA, I’m excited for what the future holds for me.”

Carmelo Anthony last played for the Lakers during the 2021-22 season and had been primarily a bench scorer for the final two years of his career. However, the future Hall of Famer will end his career as the 9th-ranked scorer in league history. Across his 19 years, he averaged 22.5 points on 44.7% shooting and 35.5% from beyond the arc to go along with 6.2 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. 

Only LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Wilt Chamberlain, and Shaquille O’Neal scored more than Carmelo, who will retire with 28,289 points.

“I remember the days when I had nothing, just a ball on the court and a dream of something more,” he said in his video. “But basketball was my outlet. My purpose was strong, my communities, the cities I represented with pride, and the fans that supported me along the way. I am forever grateful for those people and places because they made me Carmelo Anthony.”

One of those places was undoubtedly New York City. 

Carmelo Anthony Knicks
Carmelo Anthony in uniform for the Knicks at Wizards on 1/31/17 (wikimedia commons)

While Carmelo Anthony was drafted 3rd overall by Denver in 2003 as a 19-year-old and played with the Nuggets for seven years, his star shone brightest after he was traded to the Knicks in 2011. 

In seven seasons in New York, Carmelo averaged 24.7 points, 7.0 rebounds, 3.2 assists, and 1.0 steals per game while shooting 36.9% from deep. He was an NBA All-Star in each of the seven years with the Knicks and was named to the All-Star Game 12 times in his career. 

“The Garden,” Anthony said in 2014. “They call it The Mecca for a reason.”

While the Knicks never succeeded in winning a championship with Carmelo in town and were able to threaten only once, the 12-player trade that brought him from Denver woke up the fanbase after a few sleepy seasons. The 2012-13 season saw the Knicks finish with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference, and the Garden was the most alive it had been since 1999 when New York made a run to the NBA Finals. 

Just a year later, the Knicks traded Steve Novak, Marcus Camby, Quentin Richardson, one first-round pick, and two second-rounders for Andrea Bargnani. They wouldn’t make the playoffs again until 2021. 

Carmelo Anthony ends his playing days after being selected as one of the 75 greatest players in NBA history. He’s a former scoring champion, a six-time All-NBA selection, a three-time Olympic gold medalist, and the Most Outstanding Player of the 2003 Final Four when he led Syracuse to the national championship. 

He played in 31 games as part of the U.S. Men’s Basketball team across four appearances at the Olympics, the most of any U.S. men’s player ever. His 37 points against Nigeria in the 2012 games is a USA Basketball men’s record at an Olympics, as are his 10 three-pointers from that game.

He is still an ambassador to the Basketball World Cup, FIBA’s biggest event, which will take place this summer in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.

A sure-fire future Hall of Famer in a draft class full of them (Dwayne Wade, Chris Bosh, LeBron James), Carmelo said in his retirement video that he’s looking forward to watching the development of his son Kiyan, a highly-rated high school shooting guard.

“When people ask what I believe my legacy is,” Anthony said. “It’s not my feats on the court that come to mind, all the awards or praise. Because my story has always been more than basketball. My legacy, my son, it’s in you. I will forever continue through you. The time has come for you to carry this torch.”

“My legacy, now and forever, lives on through you.”‘

For more Knicks coverage, like this Carmelo Anthony story, visit amNY Sports

Carmelo Anthony at the Olympics
Carmelo Anthony, USA Olympic Men’s Basketball player, dunks the ball during an exhibition game against the Dominican Republic national team, July 12, 2012, at the Thomas and Mack Center, Las Vegas, Nev. Anthony and team USA will represent the USA in the 2012 Olympics.