Carmelo Anthony's top moments as a member of the Trail Blazers
It was Nov. 16, 2019 when the news first broke.
That’s when Melo-Mania first began in Portland.
Reports were flying that free agent Carmelo Anthony was set to sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Trail Blazers.
Melo was making his return to basketball nearly a year after the last game he played with the Rockets.
Three days later the Blazers officially signed the veteran forward.
Since Melo returned to the NBA and put on a Trail Blazers uniform in Nov., there have been many memorable Melo moments.
Let’s take a look back at Melo’s triumphant return. A return we won’t ever forget here in Rip City.
The Big Debut in the Big Easy
Anthony's Trail Blazers debut was full of hugs, emotions, fouls, buckets, and that was all before halftime in the Blazers loss to the Pelicans.
There was a different vibe in the air, even before the future NBA Hall of Famer stepped foot in the Smoothie King arena on Nov. 19. All eyes were on Melo.
Portland dropped its 10th game of the season after the Pelicans came up with a big third quarter to take a 115-104 victory.
Anthony started alongside Anfernee Simons in place of an injured Damian Lillard, who was out due to back spasms.
The amount of media surrounding Anthony following his first game back was surreal. And to be honest, it was as if the experience was also surreal for Melo.
The 35-year-old finished with 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting to go along with his four rebounds, one block and five personal fouls.
Melo earns Western Conference Player of the Week
Melo had a fantastic finish to the month of Nov. He earned Western Conference Player of the Week for the week ending on Dec. 1
Anthony averaged 22.3 points on 57.4% shooting from the field, while also shooting 45.5% from three-point range. To add to the efficient shooting, he also notched 7.7 rebounds per game and 2.7 assists as the Trail Blazers went 3-0.
That marked the 19th time in his career that the 10-time All-Star had received a Conference Player of the Week honor. It was the first time Melo had received the award since March 10th of 2014.
The 35-year old did something he hadn’t done in three years
The Trail Blazers clawed their way back after being down by as many as 10 points in the third quarter to snag a 107-104 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Feb. 23.
Melo’s offensive production along with CJ McCollum’s takeover performance, sprinkled in with timely stops in the fourth quarter all added up to Portland beating the Pistons and snapping a three-game losing streak.
The Blazers required all 32 of Anthony's points to get the win.
“I’ll tell you, we needed every bit of that,” Melo said postgame. “Every single point, we needed that tonight. Those guys just wasn’t trying to go away."
It was the first time Melo has scored 30+ points since scoring 37 points against the 76ers back on February 25, 2017 when he played for the Knicks.
Melo sacrifices his body to ensure his team gets the win over Charlotte
In the Trail Blazers 41st game of the season on Jan. 15, Portland claimed victory over Charlotte. The 115-112 win was Anthony’s 26th game with Portland, and it was also the night where he reaffirmed he can play defense, too.
With 36.2 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Melo sacrificed his body, diving to the floor, anticipating a bad pass from Terry Rozier and it was that effort that sealed the game.
That steal eventually had Anthony on his backside on the baseline. It was a play that the veteran realized was a must.
“I knew I had to make it. I saw them looking for that pass in the corner, [I] made a great play, got my hand on the ball, but I couldn’t really control it, but my thing was just to keep it inbounds and just try to get in. My teammates did a great job of getting control of the ball – made my hustle play look even better,” Melo said with a smile.
The Return to New York
With the Blazers playing in New York to open the New Year, it meant the return of Carmelo Anthony to the place he once called home.
Anthony played six and a half seasons with the Knicks before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the summer of 2017.
As expected, the New York fans showered Anthony with cheers during his pregame intros.
Melo led the Trail Blazers with 26 points on 11-of-17 shooting in the losing effort.
A Night to Remember in Chicago
Carmelo had a vintage game on Nov. 25 in the Blazers 117-94 road win over the Chicago Bulls. Melo found his groove. He finished with 25 points and the Blazers ended a four-game losing streak.
But, it was a moment that Melo shared with his wife, La La Anthony, from the bench that really put a smile on his face.
Midway through the fourth quarter, with the game well in hand, Melo was sitting on the bench. The TV cameras captured a very special moment. La La was behind the bench and had their son Kiyan on the phone via FaceTime. La La turned the phone to the Blazers bench, where Carmelo happened to catch a glance. Carmelo saluted the phone, he and his son both smiling from ear to ear.
Fans Everywhere Show Their Love and Appreciation for Melo
At the end of Feb., the Trail Blazers had lost 7 of their last 10 games and are without Damian Lillard, Jusuf Nurkic, Zach Collins and Rodney Hood because of injury.
Portland fell to the Pacers in Indianapolis 106-100 after a late surge came up short. Anthony finished the night with 12 points and 7 rebounds.
But that loss on Feb. 27 turned out to be a very special one for a young fan.
As Pacers fans celebrated and the Blazers walked out of the arena bowl with their heads down, several Trail Blazers fans surrounded the tunnel closest to their locker room.
Carmelo stopped. The fan was in COMPLETE DISBELIEF to get an autograph from the Future Hall of Famer.
This was just one of the many examples of fan's reactions to Melo. Fans all over the country cheered and applauded Melo in his return. That might be the best part of witnessing his comeback season.
Melo reaches monumental NBA milestone
During the Blazers-Mavs game in Dallas on Jan. 17, Melo became the 18th NBA player in history to reach the 26,000-carrer points mark.
At this point in the season, he had scored 450 points as a Trail Blazer.
Here was a look at the NBA's all-time scoring list on Jan. 17:
1. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 38,387
2. Karl Malone 36,928
3. Kobe Bryant 33,643
4. LeBron James 33,532
5. Michael Jordan 32,292
6. Dirk Nowitzki 31,560
7. Wilt Chamberlain 31,419
8. Shaquille O’Neal 28,596
9. Moses Malone 27,409
10. Elvin Hayes 27,313
11. Hakeem Olajuwon 26,946
12. Oscar Robertson 26,710
13. Dominique Wilkins 26,668
14. Tim Duncan 26,496
15. Paul Pierce 26,397
16. John Havlicek 26,395
17. Kevin Garnett 26,071
18. Carmelo Anthony 26,001+
Anthony passes Kevin Garnett on all-time scoring list
The 35-year old continued to climb the scoring ladder.
With six points in the first half of the Blazers and Rockets game on Jan. 29, Melo moved up to number 18 on the NBA All-Time Scoring list.
With 26,072 career points Anthony surpassed Kevin Garnett.
The future first ballot Hall-Of-Famer continues to move his way up the ladder and past some elite company. Melo currently has scored 26,314 points all-time over his 17-year career.