The NBA’s ring culture has turned Hall of Fame-caliber players without championships into players with careers that should be forgotten.
Carmelo Anthony is dismissing that notion now that he’s officially retired.
In his 19-year career, Anthony put up Hall of Fame numbers, averaging 22.5 points per game.
That number was 24.8 throughout his time with the Denver Nuggets in New York Knicks.
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However, Melo was never able to win a coveted ring.
He only won one playoff series with the Knicks, and he never played in an NBA Finals, although he did come close in 2009 with the Denver Nuggets.
The same day Anthony officially retired, his former Nuggets team clinched its first-ever trip to the NBA Finals.
But Anthony, the NBA’s ninth-leading scorer all time, says he’s riding into the sunset “at peace.”
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“That doesn’t bother me no more; that idea that you’re a loser if you don’t win a championship,” he told Sports Illustrated. “For me, I’ve won. I won back in 2003, the night I shook David Stern’s hand on that [draft] stage. I made it out of Red Hook. I’ve won at life. The ring is the only thing I didn’t get. It would’ve been a great accomplishment, but I don’t regret it because I feel like I did everything I could to get it.”
The 10-time All-Star was the freshman phenom who took home the 2003 national championship with Syracuse, he won three Olympic gold medal and he was named to the NBA 75th Anniversary Team last year.
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If and when he makes the Hall of Fame, he’ll join the likes of Elgin Baylor, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley and plenty of others who did not win a championship.