Carmelo Anthony is indeed back in the NBA with his new team and his new jersey number. The much-anticipated season debut of the 35-year old in Rip City happens tonight when the Blazers meet the Pelicans in Smoothie King Center.

Damian Lillard won’t be seeing action for Portland due to back spasms but with “letter O” out, it’s time for “double O” to take charge.

And yes, Melo is wearing jersey no. 00 for Portland. Fans, though, aren’t a fan of the number – or maybe just needed some time to get used to what Enes Kanter wore during the last season.











 

The ten-time all-star was also on the starting line-up on his comeback game per CBS Sports reports. Melo posted on his Instagram account the reasons why he chose the number.

 

Despite the deep thoughts behind the selection of his jersey number, being back in the league has been the main goal. Melo only used two jersey numbers within the past 16 seasons in the pros – number 15 during his rookie years with the Denver Nuggets and changed it to number 7 when he moved to New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, and Houston Rockets. He used number 22 in high school but he cannot use it.

Per Michael Lee of The Athletic, all three numbers are not available for Melo’s use – number 22 was retired for Hall-of-Famer “Clyde the Glide” Drexler, number 15 was retired for Larry Steele, and his number 7 isn’t retired yet bt is being reserved in honor of their former star Brandon Roy.

The former Syracuse standout played last year in Houston, averaging 13.4 points in 10 games, and was not offered an extension by the Rockets. He holds career averages of 24 points, 6.5 rebounds, and three assists before signing the contract from the Blazers, who are still missing their frontcourt duo of Pau Gasol and Jusuf Nurkic, both to injuries.

Carmelo Anthony The LA Lakers have a roster spot open which may likely be for Carmelo Anthony. Former New York Knicks Carmelo Anthony attends the game between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden on January 27, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Getty Images/Elsa