My phone started buzzing off the hook at exactly 10:39 PM EST. There were messages as simple as, "Woo, Melo's coming to town!!!" and as intricate as well, I'll refrain since this is a family-friendly website.
The joy is real, the hype has arrived, and Carmelo Anthony will be suiting up for the New York Knickerbockers on Wednesday night when they welcome the Milwaukee Bucks into the World's Most Famous Arena.
But before the dream becomes reality and the freshness of Carmelo's uniform becomes a common image, let's discuss what everyone really wants to know. Just what number will Melo be wearing on that uniform?
The image of Carmelo on the hardwood as we know it is about to change. Ever since Anthony became a household name after leading Syracuse University to the NCAA Tournament Title in 2003, we've always known him to wear his classic #15. Since being selected third in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, he's known no other number than that same #15.
Why can't Carmelo suit up in usual #15 when he puts on the Knickerbocker orange and blue on Wednesday night? The Knicks have actually retired the number twice, the first time being in 1986 for the great Earl "The Pearl" Monroe and then once more six years later for Dick McGuire. There has been no discussion up to this point of the number coming down from the rafters nor is it likely that it will.
The last number we've ever seen Carmelo wear other than his famed #15 would be #22, which he sported throughout high school as a member of Oak Hill Academy. Anthony wore #22 when he took on LeBron and his St. Vincent-St. Mary's squad before a televised broadcast back in 2002. The problem with #22? It's also been retired by the Knicks, this time belonging to the late Dave DeBusschere.
So what other options are there?
Well, #30 might be in the cards. Anthony has previously said that Bernard King was his idol and favorite basketball player growing up, #30 is what King wore with the Knicks back in the mid-1980's and is also currently available on the roster.
According to Dime Magazine's Aron Phillips, a source has told him that Melo is strongly considering #13. The validity of that source however is yet to be seen.
Are there any other jersey numbers Melo might be considering?