If you told me a week ago that Carmelo Anthony would be continuing his career in the NBA, I’d tell you to take a seat, druink some water, and give me the number to your mushroom dealer.
But here we are. And Tuesday night, the 35-year-old will make his debut for the Portland Trail Blazers in New Orleans against the Pelicans.
The 10-time All-Star will be rocking the number 00 after his entire career has been split between numbers 15 (Nuggets), and 7 (Knicks, Thunder, and Rockets).
Is Melo choosing the number 00 as a symbolic indicator of starting over fresh with a new team, having nothing and earning everything? Ehh not quite, despite what his Instagram explanation leads you to believe.
As For the Win points out, number 15 is unavailable because it belonged to Larry Steele, the Blazers guard who in 1977 fueled the franchise to its only NBA Finals win in its history.
Number 7, on the other hand, is not retired, but is understood to be forbidden out of sheer respect for Brandon Roy.
Roy spent five years with the Blazers to begin his career, but nagging injuries to both knees derailed what promised to be a legendary career for the three-time All Star.
A small part of me was hoping that Melo would make such a stink about wearing number 7 that the Blazers would release him before he signed the dotted line. How ME7O would that be.
P.S. One of the injury reaper’s coldest moves was robbing us of Brandon Roy’s talents.
Lets not forget that Ron Artest once called the 6-foot-6, 215 lb. guard “the best player I’ve played against,” better than Kobe, better than LeBron. In 2010, Kobe himself was asked who the toughest player to guard in the Western Conference was and without hesitation answered: “Roy 365 days, seven days a week. Roy has no weaknesses in his game.”
In 326 career games, Brandon Roy averaged 18.8 points and 45.9% shooting.