Carmelo Anthony has announced that he is retiring from the NBA after playing 19 seasons, making 10 All-Star teams, and becoming the No. 9 all-time scorer in the league.
“I remember the days when I had nothing,” he said in a video, “Just a ball on the court and a dream of something more. 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 ’cause they made me – Carmelo Anthony.”
Only LeBron James, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Kobe Bryant, Michael Jordan, Dirk Nowitzki, Wilt Chamberlain, and Shaquille O’Neal have scored more than Anthony — who ended his NBA career with 28,289 points.
“Carmelo Anthony is one of the NBA’s all-time great players and ambassadors,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement Monday. “We congratulate him on a remarkable 19-year career and look forward to seeing him in the Hall of Fame.”
Though Carmelo never played at the NBA Finals, he played in the conference finals once, with Denver against the eventual-champion Los Angeles Lakers in 2009.
He was the Most Outstanding Player of the 2003 Final Four when he led Syracuse to the national championship, and he helped USA Basketball win Olympic gold three times — in Beijing in 2008, in London in 2012, and at Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
Carmelo Anthony has also played in 31 games in four appearances at the Olympics, the most of any U.S. men’s player ever. Anthony’s 37 points against Nigeria in the 2012 games is a USA Basketball men’s record at an Olympics, as are his 10 3-pointers from that game and his 13-for-13 effort from the foul line against Argentina in 2008.
He is also one of the ambassadors to the Basketball World Cup, FIBA’s biggest event, which will start this summer in the Philippines, Japan, and Indonesia.
Carmelo was drafted by the Denver Nuggets with the third overall pick in the 2003 NBA draft and might probably be joining the likes of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade in the Hall of Fame.
In 2011, he was traded to the New York Knicks, where he spent more than six seasons.
Many NBA stars have congratulated him on social media on his retirement.
Anthony said his greatest legacy will be his 16-year-old son, Kiyan, who is a top high school basketball player.
“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,” Anthony said. “With this bittersweet goodbye to the NBA, I am excited about what the future holds for me.”