Anthony was born in the Red Hook projects in Brooklyn, New York City. His father, after whom he is named, died of cancer when Anthony was two years old. When Anthony turned eight, his family moved to Baltimore, where he honed not only his athletic skills, but his survival skills. Kenny Minor, one of Anthony's childhood friends, said, "from drugs, to killings, to anything you can name that goes on in the roughest parts of town, we've seen and witnessed hands on. Those are the things that teach you toughness and keep you mentally focused on your goals." Sports would serve as an important diversion from the violence and drug dealing that were pervasive in the housing projects a few blocks from the homes of Anthony and his friends.
Anthony commuted to Towson Catholic High School for his first three years of high school. During the summer of 2000, when he grew five inches, he made a name for himself in the area, being named The Baltimore Sun's metro player of the year in 2001, as well as Baltimore Catholic League player of the year. Anthony transferred to Oak Hill Academy in Virginia for his senior campaign. While at Oak Hill Academy, Anthony was named to the McDonald's All-American Team and won the Sprite Slam Jam dunk contest prior to the McDonald’s All-American game. He was also named a USA Today First-Team All-American and a Parade First-Team All-American.
Anthony played one season (2002-2003) at Syracuse University. He averaged 22.1 points (16th in the NCAA, 4th in the Big East) and 10.0 rebounds (19th in the NCAA, 3rd in the Big East, 1st among NCAA Division I freshmen). He helped guide the Orangemen to their first ever NCAA tournament title in 2003. He led the team in scoring, rebounding, minutes played (36.4 minutes per game), field goals made and free throws made and attempted. Anthony's 33-point outburst against the University of Texas in the Final Four set an NCAA tournament record for most points by a freshman.
In the championship game against the University of Kansas, Anthony had 20 points and 10 rebounds. For his efforts during the NCAA tournament, Anthony earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player Award. Afterwards, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim described Anthony as, "....by far, the best player in college basketball. It wasn't even close. Nobody was even close to him last year in college basketball. That's the bottom line.
Anthony said that he originally planned to stay at Syracuse for two to three seasons, but having already accomplished everything he set out to do, he chose to abandon his collegiate career (with Boeheim's blessing) and declared himself eligible for the 2003 NBA Draft. Some of Anthony's highlights in his time with Syracuse include being named Second-Team All-American by the Associated Press as a freshman, leading his team to a 30-5 record, capturing the school's first ever NCAA title and being the consensus pick for NCAA Freshman of the Year. He was also named to the All-Big East First Team and was the consensus selection for the Big East Conference Freshman of the Year.
Anthony's NBA career began on June 26, 2003, when he was chosen in the first round (3rd overall) of the 2003 NBA Draft draft by the Denver Nuggets. He was selected behind LeBron James (1st overall, Cleveland Cavaliers) and Darko Miličić (2nd overall, Detroit Pistons). He made his NBA regular season debut on October 29, 2003, in an 80-72 home win against the San Antonio Spurs. Anthony finished the night with 12 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. In just his sixth career NBA game (November 7 versus the Los Angeles Clippers), Anthony scored 30 points, becoming the second youngest player in NBA history to score 30 points or more in a game (19 years, 151 days; Kobe Bryant was the youngest). It was the fewest amount of games a Nuggets rookie took to score 30 points in a contest since the ABA/NBA merger. On February 9, 2004, against the Memphis Grizzlies, Anthony became the third-youngest player to reach the 1,000-point plateau in NBA history with a 20-point effort in an 86-83 win. (See 2003-04 NBA season).
On February 13, 2004, Anthony participated in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge at All-Star Weekend. In 30 minutes of playing time, Anthony scored 17 points, grabbed 3 rebounds and dished out 5 assists in a losing effort (142-118). On March 30 of that year, he scored 41 points against the Seattle SuperSonics to set a new Denver Nuggets franchise mark for most points in a game by a rookie. He also became the second-youngest player (19 years, 305 days) to score at least 40 points in a game in NBA history. After winning the Rookie of the Month award for the Western Conference in the month of April, Anthony became the fourth player in NBA history to capture all six of the Rookie of the Month awards in a season. The others to do so were David Robinson, Tim Duncan and fellow rookie LeBron James. Anthony was also named NBA Player of the Week twice (March 10, 2004 – March 14, 2004 and April 6, 2004 – April 10, 2004) and was a unanimous NBA All-Rookie First Team selection. Anthony averaged 21.0 ppg during the season, which was more than any other rookie. That mark also placed him 12th overall in the entire league. Anthony was second in the NBA Rookie of the Year voting, finishing as the runner-up to the Cavaliers rookie standout, James.
Anthony was a major part in the turn around of the Denver Nuggets from league laughingstock to playoff contender. In the season before Anthony was drafted by the team, the Nuggets finished with a 17-65 record, which tied them for worst in the NBA with the Cleveland Cavaliers. They finished the 2003-04 campaign with a 43-39 overall record, qualifying them as the eighth seed for the post-season. Anthony became the first NBA rookie to lead a playoff team in scoring since David Robinson of the San Antonio Spurs during the 1989-90 season. The Nuggets faced the top-seeded Minnesota Timberwolves in the first round. In Anthony's first career playoff game, he had 19 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists, in a 106-92 loss at Minnesota. The Timberwolves eliminated the Nuggets in five games.
In Anthony's second season, he started in 75 of the 82 games for the Denver Nuggets. He averaged 20.8 points per game, ranking him 19th in the NBA. Anthony placed 16th in the NBA for points per 48 minutes. On December 4, 2004, versus the Miami Heat, Anthony became the third-youngest player in NBA history to reach 2,000 career points. Only James and Bryant were younger when they reached that plateau. Anthony played again in the Got Milk? Rookie Challenge, this time suiting up for the sophomore squad. In front of his home fans of Denver (who were hosting the 2005 All-Star Game), Anthony scored a game-high 31 points to go along with 5 boards, 2 assists and 2 steals, en route to becoming the MVP of the game.
With Anthony's help, the Nuggets improved their season record by six games from the previous season, ending with a mark of 49-33. The Nuggets finished seventh place in the Western Conference (one spot higher than they finished the previous season). Denver faced the second-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round, winning the first game in San Antonio, 93-87. However, the Spurs won the next four games, eliminating the Nuggets from the playoffs.
Anthony played and started in 80 games during the season. He averaged 26.5 ppg (8th, NBA), 2.7 apg, 4.9 rpg and 1.1 spg. His eighth place finish in NBA scoring was the highest finish by a Denver player since the 1990-91 season, when Nuggets guard Michael Adams finished the season sixth in NBA scoring.
On November 23, 2005, with the Nuggets facing the two-time defending Eastern Conference Champion Detroit Pistons, Anthony hauled down his 1,000th career rebound. A month later, Anthony recorded a then career-high 45 points in a losing effort against the Philadelphia 76ers. On March 17, 2006, versus the Memphis Grizzlies, he scored 33 points to push his career point total over the 5,000 mark. Also, in doing so, he became the second youngest player to accomplish that feat (behind James). As the month of March came to a close, the Nuggets finished 11-5, and Anthony was named as the NBA Player of the Month for March. He also took home Player of the Week honors for March 13, 2006 – March 19, 2006.
During the season, Anthony made five game-winning shots in the last five seconds: at Houston on January 8, 2006; at home versus Phoenix on January 10; at Minnesota on February 24; at Indiana on March 15; at home versus the Los Angeles Lakers on April 6. All five of those game-winners were made on jump shots, while the shot against Minnesota was a three-point field goal. Anthony also made a shot in the final seconds to force overtime vs. the Dallas Mavericks on January 6. He made shots in the final 22 seconds against the Cleveland Cavaliers on January 18, 2006, and the Philadelphia 76ers on March 9, which gave the Nuggets leads they would never lose.
The Nuggets finished the season in third place, winning the Northwest Division for the first time in Anthony's career. Denver faced the sixth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs. The Clippers held home court advantage in the series, due to ending the regular season with a better record (Denver finished 44-38; Los Angeles finished 47-35). The Clippers won the first two games of the series on their home floor. The Nuggets split their games at home in Denver (winning game three; losing game four). Denver then lost game five at Los Angeles, which eliminated the Nuggets from the playoffs.
In the eighth game of the season (a 117-109 home win against the Toronto Raptors), Anthony tied the franchise record of six-straight 30-point games recorded by Alex English (1982-83 season). Coincidentally, Alex English witnessed Anthony tie his record as English is now an Assistant Coach with the Toronto Raptors. Anthony fell short of establishing a new record in his ninth game (a 113-109 home victory over the Chicago Bulls on November 21, as he finished with 29 points. After the Chicago victory, Anthony again tied the club record of six-straight 30-point games, failing to break it the second time around, as he scored 24 points in his 16th game (a 98-96 home loss to the Atlanta Hawks) on December 6).
On December 16, Anthony was one of many players involved in the infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl during a game at Madison Square Garden. Footage showed Anthony laying a punch on the face of New York's Mardy Collins and subsequently backing away. As a result of his actions, Anthony was suspended for 15 games by NBA commissioner David Stern. Shortly thereafter, the Nuggets traded for Allen Iverson in a bid to form a deadly combination with Anthony. The duo didn't get to play alongside one another until a home game against the Memphis Grizzlies on January 22, which was the day Anthony was allowed to return from his 15-game suspension. Anthony finished the game with 28 points, as he and Iverson combined for 51 points.
On February 2, Anthony and fellow teammate J.R. Smith were involved in a minor car accident. Neither player was injured in the collision. The only information released by the team was that the car Smith was driving belonged to Anthony. Three days later, Anthony recorded his first ever NBA triple-double, with 31 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, in a 113-108 loss to the Phoenix Suns. When the reserves for the Western Conference All-Star team were announced, Anthony was left off of the roster. However, with Yao Ming and Carlos Boozer out with injuries, NBA commissioner David Stern chose Anthony as a replacement (along with Josh Howard). Anthony scored 20 points with 9 rebounds in his All-Star debut. Anthony was the first Denver Nugget to be named an All-Star since Antonio McDyess in 2001.
Anthony won Player of the Week honors three times during the season (November 20–November 26; November 27–December 3; and February 5–February 11), and received Player of the Month honors for April, after leading the Nuggets to a 10-1 record for the month and into sixth place in the final regular season standings of the Western Conference. Anthony finished the season as the league's second leading scorer behind Bryant, with an average of 28.9 ppg, while adding 6.0 rpg, 3.8 apg and 1.2 spg. He was named to All-NBA Third Team for the second straight year, along with Miami's Dwyane Wade, Detroit's Chauncy Billups, Minnesota's Kevin Garnett and Orlando's Dwight Howard. For the second time in three years, Anthony and the sixth-seeded Nuggets faced the third-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs. In a virtual repeat of the 2005 first round playoff matchup between the two teams, Denver won the first game in San Antonio, 95-89, only to lose the next four games. The Nuggets were eliminated in the first round for the fourth straight year. In the playoff series against the Spurs, Anthony averaged a team-high 26.8 ppg to go along with 8.6 rpg, 1.2 apg and 1.0 spg.
On January 24, 2008, Anthony was named to his second consecutive NBA All-Star Game—his first as a starter. He finished as the leading vote-getter among Western Conference forwards (1,723,701 votes) and second in overall voting to Kobe Bryant (2,004,940 votes) among all Western Conference players. On February 8, Anthony scored a career-high 49 points in a 111-100 home win over the Washington Wizards. He had a field goal percentage of .760 on a 19-of-25 shooting effort, and his shooting percentage was the second highest in the last 13 years for a player who took 25 or more shots in a game (Bryant was first with a .769 field goal percentage on a 20-of-26 shooting effort, in a 99-94 road victory over the Houston Rockets on December 21, 2000).
On March 27, in a 118-105 Nuggets home win over the Dallas Mavericks, Anthony scored his 9,000th career point. He played in 77 games during the regular season, finishing as the NBA's fourth-leading scorer with 25.7 points per game, and had career-highs in rebounds per game (7.4) and steals per game (1.3). He tied his career-high in blocks per game (0.5), and ended the season with 3.4 assists per game, which was the second-best mark of his career.
The Nuggets finished the 2007-08 season with exactly 50 wins (50-32 overall record, tied for the third-best all-time Nuggets record since the team officially joined the NBA in 1976), following a 120-111 home victory over the Memphis Grizzlies in the last game of the season. It was the first time since the 1987-88 NBA season that the Nuggets finished with at least 50 wins in a season. Denver ended up as the 8th seed in the Western Conference of the 2008 Playoffs, and their 50 wins marked the highest win total for an 8th seed in NBA history. It also meant that for the first time in NBA history, all eight playoff seeds in a conference had at least 50 wins. The Nuggets faced the top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers (57-25 overall record) in the first round of the Playoffs. The seven games separating the Nuggets overall record and the Lakers overall record is the closest margin between an eighth seed and a top seed since the NBA went to a 16-team playoff format in 1983-84. The Lakers swept the Nuggets in four games, marking the second time in NBA history that a 50-win team was swept in a best-of-seven playoff series in the first round. For the series, Anthony averaged 22.5 ppg, 9.5 rpg (playoff career-high), 2.0 apg and 0.5 spg.
|- | align="left" | 2003–04 | align="left" | Denver | 82 || 82 || 36.5 || .426 || .322 || .777 || 6.1 || 2.8 || 1.2 || .5 || 21.0 |- | align="left" | 2004–05 | align="left" | Denver | 75 || 75 || 34.8 || .431 || .266 || .796 || 5.7 || 2.6 || .9 || .4 || 20.8 |- | align="left" | 2005–06 | align="left" | Denver | 80 || 80 || 36.8 || .481 || .243 || .808 || 4.9 || 2.7 || 1.1 || .5 || 26.5 |- | align="left" | 2006–07 | align="left" | Denver | 65 || 65 || 38.2 || .476 || .268 || .808 || 6.0 || 3.8 || 1.2 || .3 || 28.9 |- | align="left" | 2007–08 | align="left" | Denver | 77 || 77 || 36.4 || .492 || .354 || .786 || 7.4 || 3.4 || 1.3 || .5 || 25.7 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 379 || 379 || 36.5 || .462 || .294 || .796 || 6.0 || 3.0 || 1.1 || .4 || 24.4 |- | align="left" | All-Star | align="left" | | 2 || 1 || 23.5 || .563 || .000 || .667 || 8.0 || 1.0 || .5 || .0 || 19.0 |}
|- | align="left" | 2003–04 | align="left" | Denver | 4 || 4 || 35.8 || .328 || .182 || .800 || 8.3 || 2.8 || 1.2 || .0 || 15.0 |- | align="left" | 2004–05 | align="left" | Denver | 5 || 5 || 36.0 || .422 || .000 || .813 || 5.4 || 2.0 || .6 || .2 || 19.2 |- | align="left" | 2005–06 | align="left" | Denver | 5 || 5 || 38.6 || .333 || .000 || .750 || 6.6 || 2.8 || .8 || .2 || 21.0 |- | align="left" | 2006–07 | align="left" | Denver | 5 || 5 || 42.0 || .480 || .500 || .795 || 8.6 || 1.2 || 1.0 || .0 || 26.8 |- | align="left" | 2007–08 | align="left" | Denver | 4 || 4 || 36.5 || .364 || .250 || .828 || 9.5 || 2.0 || .5 || .2 || 22.5 |- | align="left" | Career | align="left" | | 23 || 23 || 37.9 || .389 || .310 || .791 || 7.6 || 2.1 || .8 || .1 || 21.1 |}
Since entering the NBA, Anthony has been the subject of numerous controversies. In 2004, he was cited for marijuana possession, after inspectors at Denver International Airport found marijuana in his backpack. Charges were later dropped after Anthony’s friend, James Cunningham, of St. Louis, signed an affidavit taking responsibility for the marijuana. That same year, Anthony appeared in a video entitled, Stop Snitchin', which warned that residents of Baltimore who collaborated with the police would face violence. Anthony later distanced himself from this video. In 2006, Anthony’s friend, Tyler Brandon Smith, was pulled over in Anthony’s vehicle and cited for marijuana possession and three traffic violations. Later that year, he was involved in the infamous Knicks-Nuggets brawl during a game at Madison Square Garden. He was suspended 15 games as a result.
On April 14, 2008, Anthony was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, after being pulled over on southbound Interstate 25 at 20th Street in Denver for weaving through lanes and not dimming his lights. Police spokesperson Detective Sharon Hahn said Anthony, who was alone in the car, failed a series of sobriety tests. He was ticketed and then released at police headquarters to a "sober responsible party." A court date was set for May 14. The Nuggets suspended Anthony for two games due to the arrest. On June 24, 2008, Anthony pleaded guilty to a charge of driving while ability-impaired. The original sentence of driving while under the influence was dropped, and he was subsequently sentenced to one year of probation, 24 hours of community service and US$1,000 in court costs and fines.
Anthony was one of 12 players named to the USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team in the summer of 2002. He was a member of the bronze-medal winning Team USA at the 2002 Men’s Junior World Championship held in La Asuncion, Margarita, Venezuela. He started all five contests and averaged a team-best 15.6 ppg despite playing an average of just 22.2 minutes an outing. His 6.2 rebound mark ranked second on the club. Anthony had 15 points and nine rebounds in a first-round win against Dominican Republic. He had 21 points and seven boards in 21 minutes versus Mexico, another Team USA triumph. He keyed a 75-73 victory against Argentina with a team-leading 23 points. In a two-point semifinal loss to host Venezuela, Anthony contributed 13 points and 10 rebounds. Team USA earned the bronze by beating Argentina, 71-65. The squad was coached by Oregon mentor Ernie Kent. Anthony had previous USA Basketball experience as a participant in the 2001 Youth Development Festival.
Anthony was named co-captain (along with fellow 2003 draftees LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) of Team USA at the 2006 FIBA World Championship. The team won the bronze medal. On August 23, 2006, Anthony set the U.S. scoring record in a game with 35 points against Italy in the said FIBA tournament. The record was previously held by Kenny Anderson with 34 points in 1990. Anthony was named to the FIBA World Championship All-Tournament Team, posting averages of 19.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg and 1.6 apg.
Anthony was also a member of Team USA during the 2007 FIBA Americas Championship. The team went undefeated, going 10-0. Anthony ended up as the tournament's second-leading scorer with a 21.2 ppg average (191 points in 9 games), which was behind Leandro Barbosa of Brazil. Anthony also added 5.2 rpg and 1.4 apg. He equalled the previous record of 28 points set by Allen Iverson in a qualifying tournament, which was later broken by James, who scored 31 points in the title-clinching win against Argentina.
Anthony was also named to the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, again alongside James and Wade with Kobe Bryant and Jason Kidd among others, with the mission of bringing back the Gold Medal to the USA. The team overpowered its opponents with an average winning margin of 32.2 points in five games. The team eliminated Australia in the quarterfinals by 31 then finally went over its final four mishaps in the past by beating Argentina by 20 points. After playing second fiddle to his teammates up to the quarterfinal match, Anthony played his best game against Argentina by topscoring with 21 points, making 3 of 14 field goals and 13-of-13 in free throws, setting USA Olympic game records for made free throws and free throw percentage.
In the gold medal game, Team USA defeated 2006 World Champion Spain and lived up to its "Redeem Team" moniker, with Anthony scoring 13 points. Anthony posted averages of 11.5 ppg (92 points/8 games), 4.3 rpg (34 rebounds/8 games) and 1.0 spg (8 steals/8 games).
Off the court, Anthony donates time and money to causes in Denver and Baltimore. In Denver, Anthony is a spokesman for the Family Resource Center and helps organize a Christmas party, entitled "A Very Melo Christmas," for less well-off children. In Baltimore, Anthony hosts an annual 3-on-3 tournament, known as "Melo's H.O.O.D. Movement 3 on 3 Challenge (Holding Our Own Destiny)" and is helping fund the revitalization of a local community center for local youth.
Anthony opened the Carmelo Anthony Youth Development Center in Baltimore on December 14, 2006. He contributed $1.5 million to the Living Classrooms Foundation, a non-profit organization that "provides innovative hands-on-education, job-training and community service programs for over 35,000 children, youth and young adults in the east Baltimore community.
After the tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, Anthony donated $35,000 to relief efforts. He donated $1,000 per point scored against San Antonio and Houston on January 8 and 9, 2005 respectively.
Anthony also committed $3 million toward the construction of a newly-planned basketball practice facility at his alma mater, Syracuse University. According to the NBA's official website, "Anthony's gift represents one of the largest individual donations to Syracuse University Athletics and is also believed to be one of largest by a current professional athlete to the school they attended. The practice facility will be called the Carmelo K. Anthony Facility.
Anthony was a guest star in the "Lost and Found" episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide. In the episode, Ned finds a pair of sneakers autographed by Anthony in the school's lost and found and attempts to claim the shoes for his own.
Anthony is the first and only player to appear on the cover of all three EA Sports basketball franchises (NCAA March Madness, NBA Live and NBA Street). He was on the covers of NCAA March Madness 2004, NBA Live 2005 and NBA Street Homecourt.
Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges, Carmelo Anthony and Rob Dyrdek Battle It Out on the Shelves With the Launch of the TAG Signature Series Charity Challenge.
Oct 10, 2009; Procter & Gamble's TAG™ brand is proud to announce the "Signature Series," a collaboration with hip-hop legend Chris...