On Monday, Carmelo Anthony officially announced his retirement from the NBA, concluding an illustrious career that saw him earn 10 All-Star nods, a scoring championship, and a berth on the league’s 75th anniversary squad.
Melo’s choice is understandable given that he hasn’t played since the 2021–22 season and will be 39 on May 29.
The action also makes LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers the last remaining active participant from the illustrious 2003 NBA Draft.
James, the former No. 1 selection, has already said that he intends to play “at least a few more years” in the league despite the fact that he and the Lakers are just one loss away from a four-game sweep of the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference Finals.
The Detroit Pistons notoriously selected Serbian Darko Milicic second overall, one spot ahead of Anthony, and he flamed out after 10 seasons as one of the more egregious failures in recent memory.
Melo began his eventual Hall of Fame career with the Denver Nuggets, where he played for seven or more seasons before being transferred to the New York Knicks in a historic three-team transaction that also involved Chauncey Billups, Danilo Gallinari, and Eddy Curry in February 2011.
Anthony ended his career with one season each with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers as well as two years with the Portland Trail Blazers after spending more than six seasons in the Big Apple.
Chris Bosh, a future Hall-of-Famer, entered the NBA for 13 years after being drafted fourth overall out of Georgia Tech. Dwyane Wade, a former teammate of his from the Miami Heat, was selected fifth overall out of Marquette and played for 16 seasons. Both Kansas native Kirk Hinrich and former Central Michigan star and one-time All-Star big man Chris Kaman played professionally for 13 years. Out of Texas, T.J. Ford was selected seventh and played for eight seasons. While Jarvis Hayes, the 10th pick from Georgia, played for just seven seasons in the NBA, Mike Sweetney, the ninth pick out of Georgetown, played only four years.
Other notable picks from the 2003 competition included two-time All-Star David West (18th overall), former NBA champion and current ESPN talking head Kendrick Perkins (27th overall), 2007 Sixth Man of the Year Leandro Barbosa (28th overall), and accurate one-time All-Star Kyle Korver (51) among others.