376 days. That is the amount of time basketball fans had to endure without seeing Carmelo Anthony in an NBA game. The Syracuse alum was cut from the Rockets in November 2018. His last game with Houston was against the San Antonio Spurs on Nov. 8. Anthony couldn’t find another landing spot and thought his career was over, until this past week when the Portland Trail Blazers signed the 35-year-old.
In his opening game with the Blazers, he was placed in the starting lineup and given 24 minutes of playing time. He began in classic Melo fashion– knocking down a three for his team’s first points of the game. The other 13 shots he took on Tuesday were also classic Melo. He only hit 3 of them, finishing with 10 points, 4 rebounds and 5 turnovers.
Even though Melo didn’t have the best game, it lit the fire in every Syracuse fan’s heart. His absence from the league hurt. It felt like a little piece of your heart was missing. But now that he’s back, everything is right again.
Anthony is unarguably the most famous former Syracuse basketball star. He only played one season in the Salt City but averaged 22 points and 10 rebounds per game. Melo’s 2002-2003 campaign ended in winning the National Championship, being named to the NCAA All-Tournament team, the NCAA All-Region team, and the Big East Rookie of the Year. Anthony’s reputation precedes him at SU. He’s a living legend, as seen through the basketball practice facility being named after him.
Anthony was back at his alma mater for the Orange’s opening game against Virginia a few weeks ago. The SU faithful showered him with cheers when he was put up on the jumbotron, illustrating that the love for Melo is not gone.
So, now Syracuse fans are trading in their orange for red and black and rooting on the Trail Blazers. The SU community wishes Anthony all the best and hopes to see him show-out just like he used to in his college days.