Carmelo Anthony is one of the greatest players of our generation but might end up not getting the recognition he once thought he was entitled to. Melo came into the league in 2003 alongside LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade. Outside LeBron, Melo was the most coveted prospect, coming off a National Championship with the Syracuse Orange.
Anthony went to the Denver Nuggets and went to the playoffs as a rookie. Over the 8 years he spent in Denver, Melo became a franchise cornerstone and made them playoff regulars. He even led the team to the Western Conference Finals in 2009, but it never materialized in a Finals appearance as that Denver team would fall to the heavy-hitters in the West every year.
Many consider Melo a Nuggets legend, which is fair considering he led the team for almost a decade. Legends get their jerseys retired, and Melo wants the same for himself in Denver, despite hostile reception in the city for the way he left the team in 2011.
This is where it should be retired to be honest with you, just my opinion… I think that the history is here, it’s where it all started. -- Carmelo Anthony after a game in Denver in 2019. (h/t NBC Sports)
Nikola Jokic is clearly the man standing in the way of Melo getting his wishes as he is the one wearing the jersey number that Anthony wore for almost a decade. Fans were quick to let everyone know that the jersey retirement for that number might not be in Melo's fate.
Unlike Melo, Jokic hasn't forced his way out of the team at the end of his rookie contract either, signing the largest deal in NBA history with the Nuggets. If No. 15 is going up into the rafters one day, it is going to be for Jokic and not for Carmelo. While that is sad considering everything Anthony did for the franchise, there is no disputing Jokic's impact on the franchise to have superseded what Melo achieved.
Melo is no longer the greatest Nugget to wear No. 15, as Nikola Jokic took the number when he came into the team as a second-round pick. Since then, Jokic has become arguably the greatest player for the franchise in the modern era. He is currently coming off back-to-back MVP wins.