Carmelo Anthony announced his retirement on social media on Monday after 19 seasons in the NBA. “The time has come for me to say goodbye to the court where I made my name to the game that gave me purpose,” Anthony said.
Anthony burst on the national scene in 2003 when he led Syracuse to an NCAA men’s basketball championship as a freshman. Two months later, he was part of the acclaimed NBA draft class, which, along with Anthony, included LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade in four of the first five picks.
Anthony, who turns 39 next week, played for six teams during his NBA career but sat out the 2022-23 season. The 10-time All-Star racked up 28,289 career points, good enough for ninth on the all-time list. Anthony and Kevin Durant are the only men’s basketball players to win three Olympic gold medals—Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi lead with five each on the women’s side—and Anthony is the only U.S. men’s player to compete in four Olympics.
Anthony’s on-court resume helped him build a significant nest egg off the court; he earned an estimated $410 million from playing contracts and endorsements since he turned pro. He ranked No. 47 among Sportico’s highest-paid athletes all time with an inflation-adjusted $530 million.
Anthony earned more than $260 million in team playing salary and bonuses with nearly half the total coming during his six seasons in New York. He also made an estimated $145 million from endorsements, led by Nike. The Swoosh signed him to a deal worth $3 million per year out of Syracuse and bumped his paycheck higher as it produced 13 signature models of his sneaker line. He partnered with at least 20 other brands for sponsorships, including Foot Locker, Gillette, Hospital for Special Surgery, IWC and Samsung.
In 2014, Anthony launched a venture capital firm, Melo7 Tech Ventures. Through that firm, he was an early investor in DraftKings, ride-sharing outfit Lyft and mattress-maker Casper, according to data compiled by Crunchbase.
In his latest endeavor, Anthony joined Isos Capital and its founders, WWE board members Michelle Wilson and George Barrios, to launch a $750 million sports-focused private equity fund. The Isos7 Growth Equity Fund I, is focused on “meaningful” minority investments in teams, leagues and sports-adjacent businesses in North America, Europe and Asia, according to an investment deck reviewed by Sportico.
“There are a lot of similarities in how we think, how we operate and what we want to accomplish,” Anthony told Sportico in February in reference to Wilson and Barrios.
During his retirement announcement video, which he posted on social media, Anthony made clear what he wants his legacy to be. “It’s not my feats on the court that come to mind, all the awards or praise,” he said. “Because my story has always been more than basketball. My legacy, my son … I will forever continue through you. The time has come for you to carry this torch.”
Additional reporting by Brendan Coffey