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Carmelo Anthony says ‘I’m at peace’ retiring without ring

John “LaJethro” Jenkins and Tyler “Dragonfly” Jonez joins Brother From Another to talk about Carmelo Anthony and how he impacted the NBA.

Carmelo Anthony is one of the great bucket-getters basketball has ever seen, a physical player who could score at all three levels and was an elite tough shot-maker. He is ninth all-time in scoring for good reason, a lock first-ballot Hall of Famer.

However, in some dark corners of the basketball universe, the first thing mentioned when Anthony announced his retirement Monday was that he never won a ring.

Anthony has come to peace with that, he told Chris Herring of Sports Illustrated.

“I’m at peace. That doesn’t bother me no more; that idea that you’re a loser if you don’t win a championship,” he says. “For me, I’ve won. I won back in 2003, the night I shook David Stern’s hand on that [draft] stage. I made it out of Red Hook. I’ve won at life. The ring is the only thing I didn’t get. It would’ve been a great accomplishment, but I don’t regret it, because I feel like I did everything I could to get it.”

Anthony has won at the highest levels. If he ever doubts that he can look at his three Gold Medals as a reminder.

The “ringzzzzz” culture can be one of the most exasperating aspects of some NBA fandom, the binary nature of “you win it all or you failed” can suck the fun out of the ride. Like life, the joy is in the journey, not simply the destination. Championships matter, but they are not the end all and be all, to win one takes more than being a great player, it takes a great team (put together by others) and luck. To fall short is not automatically a personal failing.

Anthony had a career every high schooler dreaming of the NBA would take in a heartbeat. He will forever be a legend.

It’s good that Anthony has come to peace with this. He should be proud and enjoy the celebration of his career.