Carmelo Anthony officially entered the NBA elite scoring list when he scored 14 points on Monday night in Portland’s game against Atlanta Hawks. He moved past Elvin Hayes for the 10th spot on the NBA career scoring list with 27,318 points.
“If you’re in the top 10 of anything of all time, it’s a special moment,” said Anthony, who’s in his 18th NBA season and turns 37 before the month is out.
Anthony was cruising past Hayes’ record in the second quarter of the game, sinking 3 points while getting fouled by Danilo Gallinari and shooting a free throw to complete a four-points. He was conscious of how many issues he needed to make to achieve the milestone.
“I knew this moment,” he said. “I didn’t know those other moments – 15, 13, 11. But 10 is something I knew.”
Anthony seemed to be headed for a forced retirement after playing just ten games during the 2018-19 season. He had left Houston, was waived by Chicago, and didn’t join Portland until the following season has started for several weeks. Anthony found a new opportunity and a new role with the Trail Blazers, even after he went more than a year without playing. Coming off the bench, he played a supporting role to the younger members of the team who look up to him, such as Damian Lillard.
“Being in the top 10 is a really special accomplishment. For him, it’s probably a little more special. A lot of people counted him out and tried to finish him,” Lillard said.
Anthony surpassed nine players on the career scoring list during his time with the Trail Blazers. He had gone over Kevin Garnett, John Havlicek, Alex English, and Paul Pierce in the last season. He has surpassed Dominique Wilkins, Tim Duncan, Hakeem Olajuwon, Oscar Robertson, and Hayes in the current.
“For Melo to be out a year and come back makes it even more remarkable,” Portland coach Terry Stotts said. “I always appreciate greatness, whether it’s a player I’m coaching or coaching against. Melo is a great player. He’s a Hall of Fame player.”
Coach Stotts presented a game ball to Anthony in the locker room after the game.
“We need to acknowledge milestones. This is a big one. Top 10 of all time. That’s big-time,” the coach said.