Atlantea – Carmelo Anthony looked like he was done a while ago.
Now, he is part of a truly exclusive club in the NBA.
Welcome to the top 10, Melo.
Anthony scored 14 points Monday night in Portland’s 123-114 loss to the Atlanta Hawks, trailing Alvin Hayes’ 10th on the career scoring list with 27318.
“If you’re in the top 10 at any given time, it’s a special moment,” said Anthony, who is in his 18th NBA season and turns 37 before the month is out.
Anthony brutalized Hasse early in the second quarter, fouled by Danilo Gallinari, hitting a 3-pointer and downing a free throw to complete the four-point game.
Anthony was acutely aware of how many points he needed to overcome Hayes.
“I knew the moment,” he said. “I didn’t know those other moments – 15, 13, 11. But 10 is something I knew.”
It appeared that Anthony was headed to a forced retirement after playing just 10 games during the 2018–19 season.
He spent ways with Houston, was forgiven by Chicago and didn’t hook up with Portland until the following season was several weeks old.
Even though he played without playing for more than a year, Anthony got a new role and a new role with the Trail Blazers.
Beginning his entire career, he is now off the bench, playing the supporting role of young stars, players who still look up to him, such as Damian Lillard.
“Being in the top 10 in a really special achievement,” Lillard said. “For him, it’s probably a bit more special. A lot of people counted him and tried to eliminate him.”
During his time with the Trail Blazers, Anthony has passed nine players on the career scoring list.
He competed against Alex English, Kevin Garnett, John Havelis and Paul Pearce last season. He has cast Tim Duncan, Dominic Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and now Hayes this season.
Next for Anthony: Moses Malone on 27,409 points.
Melo had a good chance of catching him, that too by the end of the regular season.
“It is even more remarkable for Melo to be out a year and come back,” said Portland coach Terry Stotts. “I always appreciate greatness, whether it is a player against whom I am coaching or coaching. Melo is a great player. He is a Hall of Fame player. “
Lillard went on to rejoice that it was a pleasure for Anthony as a teammate, disputing those who described him as a selfish player who ever led his teams. Wasn’t good enough to do – specifically, Denver and New York – for a championship.
“I appreciate him as a friend as a teammate, and I really appreciate him,” Lillard said. “I think that really speaks to the kind of person he is.”
Later, Stotts presented Anthony with a game ball in the locker room.
“We need to accept the milestones,” Koch said. “It’s the big one. The top 10 of all time. It’s the big time.”
Clapping with his teammates, Anthony said, “A few years ago, I didn’t think I was going to be in the moment. I was out of whatever reason. I’m back. I stubbornly . I stayed strong, I stood by myself and now I’m in the top 10 here. “
He is not done yet.
“I’m still enjoying the game,” Anthony said. “I am still in love with the game. I am still looking at the game in the same way.
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Paul Newberry, Associated Press