Сarmelo Anthony became the 10th Syracuse player to have his number retired, hoisting his framed No. 15 jersey toward the white roof of the Carrier Dome as an NCAA record on-campus crowd of 35,012 chanted his name at halftime of No. 8 Syracuse’s 57-46 loss to No. 11 Georgetown.
“This is one of the most memorable days of my life, of my career,” he said during the ceremony, flanked by his wife, La La, son and mother and backed by several teammates from the Orange’s 2003 national title team. Anthony’s number now hangs next to the championship banner. Syracuse’s nine other retired jerseys hang on the opposite side of the giant video board. With his spot in Syracuse lore secure, Anthony continues to try to cement his spot in Knicks history.
“I can’t think that far ahead,” he said when asked about having a similar ceremony at the Garden someday. “Maybe in 10, 15 years, if something were to happen ... like I said, today will be something I will never forget.”
Anthony, who practiced in Westchester in the morning before rushing north for the 4 p.m. tip, and the Knicks aren’t close to raising a championship banner. A season that started with promise is unraveling almost the opposite of what Anthony experienced in his lone season in central New York. The Orange lost their opener to Memphis at the Garden that season and never were considered a real threat to win it all until March. Anthony, just a freshman, carried Syracuse to the title and was named the Final Four’s Most Outstanding Player.
But one was enough for Anthony, he entered the NBA draft and was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets. After seven successful seasons in Denver, Anthony forced a trade to his home town Knicks. Through Sunday, Anthony is having another All-Star season averaging over 28 points and six rebound per game and is a leading candidate for the MVP award. But fans are more interested in seeing the Knicks playing in the playoffs come Pesach rather than other accomplishment. Stay tuned Jewish Voice readers as the Knicks make their post season run.