Will the New York Knicks retire Carmelo Anthony’s number? Walt Frazier thinks other former players deserve it first.
Carmelo Anthony wrapped up his New York Knicks career near the end of the 2017 offseason, when he went to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott. It marked the conclusion of a six-and-a-half year run from 2011-17,
Anthony left a legacy in New York, with each season above 20 points per game, a role as the face of the franchise and the one who led them to a handful of postseason appearances.
Where does Anthony stand in franchise history, though? Will it be enough to receive the retirement of his No. 7 jersey? According to Knicks legend Walt Frazier, who spoke on SiriusXM NBA Radio (h/t New York Post), Anthony should not receive this honor:
"“Probably not because he didn’t win a title,” Frazier said. “I’m surprised they didn’t put Allan Houston up there. I’m surprised Bernard King, who is in the Hall of Fame, they haven’t put Bernard up there. So those two guys I think are deserving. Perhaps maybe John Starks. Even the Oak Man, Charles Oakley, but that probably won’t happen with all the stuff he’s done at the Garden. So he’s not held in high esteem right now but I don’t see them putting Melo in there because of that.”"
It’s a statement that might turn a few heads, as Anthony led the Knicks organization through the 2010’s.
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In Anthony’s six-plus seasons, he averaged 24.7 points per game on 44.3 percent shooting, including 28.7 points in the 2012-13 season. Factor in seven All-Star game appearances, and it provided the groundwork towards his history with the organization.
However, as Frazier noted, Anthony never won a championship in the Big Apple and did not make it past the second round of the postseason. Does this make or break his chances at a jersey retirement?
If the Knicks retire No. 7, Anthony will join Frazier, Patrick Ewing, Dick Barnett and Willis Reed, among others, in the rafters at Madison Square Garden.
As for how soon a decision could be made, Anthony will enter his age-34 season with the Houston Rockets. After one season in Oklahoma City, a 40.4 percent mark from the field and without the desire to come off the bench, he received a buyout and joined the Rockets on a minimum salary deal, which made it three teams in three years.
In general, this all builds towards Anthony’s case for the Basketball Hall of Fame, even if the Knicks jersey retirement does not come around. Given his scoring longevity for the Knicks and Denver Nuggets, look for a spot to open down the line to become immortalized in basketball history.