I knew this day was coming, I actually thought it was coming 3 years ago. But it still feels real sad. Carmelo Anthony has retired from basketball, and since I'm a die hard Melo fan, this means way more to me than it should. I knew this post had to be done, so here we go.

In 2003 when Melo won the NCAA title at Syracuse as a freshman, while being named MOP, my Knicks weren't the same anymore. Detroit was a great team that I really liked, and since they had the second pick, I thought there was no way Melo wasn't going to be a Piston. If it wasn't because Darko having one of the best workouts ever, he probably would've been. But he became a Nugget and my western team was Denver. Some months later I went to China and as a was walking the big market in Shanghai, I stopped at a sneakers stand and looked at some fake Jordans. They had all Jordans I could never get as a kid, and I looked at a pair of Jordan VII, but as I looked at the heel I told my friend "Man these are so bad copies, they couldn't even get his number right, it says 15..." but for the low price of $5 it didn't really matter. I bought them, and the next day I stepped in some water, and the whole outsole came off and my friend laughed. Little did I know these were fake Melo's.

For all the young guys, there used to be a time when the debate was "Who's better, Melo or LeBron?" and it was real close. One was a much better scorer, the other a better all around player. But in their rookie season, I still feel they should've won co-Roy. It's not like it hadn't been done before, as Jason Kidd and Grant Hill both got it in 1995, and Steve Francis and Elton Brand was named co-Roy in 2000. And this case was much closer than both of them. Melo averaged more points (even tho it was super close) and rebounds, played all 82 games and shot better % on all three categories. And he led his team to the playoffs as a 8th seed with a 43-39 record in a stacked Western Conference. Cavs missed out with 35-47. And both teams had 17-65 the year before, as Denver became the first franchise in NBA history to qualify for the postseason following a sub-20-win campaign the previous year since the NBA went to an 82-game schedule. Remember they were still teens at this point.

With a healthy K-Mart, Camby and Nene, the Nuggets was a damn show. In 2006 I was going to NYC for the first time, and I bought tickets online for 76ers-Knicks. Two days later, and just two weeks before the game, AI was traded to Denver and I'm still pissed for the bad timing. I went to NBA Store and bought all the Melo jerseys they had (we got his rookie jersey too). Denver, because of Melo, became my team more and more, but the rumors about the Knicks landing Melo in the FA market one day was in the back of my mind. So when Melo did get traded to the Big Apple, I was thrilled.

In 2015 me and my son were going to NYC for vacation. He'd just turned 3 and I was looking at the NBA schedule and thought "Warriors might be fun, then they don't have a home game in over a week?" So I booked the dates, and when as we got closer to our trip, I realized there wasn't any games because of the All-Star break. In NYC. Damn.

So we were in New York with the All-Star take over, everywhere we went it was ASG promotions and gear. We bought tickets to the Warriors game, and the day before the game against Golden State, the Knicks played in Brooklyn against the Nets. We ordered some food to our hotel room and watched it on TV. It was a great game, and Melo had 21-7 as the Nets won by 4. The next day we went to MSG for my sons first NBA Game, and this was the year the Warriors won their first chip, and Steph took over. He had just had one of those crazy games with 51 against the Mavs, and everyone was hyped. As we got to our seats, the starting lineups was on the screens. It said Langston Galloway, Lance Thomas, Jason Smith, José Calderon and Amundson. Really? No Melo? He was resting with a sore knee, and after the next game against the Heat and the All-Star Game, he had a season ending surgery. The only thing I remember from that game was when I guy behind us screamed "LET'S GO LANCE THOMAS!" and after a second he followed it up with "said no one." and the whole section laughed.


As years past and his career almost ended after a bad run with the Rockets, he signed in Portland and I enjoyed the last three seasons more than most. I really wanted the Lakers to win last season, just because of Melo. But he didn't and he will probably always be mentioned in the same sentences as Barkley, Ewing and other superstars who never won. But that only proves that it takes so much to become a champion. You can't tell me Demarcus Cousins had the same chances as Tony Parker. And last night the Nuggets advanced to the Finals for the first time in franchise history, even tho Jokic has been the MVP twice already. Those four Olympic medals with Team USA and the NCAA title will never make up for not winning an NBA title, but to me Melo will always be one of the best to ever do it. And in 2011 when Melo got traded after LeBron and D-Wade teased every Knicks fan by throwing rumors out there, it wasn't a participant trophy. We landed a superstar, and I even had a picture of a woman holding a sign "We wanted Melo anyway" as my profile picture on Facebook. Because that's how I felt.

Thank you, and stay Melo.

 We got Melo's rookie jerseys from Mitchell N Ness here.