Carmelo Anthony Biography

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Birth Name: Carmelo Anthony
Born: 05/29/1984
Birth Place: Brooklyn, New York, USA

Anthony was born in 1984 to a Puerto Rican father and an African-American mother in New York. After his father died when Anthony was only 2 years old, his mother packed up ship for Baltimore, MD, taking then-8-year-old Anthony and his three older siblings to a neighborhood which would later be featured as the setting for the HBO series The Wire. Anthony's rough-and-tumble early years were countered with early success on the basketball court, earning regional awards for his athletic play at Towson Catholic High School. Anthony's mother, Mary, had long pushed for him to focus on schoolwork, hoping for an escape from the dangerous Baltimore neighborhood. But it wasn't until he had attracted the attention of Syracuse University that Anthony began taking his studies more seriously. After transferring to Oak Hill Academy, a boarding school in Virginia known for its rigorous academic culture, Anthony eventually passed the ACT and was ready to begin the next phase of his life as a collegiate athlete.

It didn't take long. Melo led the Syracuse Orangemen to their first and only NCAA Title in 2003, leading his team in scoring and rebounding as a Freshman. In a Final-Four set against the University of Texas, Anthony scored 33 points, setting a new record for points made by a Freshman in a single game. He also won the Most Outstanding Player award, as well as his coach's blessing to declare for the NBA Draft after only one season at Syracuse. It proved to be timely, as Anthony was then selected third overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets. In other years, Anthony's NBA rookie season would have been remarkable -- but 2003 was also the year reigning MVP LeBron James entered the league to the glossy eyes of pundits and broadcasters everywhere. Seemingly being relegated to an eternal game of catch-up, Anthony took his new underdog status as a chip on his shoulder, playing a ferocious brand of hybrid basketball that mixed a point-guard's eye with a power-forward's post game in an alleviating Denver offense which had finished last in the league the year before. In addition to being named to the All-Rookie team, the 19-year-old averaged 21 points per game and led the Nuggets to their first playoff appearance in nine years. For the next few years, basketball fans in Denver were treated to one of the best forwards playing the game, and in 2007, he took his game to the national stage, after being named as an All-Star for the first time in his career.

It was, ironically, in a 2006 away game against his future Knicks that Anthony's brash personality landed him in deeper trouble than the minor off-court incidents he had already been responsible for. After Nuggets guard J.R. Smith and Knicks guard Mardy Collins were entangled in a confrontation which led into the courtside seats, Anthony punched Collins in the face, drawing coaches and players onto the court in a messy incident which led to a 15-day suspension for Anthony, the sixth-longest in NBA history. After returning from his suspension, Anthony's play became increasingly superior with each passing year. But after years of playoff failures, Melo quietly requested a trade at the beginning of the 2010-11 season, which sent him to his birth state of New York on February 22. And although he dropped 42 points during a playoff match in Boston that spring, the Knicks were swept by the Celtics, and Anthony found himself out of the playoffs yet again.

Anthony's first full season in New York brought his custom brand of aggressive play to the Big Apple, but it also brought controversy from the Mile-High City that always seems to follow Anthony in tow. After falling behind 18-24 in the middle of the season, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni immediately resigned in a highly publicized press conference. Some pundits suggested Anthony played a part in D'Antoni's departure, due to his frustrations over D'Antoni's quick offensive schemes. But regardless, replacement coach Mike Woodson's half-court system found Anthony's style of play a much better fit, and though the Knicks would go on to win their first playoff game in 10 years that spring, they fell yet again to that year's eventual NBA champions, the Miami Heat. While the Knicks continue to rebuild around Anthony and seek to build deeper into the playoffs, the 10-year NBA veteran remains one of the leagues best threats and most efficient scorers, ensuring years of playoff basketball at The Garden to come.

Anthony has also competed on the USA Men's National basketball team at both the Olympics and the FIBA tournament. In addition to winning gold medals at the 2012 and 2008 Olympics, as well as a bronze in 2004, Anthony holds the single-game point record for the United State's Men's Basketball team after a 37-point performance against Nigeria in 2012. Anthony has long embraced his father's Puerto Rican heritage, tattooing the Puerto Rican flag on his hand and proudly speaking up about his Latin ethnicity. Anthony married La La, a New York-born Puerto Rican television personality known for her appearances on MTV's "Total Request Live" (MTV, 1998-2008) and "I Love New York" (MTV, 2007-2008), with whom he has one son, Kiyan, born in 2007.