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Carmelo Anthony

 

carmelo_thumb2  Carmelo Anthony

 

Carmelo Kiyan Anthony (born May 29, 1984), nicknamed "Melo", is an American professional basketball player who currently plays for the New York Knicks in the National Basketball Association (NBA). After a successful high school career at Towson Catholic High School and Oak Hill Academy, Anthony attended Syracuse University for college where he led the Orangemen to their first National Championship in 2003. He earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award and was named the Most Valuable Player of NCAA East Regional. After one season at Syracuse University, Anthony left college to enter the 2003 NBA Draft, where he was selected as the third pick by the Nuggets. He was traded to the Knicks several days prior to the 2011 trade deadline.

Since entering the NBA, Anthony has emerged as one of the most well-known and popular players in the league. He was named to the All-Rookie team, to the All-Star team five times and to the All-NBA team five times. Anthony led the Nuggets to two division titles and to the playoffs every year from 2004 to 2010. In 2009, he helped the Nuggets advance to the Conference Finals for the first time since 1985. As a member of the USA National Team, Anthony won a bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics and a gold medal at the 2008 Olympics.

NBA career

Denver Nuggets (2003–2011)

Rookie season

Anthony's NBA career began on June 26, 2003, when he was chosen in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft draft by the Denver Nuggets. He was selected behind LeBron James (1st overall, Cleveland Cavaliers) and Darko Miličić (2nd overall, Detroit Pistons).[24] He made his NBA regular season debut on October 29, 2003, in an 80–72 home win against the San Antonio Spurs.[25] Anthony finished the night with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. In just his sixth career NBA game (November 7 versus the Los Angeles Clippers), Anthony scored 30 points, becoming the second youngest player in NBA history to score 30 points or more in a game (19 years, 151 days; Kobe Bryant was the youngest).[26] It was the fewest number of games a Nuggets rookie took to score 30 points in a contest since the ABA-NBA merger. On February 9, 2004, against the Memphis Grizzlies, Anthony became the third-youngest player to reach the 1,000-point plateau in NBA history with a 20-point effort in an 86–83 win.[27]

On February 13, 2004, Anthony participated in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend.[28] On March 30, 2004, he scored 41 points against the Seattle SuperSonics to set a new Denver Nuggets franchise record for most points in a game by a rookie.[29] He also became the second-youngest player (19 years, 305 days) to score at least 40 points in a game in NBA history. After winning the Rookie of the Month award for the Western Conference in the month of April, Anthony became the fourth player in NBA history to capture all six of the Rookie of the Month awards in a season.[13] The others to do so were David Robinson, Tim Duncan and fellow rookie LeBron James.[23] Anthony was also named NBA Player of the Week twice (March 10, 2004 – March 14, 2004 and April 6, 2004 – April 10, 2004) and was a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection.[30] Anthony averaged 21.0 ppg during the season, which was more than any other rookie. Anthony was second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, finishing as the runner-up to the Cavaliers rookie standout, James.[31]

Anthony was a major part in the turn around of the Denver Nuggets from league laughingstock to playoff contender. In the season before Anthony was drafted by the team, the Nuggets finished with a 17–65 record, which tied them for worst in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They finished the 2003–04 campaign with a 43–39 overall record, qualifying them as the eighth seed for the post-season. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989–90 season.[13] In the 2004 NBA Playoffs, the Nuggets faced the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round. In Anthony's first career playoff game, he had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, in a 106–92 loss at Minnesota.[32] The Timberwolves eliminated the Nuggets in five games.[33]

2004–05 season

In Anthony's second season, he averaged 20.8 points per game, ranking him 19th in the NBA. Anthony placed 16th in the NBA for points per 48 minutes. On December 4, 2004, versus the Miami Heat, Anthony became the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career points.[34] Only James and Bryant were younger when they reached that plateau. Anthony played again in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge, this time suiting up for the sophomore squad. In front of his home fans of Denver (who were hosting the 2005 All-Star Game), Anthony scored a game-high 31 points to go along with 5 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals, en route to becoming the MVP of the game.[35]

With Anthony's help, the Nuggets improved their season record by six games from the previous season, ending with a mark of 49–33. The Nuggets finished seventh place in the Western Conference (one spot higher than they finished the previous season). Denver faced the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round, winning the first game in San Antonio, 93–87.[36] However, the Spurs won the next four games, eliminating the Nuggets from the playoffs.[37]

2005–06 season

Anthony in a game against the Golden State Warriors during the 2007–08 season.

Anthony played and started in 80 games during the 2005–06 season. He averaged 26.5 ppg (8th, NBA), 2.7 apg, 4.9 rpg and 1.1 spg. His eighth place finish in NBA scoring was the highest finish by a Denver player since the 1990–91 season, when Nuggets guard Michael Adams finished the season sixth in NBA scoring. On November 23, 2005, with the Nuggets facing the two-time defending Eastern Conference Champion Detroit Pistons, Anthony hauled down his 1,000th career rebound. A month later, Anthony recorded a then career-high 45 points in a losing effort against the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 17, 2006, versus the Memphis Grizzlies, he scored 33 points to push his career point total over the 5,000 mark.[38] Also, in doing so, he became the second youngest player to accomplish that feat (behind James). As the month of March came to a close, the Nuggets finished 11–5, and Anthony was named as the NBA Player of the Month for March. He also took home Player of the Week honors for March 13, 2006 – March 19, 2006.[39]

During the season, Anthony made five game-winning shots in the last five seconds: at Houston on January 8, 2006;[40] at home versus Phoenix on January 10;[41] at Minnesota on February 24;[42] at Indiana on March 15;[43] at home versus the Los Angeles Lakers on April 6.[44] All five of those game-winners were made on jump shots, while the shot against Minnesota was a three-point field goal. Anthony also made a shot in the final seconds to force overtime vs. the Dallas Mavericks on January 6.[45] He made shots in the final 22 seconds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 18, 2006,[46] and the Philadelphia 76ers on March 9, which gave the Nuggets leads they would never lose.[47] Anthony was named to the All-NBA Third Team for the season, alongside Phoenix' Shawn Marion, Houston's Yao Ming, Philadelphia's Allen Iverson and Washington's Gilbert Arenas.

The Nuggets finished the season in third place, winning the Northwest Division for the first time in Anthony's career. Denver faced the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers held home court advantage in the series, due to ending the regular season with a better record (Denver finished 44–38; Los Angeles finished 47–35). The Clippers won the first two games of the series on their home floor.[48] The Nuggets split their games at home in Denver (winning game three; losing game four).[49] Denver then lost game five at Los Angeles, which eliminated the Nuggets from the playoffs.[50] After the season, Anthony signed a 5 year, $80 million extension with the Nuggets.[51]

2006–07 season

Anthony during his tenure with the Nuggets.

In the eighth game of the season (a 117–109 home win against the Toronto Raptors), Anthony tied the franchise record of six-straight 30-point games recorded by Alex English (1982–83 season).[52] Coincidentally, Alex English witnessed Anthony tie his record as English is now an Assistant Coach with the Toronto Raptors. Anthony fell short of establishing a new record in his ninth game (a 113–109 home victory over the Chicago Bulls) on November 21, as he finished with 29 points.[53] After the Chicago victory, Anthony again tied the club record of six-straight 30-point games, failing to break it the second time around, as he scored 24 points in his 16th game (a 98–96 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks) on December 6.[54] During a game at Madison Square Garden on December 16, Anthony was one of many players involved in the infamous Knicks–Nuggets brawl.[55] Footage showed Anthony laying a punch on the face of New York's Mardy Collins and subsequently backing away. As a result of his actions, Anthony was suspended for 15 games by NBA commissioner David Stern.[56] Shortly thereafter, the Nuggets traded for Allen Iverson in a bid to form a deadly combination with Anthony. The duo didn't get to play alongside one another until a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 22, which was the day Anthony was allowed to return from his 15-game suspension.[57] Anthony finished the game with 28 points, as he and Iverson combined for 51 points.

On February 2, 2007, Anthony and teammate J.R. Smith were involved in a minor car accident.[58] Neither player was injured in the collision. The only information released by the team was that the car Smith was driving belonged to Anthony. Three days later, Anthony recorded his first career triple-double, with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, in a 113–108 loss to the Phoenix Suns.[59] When the reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team were announced, Anthony was not included on the roster.[60] However, with Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer out with injuries, NBA commissioner David Stern chose Anthony as a replacement (along with Josh Howard).[61] Anthony scored 20 points with 9 rebounds in his All-Star debut. Anthony was the first Denver Nugget to be named an All-Star since Antonio McDyess in 2001.

Anthony won Player of the Week honors three times during the season (November 20 – November 26; November 27 – December 3; and February 5 – February 11),[62][63] and received Player of the Month honors for April, after leading the Nuggets to a 10–1 record for the month and into sixth place in the final regular season standings of the Western Conference. Anthony finished the season as the league's second leading scorer behind Bryant, with an average of 28.9 ppg, while adding 6.0 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.2 spg. He was named to All-NBA Third Team for the second straight year, along with Miami's Dwyane Wade, Detroit's Chauncy Billups, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett and Orlando's Dwight Howard. For the second time in three years, Anthony and the sixth-seeded Nuggets faced the third-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. In a virtual repeat of the 2005 first round playoff matchup between the two teams, Denver won the first game in San Antonio, 95–89, only to lose the next four games. The Nuggets were eliminated in the first round for the fourth straight year. In the playoff series against the Spurs, Anthony averaged a team-high 26.8 ppg to go along with 8.6 rpg, 1.2 apg and 1.0 spg.

2007–08 season

On January 24, 2008, Anthony was named to his second consecutive NBA All-Star Game—his first as a starter.[64] He finished as the leading vote-getter among Western Conference forwards (1,723,701 votes) and second in overall voting to Kobe Bryant (2,004,940 votes) among all Western Conference players.[64] On February 8, Anthony scored a then career-high 49 points in a 111–100 home win over the Washington Wizards.[65] He had a field goal percentage of .760 on a 19-of-25 shooting effort, and his shooting percentage was the second highest in the last 13 years for a player who took 25 or more shots in a game (Bryant was first with a .769 field goal percentage on a 20-of-26 shooting effort, in a 99–94 road victory over the Houston Rockets on December 21, 2000).[65][66] On March 27, in a home win over the Dallas Mavericks, Anthony scored his 9,000th career point.[67] He played in 77 games during the regular season, finishing as the NBA's fourth-leading scorer with 25.7 points per game, and had career-highs in rebounds per game (7.4) and steals per game (1.3). He tied his career-high in blocks per game (0.5), and ended the season with 3.4 assists per game, which was the second-best mark of his career.

The Nuggets finished the 2007–08 season with exactly 50 wins (50–32 overall record, tied for the third-best all-time Nuggets record since the team officially joined the NBA in 1976), following a 120–111 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the last game of the season.[68] It was the first time since the 1987-88 NBA season that the Nuggets finished with at least 50 wins in a season.[68] Denver ended up as the 8th seed in the Western Conference of the 2008 Playoffs, and their 50 wins marked the highest win total for an 8th seed in NBA history.[68] It also meant that for the first time in NBA history, all eight playoff seeds in a conference had at least 50 wins. The Nuggets faced the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers (57–25 overall record) in the first round of the Playoffs. The seven games separating the Nuggets overall record and the Lakers overall record is the closest margin between an eighth seed and a top seed since the NBA went to a 16-team playoff format in 1983–84.[68] The Lakers swept the Nuggets in four games, marking the second time in NBA history that a 50-win team was swept in a best-of-seven playoff series in the first round.[69][70] For the series, Anthony averaged 22.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg (playoff career-high), 2.0 apg and 0.5 spg.

2008–09 season

The 2008–09 campaign began with Allen Iverson being traded to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for guard Chauncey Billups.[71] On December 10, 2008, in a 116–105 home win over the Timberwolves, Anthony tied George Gervin for the most points scored in one quarter in NBA history by scoring 33 points in the third quarter.[72] Gervin had set the record when he was competing against David Thompson for the scoring title on the last day of the 1977–78 season. Anthony shot 12 of 15 (80%) in the third quarter and finished the game with 45 points, 11 rebounds, 3 assists and 4 steals. On January 4, 2009, Anthony broke a bone in his hand in a game against the Indiana Pacers. He opted to have the hand splinted rather than have surgery; his recovery time was estimated at three to four weeks. He had already missed three games in late December with a sore elbow. Anthony returned from injury and to the Nuggets starting lineup on January 30, 2009 in a game against the Charlotte Bobcats in which he scored 19 points.[73] Anthony was suspended for one game by the Nuggets for staying on the court and refusing to leave the game after coach George Karl benched him during a game against the Pacers.[74]

The Nuggets won the Northwest Division and placed 2nd in the Western Conference, finishing the season with a franchise record-tying 54 wins (54–28 overall). Anthony averaged 22.8 ppg and made a career high 37.1% of his shots from three-point range. After losing in 5 straight playoff appearances (2004–2008), on April 29, 2009, Anthony won his first playoff series when the Nuggets beat the New Orleans Hornets at home 107–86 where Anthony finished with a playoff career high 34 points and 4 steals. In a post-game conference Anthony said "Yeah, finally.. Took me 5 years to get that gorilla off my back, it's a great feeling." The Nuggets beat the Hornets in five games in the first round of the playoffs and proceeded to beat the Dallas Mavericks 4–1 in the conference semifinals with Anthony scoring 30 points in a solid game 5 performance. In the third game of the semifinals, Anthony made a last second three point shot to give the Nuggets the win after being down by 2 points (103–105). Denver advanced to the conference finals, but was eliminated, 4–2, by the Los Angeles Lakers on his birthday.

2009–10 season

Anthony in a preseason game against the Indiana Pacers in Taiwan.

In the opening two games of the 2009–10 season, Anthony totaled 71 points, scoring 30 points in the home opener and 41 the next night, in wins against division rivals Utah Jazz and Portland Trail Blazers respectively.[75] Anthony became one of three players in the Nuggets' history to open with 70 or more points through two games—tied with Nick Van Exel with 71 points—surpassed only by Alex English who did it twice, in 1985 (79) and 1988 (74).[76] It was also only the second time since 1987 that the Nuggets started the season 2–0.[76] In their third game, Anthony scored 42 points,[77] a game after his 41-point explosion against the Blazers, becoming the first Nugget to have scored back-to-back 40-point games since Michael Adams did it in 1991.[78] It was the first time they went 3–0 since 1985.[78] In the month of November, Anthony was named the NBA player of the week and Western Conference Player of the Month, leading the Nuggets to a 12–5 start.[79][80]

In the fifteenth regular season game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Anthony entered the game leading the league in points per game (30.2) and was the only player in the league to score at least 20 points in every game.[81] He finished the game with 22 points which was his fifteenth consecutive game with at least 20 points breaking the previous franchise record of 14 straight set by English.[82] The following game, Anthony scored a career-high 50 points in a home game against the New York Knicks while teammate Chauncey Billups added 32 points in the game, making them only the third duo in NBA history to score at least 50 and 30 points respectively.[83] Two days later, Anthony scored 19 points in the first quarter—tying a season-high he made in the fourth quarter against the Portland Trail Blazers—in a home loss to the Timberwolves.[84] On January 21, 2010, Anthony was named as a starter for the 2010 NBA All-Star Game leading the Western Conference ballots in votes for forwards.[85] This was Anthony's third All-Star appearance and second as a starter. He finished the game with a team-high 27 points and 10 rebounds, in a losing effort as the team bowed to the Eastern Conference team.[86]

In the team's first game after the All-Star Game, the Nuggets visited the Cleveland Cavaliers in a highly anticipated game with the Cavaliers having a 13-game winning streak. While LeBron James posted a triple-double of 43 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists, Anthony compiled 40 points, 6 rebounds and 7 assists in an overtime win as Anthony nailed a jumper over the outstretched arms of James with just 1.9 seconds left in the game, ending the Cavaliers' win streak.[87][88] On March 26, 2010, Anthony made a game-winning shot at the buzzer, after missing his first attempt, against the Toronto Raptors.[89] The Nuggets concluded the 2009–10 regular season with a 53–29 record and the Northwest Division title for the second straight season facing the Utah Jazz in the first-round.[90] In Game 1, Anthony scored a playoff-career high 42 points.[91][92] This also matched a franchise-playoff high for scoring in a single playoff game, tied with Alex English. However, the Nuggets lost the series to the Utah Jazz 4–2, with Anthony averaging a playoff career-high 30.7 points per game, along with 8.5 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 2.0 steals.

2010–11 season

On November 15, 2010, Anthony had 20 points and a career-high 22 rebounds for the first 20–20 game of his career against the Phoenix Suns.[93] He also hit game-winning jumper at the buzzer against the Bulls on November 26, 2010.[94] In December 2010, Anthony missed five games, including a game on Christmas Day due to the death of his sister Michelle. He returned to the lineup in a game against the Kings on January 1, 2011.[95]

New York Knicks (2011–present)

On February 22, 2011, Anthony, along with point guard Chauncey Billups, were traded to the New York Knicks in a multi-player deal also involving the Minnesota Timberwolves.[96][97] Anthony chose to wear number 7 with the Knicks, as his former number 15 was retired by the Knicks for Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire. Anthony's first game with the Knicks was a 114–108 win against the Milwaukee Bucks in which he scored 27 points and had 10 rebounds and an assist. In game 2 of the NBA playoffs in Boston, Anthony tied a playoff career high with 42 points and also had 17 rebounds and 6 assists in a Knicks loss. The Knicks ended up losing to the Boston Celtics in 4 games in the first round of the playoffs.[98]

NBA career statistics

Legend
  GP Games played   GS  Games started  MPG  Minutes per game
 FG%  Field-goal percentage  3P%  3-point field-goal percentage  FT%  Free-throw percentage
 RPG  Rebounds per game  APG  Assists per game  SPG  Steals per game
 BPG  Blocks per game  PPG  Points per game  Bold  Career high

Regular season

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2003–04 Denver 82 82 36.5 .426 .322 .777 6.1 2.8 1.2 .5 21.0
2004–05 Denver 75 75 34.8 .431 .266 .796 5.7 2.6 .9 .4 20.8
2005–06 Denver 80 80 36.8 .481 .243 .808 4.9 2.7 1.1 .5 26.5
2006–07 Denver 65 65 38.2 .476 .268 .808 6.0 3.8 1.2 .3 28.9
2007–08 Denver 77 77 36.4 .492 .354 .786 7.4 3.4 1.3 .5 25.7
2008–09 Denver 66 66 34.3 .443 .371 .793 6.8 3.4 1.1 .4 22.8
2009–10 Denver 69 69 38.2 .458 .316 .830 6.6 3.2 1.3 .4 28.2
2010–11 Denver 50 50 35.5 .452 .333 .823 7.6 2.8 .9 .6 25.2
2010–11 New York 27 27 36.2 .461 .424 .872 6.7 3.0 .9 .6 26.3
2011–12 New York 55 55 34.1 .430 .335 .804 6.3 3.6 1.1 .4 22.6
Career 646 646 36.2 .456 .322 .805 6.3 3.1 1.1 .5 24.7
All-Star 5 4 25.6 .532 .125 .636 8.4 1.2 .8 .2 18.4

Playoffs

YearTeamGPGSMPGFG%3P%FT%RPGAPGSPGBPGPPG
2003–04 Denver 4 4 35.8 .328 .182 .800 8.3 2.8 1.2 .0 15.0
2004–05 Denver 5 5 36.0 .422 .000 .813 5.4 2.0 .6 .2 19.2
2005–06 Denver 5 5 38.6 .333 .000 .750 6.6 2.8 .8 .2 21.0
2006–07 Denver 5 5 42.0 .480 .500 .795 8.6 1.2 1.0 .0 26.8
2007–08 Denver 4 4 36.5 .364 .250 .828 9.5 2.0 .5 .2 22.5
2008–09 Denver 16 16 38.3 .453 .364 .826 5.8 4.1 1.8 .6 27.2
2009–10 Denver 6 6 42.3 .464 .316 .877 8.5 3.2 2.0 .5 30.7
2010–11 New York 4 4 39.0 .375 .346 .853 10.3 4.8 1.2 .8 26.0
2011–12 New York 5 5 40.8 .419 .222 .756 8.2 2.2 1.2 .2 27.8
Career 54 54 38.8 .419 .327 .815 7.4 3.0 1.3 .4 24.9

Awards and honors

  • Second team: 2010
  • Third team: 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

 

 

 

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