Who Is Carmelo Anthony?
Carmelo Anthony was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1984. Raised in Baltimore, Anthony became the No. 1 high school player in the country. As a freshman he led Syracuse University to the national title in 2003. That same year he was drafted third overall by the Denver Nuggets, becoming one of the league's top scorers. He was traded to the New York Knicks in 2011, before moving on to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017 and the Atlanta Hawks the following year.
The youngest of four children, Carmelo Kyam Anthony was born on May 29, 1984, in Brooklyn, New York. Raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Anthony experienced a bumpy childhood. When he was 2, his father, Carmelo Iriarte, died of liver failure. That left the care of the young boy and his three older siblings in the hands of his mother, Mary, who kept food on the table by working as a housekeeper.
While the world around the Anthony family was the rough, drug-infested area of Baltimore known as the Pharmacy, inside the home, Mary kept her children on a short leash. She pushed Carmelo in particular to stay on top of his schoolwork.
While Anthony began playing basketball at a young age, it wasn't until he was cut from his high school team as a freshman that he started to seriously focus on his game. By his sophomore season, Anthony had grown five additional inches and brought to the court a level of talent that made him a local star.
Naturally, college coaches around the country took notice, and by his junior year, Anthony had committed to playing for Syracuse University. But in order to meet the school's academic requirements, Anthony transferred to Oak Hill Academy, a Virginia private boarding school with a strict disciplinary culture that has long catered to future National Basketball Association players.
The transition for Anthony proved tough, but he stuck with it and eventually raised his test scores and his game, becoming the highest-ranked high school basketball player in the country. Unlike other top high school players, like LeBron James and Kobe Bryant, Anthony felt he wasn't ready to skip college and jump straight to the NBA. Instead, he kept his commitment to Syracuse and entered the school as a student in the fall of 2002.
At Syracuse, Anthony quickly adapted to the college game. As the Orangemen's top player, he led the club to its first national championship, in the spring of 2003, with an 81-78 upset win over the favored University of Kansas. In the game, Anthony led all scorers with 20 points, while also collecting 10 rebounds.
Capping a magical season for the freshman player, Anthony was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player. Later that spring, the star player said he was ready to go pro and declared himself eligible for the upcoming 2003 NBA draft.
In a talent-heavy draft that featured LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, Carmelo Anthony, nicknamed "Melo," was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets. There was little transition period for the young player.
During his 2003-04 rookie season, the 19-year-old Anthony was named to the All-Rookie team, averaging 21 points and six rebounds per game.
Over the course of his pro career, the 6'8" forward has proven to be one of the game's great scorers. In 2007 he was tapped to play in his first All-Star game, and in the ensuing years has made several additional All-Star teams. On December 10, 2008, in a game against Minnesota, Anthony tied an NBA record when he scored 33 points in a single quarter.
While the Nuggets enjoyed a fair level of success with Anthony as the franchise's leading player, the club never became the perennial contender that club officials had hoped. In the middle of the 2011 season, Denver shipped Anthony to the New York Knicks in a three-team megatrade.
The move delighted Anthony, who'd longed to return to his native New York. He led the Knicks to an impressive 54-28 record in 2012-13, and the following year he set the franchise scoring record with a career-high 62 points. However, by then things were already souring between Anthony and the Knicks, with high-profile team president Phil Jackson publicly expressing his disappointment with the star player.
Anthony earned his release from Knicks purgatory with a trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September 2017. The following summer, he was traded again, to the Atlanta Hawks, though it was expected he would soon be released and sign with the Houston Rockets as a free agent.
In addition to his NBA credentials, Anthony was a key member of both the 2008 and 2012 gold-medal-winning Olympic men's basketball teams.
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