Carmelo Anthony didn’t wear No. 7 with the Trail Blazers out of deference to Brandon Roy.
Anthony hopes his No. 7 will eventually get that level of respect with the Knicks.
Anthony, via Marc Berman of the New York Post:
Anthony was asked after his Blazers romped over the Knicks Tuesday night whether he has ever thought about his jersey being retired at the Garden.
“Do I think about it? Anybody would want to get that opportunity if it’s there. We’ll see when that time comes. Hopefully, they’ll hang ‘7’ somewhere up there,” Anthony said.
Anthony should hope for that. It’d be a great honor.
Does he deserve it?
He has a reasonable, though not overwhelming, case.
The Knicks have retired numbers for eight players – Patrick Ewing, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Earl Monroe, Bill Bradley, Dick Barnett, Dick McGuire and Dave DeBusschere.
Anthony spent seven seasons in New York, one more than DeBusschere. So, that’s a basic hurdle cleared.
An All-Star each of his seasons with the Knicks (including the first, when he was still with the Nuggets for the All-Star game), Anthony also has more win shares with New York than Bradley, Barnett, McGuire and DeBusschere. Anthony made an All-NBA second team and an All-NBA third team with the Knicks, peaking at third in MVP voting in 2013.
But the big blemish in Anthony’s case is the postseason. New York made the playoffs just thrice and won only one series with him.
It doesn’t help that Anthony left the Knicks on poor terms. But those feelings will dissipate in time. A lack of postseason success endures. This wasn’t an era in franchise history that inspires celebration.
Really, on paper, Anthony should have an easier time getting his number retired in Denver, where he played longer and had more postseason appearances, including a run to the Western Conference finals. But there’s far more exit-related bitterness to overcome with the Nuggets. So, don’t expect that conversation any time soon.