The Denver Nuggets are charging full steam ahead into their first-ever NBA Finals. Denver completed a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers on Monday night, and the top seed in the Western Conference now has the right to compete for an NBA championship for the first time.
Monday also brought confirmation that former Nuggets star Carmelo Anthony is retiring after a 19-year NBA career that began in Denver — and a renewed call for his jersey to hang forever in the Ball Arena rafters.
Green: Carmelo put the Nuggets back on the NBA map
In conversation with ESPN‘s Marc J. Spears, Nuggets forward Jeff Green said the franchise should retire Anthony‘s number, and he expressed hope that teammate Nikola Jokic — who now wears Melo‘s #15 jersey — would be honored in the same way.
The Nuggets drafted Anthony #3 overall in 2003, two selections behind LeBron James. Anthony spent the first seven-plus seasons of his career with Denver before he requested a trade to the New York Knicks, which soured his relationship with the Nuggets fanbase.
Carmelo still features prominently in Nuggets history
Anthony still ranks toward the top in a number of categories for Denver, even though he last played there in 2011. Melo is third in games played throughout Nuggets history, third in points scored, third in field goals made, and fourth in points per game.
Now that Anthony has announced his decision to retire from the NBA, it could be that a Nuggets championship is just the salve that is needed to repair the relationship between Denver and its former superstar player, clearing the way for a jersey retirement ceremony in the near future.
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