The Untold Truth Of Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony entered the sports world as a red-hot freshman at Syracuse University. According to Yahoo! Sports, he had the best freshman performance ever in college basketball history during the 2002-2003 season. After his one year at college, he was drafted into the NBA and became a superstar. One way to tell? He quickly earned the nickname "Melo." In what seemed like a sure hall-of-fame worthy career, things got questionable in 2019 when the Houston Rockets released Anthony, bringing his NBA future into question, as reported by New York Magazine's Intelligencer.

Outside of sports, Anthony has endured numerous family heartbreaks and some issues with the law. But it's not all bad news for the basketball star, who has plenty of other passions off the hardwood. Do you think Anthony will ever play in the NBA again, or will all of his extracurricular activities end up taking his career to another stage in the spotlight? Here is the untold truth of Carmelo Anthony.

More than just one sport for Carmelo Anthony

It may come as a surprise that the 6'8" Carmelo Anthony is a big fan of soccer. He is a huge supporter — or rather, a Gooner — of the Arsenal football team in England, as he said while visiting the team in 2015. Part of the reason for the trip was to learn what it was like to run a football club, since he had recently purchased his own team, Puerto Rico FC. 

Anthony further explained his decision to own a team during an interview on the Men in Blazers show. He said he was always a fan of the game, kicking balls around as a child. As for the connection to Puerto Rico, Anthony's late father was from the Island of Enchantment. "I wanted to bring something back to the island," Anthony said, adding that he bought the team to give locals something to "call their own."

However, life as team owner came along with some serious headaches. In 2017, Hurricane Maria caused major damage to the Puerto Rico FC stadium and left the front office without power for over a month (via The Wall Street Journal). The following year, the North American Soccer League — Puerto Rico FC's league — announced that the 2018 season was canceled. As of this writing in 2019, the team still hadn't played a game, but hopefully the squad can make their way back onto the pitch.

From basketball to acting

Playing professional sports means always being in front of a live camera, so a transition to filmed movies and TV isn't all that crazy (just look at Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson). Over the years, Carmelo Anthony has experimented with acting. The NBA star has a few TV credits, having appeared in Sons of Anarchy and Nurse Jackie, according to his IMDb page. We imagine cameramen must have their hands full while accounting for the height difference between Anthony and his co-stars.

For the big screen, Anthony has acted in two movies. Prior to making a brief cameo in 2016's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows, the athlete-actor played an after-school teacher in the 2013 Chinese sci-fi basketball drama Amazing. He even spoke Shanghainese to his students in the flick, according to the star's personal website, This Is Melo. As explained by Yahoo! SportsAmazing was a joint effort between the Shanghai Film Group and the NBA.

Carmelo Anthony's trouble with the law

Even with his multiple talents, success, and big charming smile, Carmelo Anthony has unfortunately found his way into legal trouble on a couple occasions. Back in 2004, Anthony was charged with possession of marijuana (via ESPN). While he was waiting to board the Denver Nuggets' team plane, officers had issued a summons to the NBA star for an alleged incident involving marijuana found in the star's backpack. For his part, Anthony claimed that a friend had borrowed the backpack and left the drugs in the bag upon returning it. The friend in question, James Cunningham, later confessed that this was in fact the story and the charges against Anthony were thankfully dropped.

As reported by People, Anthony may have celebrated a little too hard four years later during another alleged incident. Just days after being confirmed on the US Men's Basketball Olympic roster, he was charged with driving under the influence in Denver. Luckily, Anthony's original DUI charge was ultimately dropped and he instead received a year of probation, a $1,000 fine, and court-ordered community service. He also helped out the Denver Police in a campaign developed to encourage safe driving for young adults.

This basketball star has faced too many family tragedies

According to ESPN, Carmelo Anthony missed five games in 2010 due to a family tragedy. His older sister, Michelle Anthony, passed away at the age of 38. The mother of four's cause of death was reportedly a "pre-existing condition." After returning back to basketball, Carmelo confessed, "My sister was somebody who actually raised me with my mother." He went onto explain how Michelle would always call him after a game — and, like a true sister, would comment on his right and wrong moves on the court.

Sadly, this wasn't the first time Carmelo dealt with the death of a family member. When he was only three, Carmelo's Puerto Rican father passed away from cancer, as reported by WatchTime. After his father's death, Carmelo and the rest of the family first moved to Brooklyn, before settling in Baltimore. It was there in the Charm City that Carmelo grew as a basketball player and eventually earned a spot on the Syracuse University roster.

His ongoing marriage drama with La La Anthony

Carmelo Anthony and La La Anthony — of TRL fame — were both famous before tying the knot in 2010. That exposure multiplied when the couple starred in the VH1 reality special, La La's Full Court Wedding. It was such a hit that the network later premiered a spin-off series called La La's Full Court Life. Though the two appeared to be a perfect made-for-TV pairing, news that they had separated broke in 2017. As TMZ reported, La La allegedly decided to move out after a difficult season of trade rumors about Carmelo. While Us Weekly claimed the Anthonys were back together in December 2018, they officially began divorce proceedings the following July.

Page Six reports that the initial split may have been caused by some baby daddy drama. Major rumors had swirled around Carmelo allegedly having an affair with a woman named Mia Angel Burks, who was supposedly pregnant with his child in 2017. A report by Sports Gossip showed screengrabs of Burks' social media accounts, which hinted at the alleged affair — including a post in which she claimed that a "ghost dad" was leaving her mean direct messages about her child.

Two years later, photos of Carmelo with a bikini-clad woman (notably not La La) on a yacht together surfaced. In an attempt to set the record straight on the cheating hearsay, Carmelo told TMZ Sports that he was never romantically romantically involved with the mystery woman.

Carmelo Anthony: the charitable big man

Carmelo Anthony has used his fame and wealth to help others in need throughout his career. According to, the basketball pro started a yearly tradition in Denver in 2003 called "A Very Melo Christmas," in which he invited community families for a special meal and holiday party. The event was so successful that he kicked off this same tradition in his childhood home of Baltimore two years later. 

However, the superstar went even further to help out his hometown. WatchTime reports that Anthony founded the Carmelo Anthony Youth Center — just "one of many initiatives he has taken to help revitalize his old neighborhood." The sports star also started his own charity, the Carmelo Anthony Foundation, and has used this foundation to help communities in Baltimore and Syracuse. 

Anthony had grown up in communities that needed help, and when asked about his charity work on The Van Jones Show in 2018, he revealed that he'd essentially made a "vow" to his friends and family back home to give back once he made it in the NBA. As Anthony later said of using his platform for philanthropy and activism to HuffPost, "I know I was always connected with 'activism' and revolution ... It wasn't until I got older that I realized when I started having a voice, how powerful my voice was, and how many people I could bring along with me."

From the court to the atelier

When it comes to clothing, Carmelo Anthony definitely embodies the "Big and Tall" category, which perhaps inspired the basketball star to create his own collections. According to WWD, he once launched a fashion line for Macy's in 2016 that combined basketball and TMNT — a.k.a. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – called "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles x Melo." While speaking with the media outlet, Anthony explained, "I was basically involved in the whole creative process — the colors, which are kind of obvious considering they're turtles, and the slogan, and the textures. I was involved in every step." Having previously participated in the design process for his Jordan brand basketball shoe — luckily with sizes for shorter people — he added, "I do believe there is an opportunity in the future to design, with collaborations."

GQ reports that Anthony later launched his own line of clothing called Melo Made. After premiering his first collection in 2018, he teamed up with African knitwear designer Laduma Ngxokolo for his 2019 Melo-Made x Maxhosa line, which was inspired by different patterns and clothing in South Africa and was purposefully separate from his sport of choice. "I didn't want no basketball vibes," Anthony said of the line. "I wanted it to be subtle."

Carmelo Anthony's alter egos

In the summer of 2017, the internet went crazy when since-deleted videos of Carmelo Anthony practicing at a superhuman level surfaced. As SB Nation summarized, Chris Brickley — who was Anthony's trainer at the time — posted clips of the basketball star working out on the court. The best part? Anthony wore a hoodie over his head almost the entire time, and thus, the nickname "Hoodie Melo" was born. During a follow-up press conference, the NBA star explained that the look started when he was in need of a haircut and opted to wear a beanie during an off-season workout. From there, he changed to a hoodie ... and the legend began.

But "Hoodie Melo" isn't Anthony's only alter ego. According to Deadspin, the basketball pro sometimes went by a different name based on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire. When traveling, many of Anthony's then-teammates on the New York Knicks used fake names to check into hotels. Anthony's pseudonym of choice? Nucky Thompson. Anyone expecting Steve Buscemi — the actor who played Thompson on screen — surely got quite the surprise when the 6'8" star entered the building.

That infamous brawl

Back in 2006, Carmelo Anthony was involved in an ugly fight during an NBA game. As detailed by The New York Times, an on-court brawl in a match-up between the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks had players attacking each other and ended up spilling into the crowd. For his part, Anthony threw a wicked punch while coaches and referees tried to deescalate the situation. In total, ten players were ejected from the game and later, seven of those received suspensions from the NBA. But Anthony received the harshest punishment because of his punch — a 15 game suspension.

David Stern, the former NBA commissioner, said he deliberately gave strong penalties to set an example to others in the league and its fans. Looking back, the strict suspensions actually worked in preventing future incidents, according to SB Nation. While reflecting on the scuffle and subsequent suspension during an interview with The Undefeated, Anthony admitted that being temporarily outcast from the league "was a lot to deal with." At the time of the brawl, he was the NBA's leading scorer for the season. However, the incident cost him 15 games, a $641,000 loss in salary, and access to his then-team's arena and practice facility.

He encourages political conversations

Carmelo Anthony has been vocal about his political stances and often uses his celebrity to discuss tough issues. Following a tragic shootout in Dallas, Texas in 2016, for example, he took to Instagram to share a photo featuring Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and other famous black athletes from the historic Cleveland Summit of 1967 (via The Undefeated). Alongside the photo, Anthony urged for a peaceful change to a broken system and called on fellow athletes to take a leadership role: "We can't worry about what endorsements we gonna lose or whose [sic] going to look at us crazy."

While speaking with Footwear News two years later, Anthony said that the NBA had been completely supportive in allowing players to express their political opinions. However, since taking the role as a social leader, he admitted that the most difficult conversations were those with his son: "With what's going on with society, you're forced to have conversations you don't want to have ... My son is 11 years old, and I've got to answer those questions, because if I don't, then he can get [answers] from somebody else, and who's to say they are going to give him the right information?" 

Good for Anthony in taking a stand and using his platform for societal progress.

This basketball star has a lot of time

Horological expert might not be the first title you think of for Carmelo Anthony, but the man loves his watches. Yes, many NBA players have expensive time-pieces, but Anthony is very public about his passion for wrist wear and watch preferences. In an interview with WatchTime, he revealed that his first collector's items were "cartoon character watches from Burger King." He had one of every available style, but later upgraded to an all-in-one watch, which he claimed had a walkie-talkie and camera (how very nerdy!). As an adult, the basketball pro has gravitated toward brands like Breitling and Ernst Benz, with his love of the former starting as a freshman at Syracuse University.

But this isn't just a hobby for Anthony, who's also a founding partner of Haute Time magazine. While discussing his impressive watch knowledge, he explained that "being around different people, listening, observing, seeing what's on their wrist" was the start of his education. "As I learned about the movements and the sophistication of it, I started to appreciate the art of watchmaking." After buying a Rolex watch, he admittedly quipped, "From there –- as you can see –- I just went crazy." 

Since people eventually became so interested in what watches the basketball star wore, he launched the magazine's "Watch of the Day" feature. To sum up his adoration of watches, Anthony said, "Time is money, and money never sleeps."

Carmelo Anthony's deep dive into tech

Another side hustle (and one that's actually quite prestigious) for Carmelo Anthony is as a venture capitalist. Alongside former TV executive Stuart Goldfard, he co-founded Melo7 Tech Partners to try and fund technology-focused start-ups, as reported by Entrepreneur. "I've been interested in technology for years," Anthony explained to the outlet, adding that they were searching for companies with revolutionary ideas that were "using technology to change our world."

While Anthony's interest in technology was first sparked when he began personally using wearable gadgets to obtain movement data, he told TechCrunch that he had bigger ideas and wanted to look outside of basketball. However, he and Goldfard had to tread carefully in their investments due to Carmelo's public status and outstanding contracts with the NBA. For example, Goldfard revealed his intrigue in working with the "weed business," but simply admitted, "We can't." 

Back in the sports world, Anthony and Goldfard found a common interest in virtual reality opportunities, with Anthony saying the goal would be to "give fans at home an opportunity to experience a game as if they were courtside." While talking about the potential power of tech in all industries, Anthony elegantly said, "Everybody wants to be heard and technology gives people the opportunity to be heard."