ATLANTA – Carmelo Anthony looked like he just finished a few years ago.
Anthony scored 14 points in Portland’s loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Monday night (123: 114) and overtook Elvin Hayes with 27,318 points.
« If you’re in the top 10 of all time, this is a special moment, » said Anthony, who is in his 18th NBA season and will turn 37 before the month is up.
Anthony drove past Hayes early in the second quarter, hit a 3-pointer, was fouled by Danilo Gallinari and threw the free throw to end a 4-point game.
« I knew that moment, » he said. « I didn’t know those other moments – 15, 13, 11. But 10 is something I knew. »
It looked like Anthony was about to retire after playing just 10 games in the 2018/19 season.
It split from Houston, was lifted from Chicago, and only merged with Portland when the next season was several weeks old.
Despite being without a game for over a year, Anthony found new life and a new role with the Trail Blazers.
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As a starter of his entire career, he’s now coming off the bench, playing a supportive role for younger stars, players who still look up to him like Damian Lillard.
« To be in the top 10 in a very special achievement, » said Lillard. « It’s probably a little more special to him. A lot of people have counted him out and tried to finish him off. »
During his tenure with the Trail Blazers, Anthony passed nine players on the career scoring list.
He tied off Alex English, Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek and Paul Pierce last season. He has beaten Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and now Hayes this season.
Melo has a good chance of catching him by the end of the regular season.
« That Melo is out for a year and comes back makes it even more remarkable, » said Portland coach Terry Stotts. « I always value size, whether it’s a player I’m training against or I’m training against. » Melo is a great player. He is a Hall of Fame player. »
Lillard went on and on about how nice it was to have Anthony as a teammate, denying those who over the years have described him as a selfish player who was never good enough to lead his teams – especially Denver and New York -. to a championship.
« I value him more as a friend than as a teammate, and I really value him as a teammate, » said Lillard. « I think that really speaks for the kind of person he is. »
« We have to acknowledge milestones, » said the coach. “This is a big deal. Top 10 of all time. This is a big time. »
After his teammates finished clapping, Anthony said, « A few years ago I didn’t think I’d be in this moment now. I wasn’t in the league for some reason. I’m back. I persevered. I stayed strong, I stayed true to myself and now I’m in the top 10 here. »
« I’m still enjoying the game, » said Anthony. « I still love the game. I still approach the game the same way. »
Ebene Magazine – Carmelo Anthony reached the top 10 on the NBA’s career scoring list