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Carmelo Anthony. The name will forever bring smiles to all of Orange Nation. Next month his number 15 will be retired in Syracuse. Retired for one season of play. But, oh what a magical season it was.
Carmelo averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds per game in that 2002-03 season that culminated with the Syracuse Orange's only national championship. For that, the freshman was named second-team All-American.
The Denver Nuggets made Anthony the third pick of the 2003 draft. In his sixth NBA game he scored 30 points becoming the second youngest to score 30 in an NBA game. Kobe beat him.
On March 30 of his rookie year, he became the second youngest player to score 40 points in an NBA game. The top pick of that draft, LeBron James, beat him to it by three days.
Carmelo was that year's highest scoring rookie, averaging 21 points per game, and finished second to James in the Rookie of the Year voting. Denver improved from 17-65 the year before Carmelo to 43-39 in his rookie year.
Anthony continued to score a whole lot of points. He became the third youngest to 2000 career points, behind Kobe and LeBron. He also became the second youngest to 5000 points behind LeBron.
On December 10, 2008 Carmelo scored 33 points in the third quarter which tied the NBA record held by George Gervin.
As a member of the 2004, 2008 and 2012 US Olympic teams, Anthony joins David Robinson and LeBron as the only three-time American Olympic basketball players.
Carmelo is in his 10th season. After seven years in Denver, he was traded to the New York Knicks. In that time, he has been an All-Star six times, and has career averages of 24.7 points, 6.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.