On a duck-1 3-pointer, the Portland Trail Blazers’ Carmelo Anthony moved into the top 10 all the time in NBA scoring Monday night, passing Elvin Hayes.
“The top 10 at any given time is a special thing,” Anthony said. “I do not want to take this moment for granted. I understand how great this moment is. It does not work right because I am still in it, I still do.”
With 11:09 left in the second quarter against the Hawks in Atlanta, Anthony isolated on the right wing and pulled up from 3 plus taken over. After his trademark movement, where he hit the side of his head with three fingers, Anthony raised both arms in the air as a quick acknowledgment of the achievement.
“I knew this moment. I did not know the other moments,” Anthony said. “I did not know 15 and 13 and 11, but 10 is something I knew. I felt it. I felt it came into the game. I did not want to hurry it or force it or anything; I wanted to let the game come to me and happen naturally. I felt good getting in today and as you can see, the shot dropped early and I got off to a good start. It made it easier. I could exhale and relax. “
It was his third 3 in the first half, giving him 12 points. Anthony attended Monday’s game against the Hawks nine points behind Hayes’ career totaling 27,313.
Anthony finished the night with 14 points overall – and 27,318 for his career – as Portland fell to Atlanta 123-114.
In the locker room afterwards, coach Terry Stott’s Anthony presented the game ball.
“I told my teammates after the game that it was my perseverance, it was me who was true to myself, never wavered and was solid,” Anthony said. “That’s why I’m able to be in this position today.”
Moses Malone is in first place at 27,409, which is an available number this season if Anthony maintains his current scoring pace.
Anthony’s journey to the top 10 comes with context, where he is off the NBA for one season after being cut by the Houston Rockets after only 10 games early in the 2018-19 season. Anthony continued to train and signed with the Trail Blazers in November 2019, starting all 58 games last season. He went into a bench roll this season with Portland and came in on average with 13.6 points as a sixth man on Monday.
A 10-time All-Star Anthony is in his 18th NBA season. He won the scoring title with the New York Knicks in 2012-13, averaging 28.7 points. Anthony spent 10 seasons in a row in the top 10 scoring and finished as a second-place finisher for the winning title twice in that stretch.
Anthony’s points distribution is 13,970 in eight seasons with the Denver Nuggets, 10,186 in seven seasons with the Knicks, 1,261 in one season with the Oklahoma City Thunder, 134 in the Rockets and now 1,767 in two seasons with the Blazers.
This season, Anthony has moved past Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon in scoring.