Ten years ago, Carmelo Anthony was traded to his hometown New York Knicks in a blockbuster transaction at the trade deadline.
After refusing to sign an extension with Denver and making his desire to play in New York well known, Nuggets fans had no love lost for their former franchise player.
However, ever since that trade, Anthony has gone winless in road games at Denver for a record of 0-10.
In ten contests, Melo has averaged 19.88 points on 45.9% shooting at Denver since the trade. He does technically have one win as the away team against Denver, but it was in the Orlando bubble last summer so it doesn't count.
During the Blazers lone trip to Denver this season, Anthony balled out with 24 points (16 in the second quarter) on 9-17 from the field to go with four rebounds, an assist and a block.
"We rode Melo in the second quarter," Trail Blazers HC Terry Stotts said after the game. "I thought he was outstanding in the second quarter."
But, it was not enough to overcome 41 points from soon-to-be MVP Nikola Jokić in the 111-106 defeat. This was the game where the Nuggets set an NBA record only having one turnover.
Now, with Denver and Portland matched up in the first round, Melo will get at least two opportunities to defeat the Nuggets in Denver, in the most important games of the season.
In his first season with Portland, Melo said he enjoyed playing at what is now called Ball Arena despite his record.
“It’s always fun, Melo said after scoring 20 points in a 114-99 loss. "It’s always fun coming back. I wish we could’ve won, but it’s always fun outside of the actual game. It’s always fun coming back, being in the city and just being around and playing."
In fact, prior to that game, the Denver faithful welcomed Melo back with cheers, a far cry from his previous receptions.
While he may not refer to this, you can bet Melo remembers his first game back at the then Pepsi Center where he shot 3-12 from the floor in a 117-94 blowout defeat. The Nuggets crowd chanted "Where is Melo?" during the fourth quarter which quickly evolved into "Who needs Melo?"
"I just didn't have it. I tried," said Anthony after scoring just nine points while playing through an injury that evening.
Despite the ugly ending to his Denver tenure, Anthony still wishes to see his jersey up in the rafters someday.
"This is where it should be retired to be honest with you, just my opinion," he said in December 2019."I think that the history is here, it’s where it all started."
Melo will get his chance to earn his first victory as the road team in Denver during Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs this weekend.