Karl-Anthony Towns Says Carmelo Anthony Is an 'Icon' and 1st-Ballot Hall of Famer

Jenna CiccotelliCorrespondent IIMay 7, 2021

Portland Trail Blazers' Carmelo Anthony plays against the Boston Celtics during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, May 2, 2021, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)
AP Photo/Michael Dwyer

If Karl-Anthony Towns got to vote for the Basketball Hall of Fame, Carmelo Anthony would be on his ballot when he becomes eligible.

"He's an icon, there's no doubt about it, and if I had to put my opinion on it, he's a first-ballot Hall of Famer," the Minnesota Timberwolves center told ESPN's Royce Young. "He's one of the best small forwards to play this game, one of the most electrifying players this league has ever seen."

Anthony, who is in his 18th NBA season, moved into 10th on the league's all-time scoring list Monday and has 27,334 career points.

Towns told Young he would play as Anthony in NBA 2K, setting him up with buzzer-beaters in practice mode.

"He was always special," Towns said. "One of the most gifted offensive players I've ever seen."

Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, signed with the Houston Rockets ahead of the 2018-19 season but was benched after playing 10 games. Houston traded him to the Chicago Bulls in January 2019, but Chicago waived him 10 days later. The Portland Trail Blazers gave him an opportunity that November. He played in 58 games in 2019-20 and has been a regular part of the offense since.

The 36-year-old is averaging 13.7 points and 3.2 rebounds through 65 games for the Trail Blazers this season.

"A couple years ago, I ain't think I was gonna be in this moment right now," Anthony said Monday. "I was out the league, for whatever reason. I'm back. I persevered, I stayed strong, I stayed true to myself, and now I'm here in the top 10."