Carmelo Anthony, a retiring NBA player, leaves a legacy as an all-time bucket getter and a real-deal sneaker innovator. At just 19 years old and fresh off being the third pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Anthony signed a six-year footwear deal with Jordan Brand. While players like Ray Allen and Michael Finley had been sponsored by Michael Jordan’s Nike sub-label, none had received their own signature shoe until Anthony. In 2004, Anthony’s star power confirmed, and Jordan awarded him the non-MJ signature sneaker, the Jordan Melo 1.5. Its crisp, swooping lines and drool-worthy colorways made it a hit with kids. The 1.5s were a bigger flex on the high-school hardwood than the Iversons, T-Macs, VC Shox, and And 1s that were then ubiquitous.
Anthony’s sneaker legacy continued with the Melo line, which included the Melo 5.5, a call back to his 55-point performance while playing at Syracuse. The Melo 5.5s were also the first shoes to feature Melo’s logo, a stylized “M” with wings, which has since been a consistent feature on all Melo sneakers. The Melo 6 was a particularly polarizing shoe, with its unique mix of materials, including patent leather. The Melo 6 also featured different colorways for different cities. The Melo 7 brought a new look with its diamond-shaped perforations and metallic logo.
Anthony wasn’t just a sneaker innovator, though. He was also known for his style, particularly his hats. He has been dubbed the “undisputed hat god” and has been spotted wearing everything from fedoras to beanies. Anthony’s style was ahead of its time, and he was one of the first players to embrace bold fashion choices outside of the typical athlete mold.
Anthony also had a poster-worthy moment when he hit a game-winning three-pointer in the 2012 London Olympics, clinching Team USA’s victory against Tunisia. The image of Anthony with his arms outstretched and a big smile on his face has become an iconic moment in basketball history.
In conclusion, Carmelo Anthony leaves behind a legacy not just as an all-time great scorer in the NBA, but also as a sneaker innovator who brought his unique style to the game. His Melo line and signature “M” with wings logo remain popular with fans, and his fashion choices and poster-worthy moments continue to inspire.