‘You’re one of the greatest I’ve seen play’: Peers pay tribute to Carmelo Anthony
MANILA, Philippines—Tributes poured in for Carmelo Anthony, one of the NBA’s 75 greatest players who announced his retirement on Monday.
Anthony played 19 seasons in the NBA and was a 10-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA Team member.
LeBron James, his great rival and close friend ever since their high school days, led the homage. James and Anthony were both drafted on the same year in 2003, going first and third overall, respectively.
Their draft class along with Dwyane Wade was considered one of the deepest in league history. Anthony’s retirement left James as the only remaining member of the class.
“Congratulations my brother. Where do I start? Is it us all the way back in high school sitting outside that hotel, all the way to the battles that we had together I could stay here and talk for hours and hours and hours and im just so proud of you man. [I’m] so blessed and humbled to be part of your journey,” James said in a video posted by ESPN.
“You’re one of the greatest players I’ve seen play. from the very moment I saw you in colorado springs, at the usa basketball Under-17 all the way to me teaming up with you with the Lakers, you’ve always been one of the greatest I’ve ever seen play.”
Anthony, who turns 39 on Monday, was drafted by the Denver Nuggets and last played for the Los Angeles Lakers where he linked up with James during the 2021-22 season.
He averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds in 69 games in his final NBA season.
Anthony and James as well as Wade and Chris Paul shared a pair of Olympic gold medals with Team USA in 2008 and 2012. The four were also part of the famed Banana Boat Crew.
“One for the record books my brother! Congrats @carmeloanthony!” Wade posted on his Instagram.
“Future Hall of Famer!” Paul, who plays for the Phoenix Suns, wrote on Instagram.
While Anthony did not win an NBA championship, he was a winner regardless. He led Syracuse to an NCAA title in 2003 and won three Olympic gold medals.
Anthony, the NBA scoring champion in 2013, also received the NBA Social Justice Champion Award in 2021.
“Top 10 scorer in hoops history. Top 10 Denver Nugget. 3x Gold Medal Olympian. Legendary Syracuse Orangeman,” tweeted Hall of Fame coach George Karl, who coached Anthony with the Nuggets from 2004-05 season to 2010-11.
Anthony also suited up for his hometown team the New York Knicks for seven seasons and had stops in Oklahoma City, Houston and Portland.