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Carmelo Anthony is in good company as the 10th all-time scorer in the NBA with 27,318 career points.
On Monday night, the Trail Blazers star passed Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes on the league’s all-time scoring list in the second quarter of an eventual 123-114 loss to the Hawks.
Anthony knocked down an isolated 3-pointer on the right wing and drew a foul. He celebrated with his signature move of shuffling back on defense while hitting the side of his head with three fingers, and raised his arms in the air. Anthony, who finished the night with 14 points overall, entered Monday’s game nine points behind Hayes’ career total of 27,313.
After the game, Portland coach Terry Stotts presented Anthony with the game ball while in the locker room with his teammates. Stotts called the accolade “big time” and asked if Anthony would give a speech.
“A couple years ago I ain’t think I was going to be in this moment,” Anthony said. “I was out the league for whatever reason. I persevered, I stayed strong. I stayed true to myself, and now I’m here in the top 10.”
In this season, Anthony’s 18th in the league, he has moved past Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon in scoring.
“I knew this moment. I didn’t know the other moments,” Anthony said after the game, according to ESPN. “I didn’t know the 15 and 13 and 11, but 10 is something I knew. I’ve felt it. I felt it coming into the game. I didn’t want to rush it or force it or anything; I wanted to let the game coming to me and happen naturally. I felt good coming into today, and as you can see, the shot was falling early and I got off to a great start. That made it easier. I could exhale and relax.”
Anthony’s 14-year-old son Kiyan celebrated the milestone on Instagram stories with a screen grab of his dad’s new top 10 spot on the all-time scoring list. He wrote “Washed” over the photo — clearly sticking it to critics who labeled the 10-time All-Star as such when he was out of the league.
Anthony was cut by the Rockets after just 10 games early in the 2018-19 season, leaving his NBA future hanging in the balance. He continued to work out and stay ready, and Anthony signed with Portland in November 2019, going on to start 58 games last season. Now as the Trail Blazers’ sixth man, Anthony entered Monday averaging 13.6 points in his bench role.
Anthony won the scoring title with the Knicks in 2012-13, when he averaged 28.7 points per game. His point distribution, according to ESPN, is 13,970 in eight seasons with the Nuggets; 10,186 in seven seasons with the Knicks; 1,261 in one season with the Thunder; 134 with the Rockets, and 1,767 in two seasons with the Blazers.