NBA ring culture has turned Hall of Fame-caliber players without championships into players with careers that should be forgotten.
Carmelo Anthony is scrapping that idea now that he’s officially retired.
In his 19-year career, Anthony racked up Hall of Fame numbers, averaging 22.5 points per game.
That number was 24.8 during his time with the Denver Nuggets at the 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 never played in an NBA Finals, though he came close in 2009 with the Denver Nuggets.
The same day that Anthony officially retired, his old Nuggets team made their first trip to the NBA Finals.
But Anthony, the NBA’s ninth all-time leading scorer, says he rides into the sunset «in peace.»
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«That doesn’t bother me anymore, 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 in 2003, the night I shook hands with David Stern at that [draft] scenery. I made it from Red Hook. I have won in life. The ring is the only thing I didn’t receive. It would have been a great achievement, but I don’t regret it because I feel like I did everything possible to achieve it.»
The 10-time All-Star was the freshman phenom who took home the 2003 national championship with Syracuse, won three Olympic gold medals and was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary Team last year.
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If and when he makes it to the Hall of Fame, he’ll join Elgin Baylor, Karl Malone, Charles Barkley and many others who didn’t win a championship.