The Los Angeles Lakers picked up their first win on Sunday night against the Memphis Grizzlies and while LeBron James had another solid showing, this victory was in large part due to the play of Carmelo Anthony. The veteran forward has his best game in a Lakers jersey and also made history early on in the season.
Anthony led the Lakers with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting and 6-of-8 from 3-point range. Maybe just as importantly, Carmelo surpassed Moses Malone to move into ninth place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list, now sitting at 27,423 points for his career.
Obviously, the most important thing for James was picking up the victory, but he also felt very happy for Carmelo, one of his closest friends, for achieving another milestone in his career.
“I think it always feels sweeter obviously to win and even sweeter when it just happens organically,” James said. “He was just playing straight up flow, rhythm basketball tonight and for him to move to ninth place all-time in the scoring leaderboard is special. Usually when some of my friends have these kinds of achievements, I text them, call them or FaceTime and put something on social media. In this case, I got to do it in person because he’s my teammate now. That made it special for me.”
James would continue on his praise for Anthony, saluting how he was able to achieve his spot on the scoring list and making it clear that he is one of the best scorers the NBA has ever seen.
“I don’t know the list. I know a few guys, but Melo’s game is unique in its own right,” James added. “I mean he’s done it in all facets of the game and all positions. He’s one of the best iso [isolation] guys we have in our league. Earlier in his career obviously it was his athleticism, putting guys at the rim, getting to the bucket, but what’s always been his mark was his footwork – either off the dribble or before the dribble, being able to create space with quick-twitched feet. His shot is one of the most beautiful releases I’ve seen in NBA history. I feel like it’s going in every single time.
“He’s done it in all facets: the three, low post buckets, free throws, he’s a unique player and there’s nobody that really reminds me of him. Even when I played against him for the first time in the Junior Olympics in Colorado Springs, Colorado, I was 16 he was 17, I told the guys, ‘he’s the best player I’ve ever seen’ until that point. We happened to play them the following year and they beat us, but it was a good game. But yes, he’s been doing it for quite awhile and it’s beautiful to see.”
Make no mistake, Anthony is one of the best pure scorers the league has ever seen and he has earned his spot on that all-time scoring list. That was on full display in the Lakers’ victory and like James said, his game has evolved over the years.
The Lakers signed Anthony this offseason because he still has the ability to get buckets at a high level on any given that night and that was undoubtedly the case as he moved up another spot and further cemented his Hall of Fame career.
Anthony reflects on moving to ninth on NBA’s all-time scoring list
Due to the victory being such a close contest overall, Anthony himself found it hard to focus on the achievement in the moment. But after the game, Anthony did his best to reflect on what it truly meant to surpass a legend like Moses Malone on the all-time scoring list.
“To be on that list to pass Moses [Malone] and know was Moses did, what he did for the game of basketball- it’s hard to put into words. You know I’m still here doing it, that’s what I’m here excited about. I’m here, 19 [seasons] still doing it. Still passionate about the game. Coming to work every day and getting better and what better night to reach ninth.”
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