Carmelo Anthony expressed his displeasure upon learning that his former team, the Denver Nuggets, assigned his old No. 15 jersey to incoming player Nikola Jokic, even though Jokic is a back-to-back NBA MVP.
In an interview with The Kid Mero’s 7 p.m. in Brooklyn podcast, Anthony, 39, described the jersey allocation as a “petty maneuver,” emphasizing that there wasn’t a selection process, but rather a directive to take No. 15.
While acknowledging the possibility that Jokic, 28, might have chosen the No. 15 as a tribute to him as one of the greatest Nuggets, Anthony believes the team assigned the number to Jokic to diminish his own legacy.
Anthony retired from the NBA in May after a stellar 19-season career. Drafted by the Denver Nuggets at the No. 3 overall spot in the 2003 NBA Draft, he became one of the franchise’s all-time best players. Despite his success with the Nuggets, Anthony requested a trade in 2011, eventually joining the New York Knicks.
Although Anthony’s time in New York didn’t bring the desired NBA title, he remained an iconic figure. He retired as the NBA’s No. 19 all-time leading scorer with 28,289 points and won four gold medals with the U.S. Olympic men’s basketball team.
Reflecting on his farewell to basketball, Anthony expressed gratitude to the people and places that shaped his career. Meanwhile, Jokic, drafted by the Nuggets in 2014, achieved significant success by leading the team to its first-ever NBA Championship in the previous season, earning NBA Finals MVP honors. Jokic, a Serbian-born powerhouse forward, also secured back-to-back league MVP awards in 2021 and 2022.