Carmelo Anthony has had one of the busiest summers for a professional athlete in recent memory. The Knicks star was constantly in the headlines for his social activism, Rio Olympics and random New York City exploits.
After sparking critical conversations about racial tension between police officers and African Americans and leading Team USA to gold, Anthony has gained more respect from his peers, media members and fans around the world. With that, we decided to take a look at his most memorable moments of the off-season.
Puerto Rico FC
Melo’s soccer club
Keeping the growth of soccer in mind, in June of 2015, Carmelo Anthony founded Puerto Rico FC of the North American Soccer League. Anthony, who has roots in Puerto Rico, has been very hands-on in promoting his expansion team. While the move was unexpected, Anthony told SI reporters that owning a soccer club was a business decision that made a lot of sense. The team played its first game on July 2 with Melo in attendance and drew a 1–1 tie against Indy Eleven.
The club is currently in last place in the NASL fall season standings.
In a time when police violence against African-Americans continues to spark debate around the country, Carmelo Anthony opened the ESPYS alongside close friends LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul to address the issue. Last Summer Anthony and Co. made headlines for their vacation, which include the infamous banana boat. This time the group used their popularity and ESPN’s outreach as a platform for social justice.
“We asked to start the show tonight this way,” Anthony opened, “the four of us talking to our fellow athletes with the country watching, because we cannot ignore the realities of the current state of America. The events of the past week have put a spotlight on the injustice, distrust and anger that plagued so many of us.”
Even before Colin Kaepernick’s protested the same issues, Anthony stood at the forefront of addressing racial tensions between African-Americans and the police, after the deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile and the shooting deaths of Dallas police officers. Which leads us to his next move…
While training for the Olympics with Team USA, Carmelo held a meeting between police officers, Team USA members, WNBA players and Los Angeles youth in a discussion on how to tackle racial tensions in the country.
Prior to the event, Anthony told the media, “We want to get youth. We want to get kids. We want to get adults. We want to get officers. We want to get teachers.” Anthony added: “We want to get community leaders, athletes, everybody, having this conversation and talking on both sides, hearing each other out. It’s part of continuing what I started off.”
If launching his own soccer club and standing on the front lines of social activism wasn’t enough, Anthony became one of the most beloved USA athletes during the Rio Olympic games.
With stars like LeBron James and Chris Paul sitting out this summer, Anthony was the oldest member of the USA Basketball team by two years. Which officially made him the grandpa of the team. Prior to Team USA taking off for Rio, the squad played a few exhibitions in the states. One of the those trips included a trip to Houston where members of the team erupted into a sing-along of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.” The video starts off with a joyful side we rarely see from NBA stars, then the camera pans out to an unhappy Melo, who is not enjoying the moment as much as the others.
Melo signs autographs
While Team USA practiced in Rio ahead of the start of the games, Anthony spent time handing out autographs to kids through a cracked a wall, a gesture that could positively impact the children’s lives.
Favelas and mural
What makes Carmelo Anthony beloved is that he is one of the most relatable basketball players in the world. Growing up in poverty, Melo understands the struggles some of the children in Brazil face. So, for Melo to step right in and explore the Santa Marta Favela in Brazil, shouldn’t be a surprise.
“This was on my bucket list, to be honest with you; specifically to go to the favelas—forever,” said Anthony, told USA Today. “I just always wanted to see and experience that. Growing up in Baltimore, and knowing what that was like, in my own favela, you know what I mean? So I wanted to go and experience that for myself. I wanted to touch that.”
Melo spent the day playing basketball with children from the area and even received his own mural from one of the local artists.
Becomes All-Time Leading Scorer in USA Basketball History
In a game against Australia, Anthony surpassed LeBron James as the National Team’s most prolific scorer.
Most decorated USA Basketball Olympian
Carmelo Anthony became the first men’s Olympic basketball player ever to win three gold medals after Team USA defeated Serbia. Anthony has played in four Olympics and captured gold in the 2008 and 2012 games, along with winning bronze in the unforgettable 2004 Athens games. Anthony was very emotional during his postgame interview about his USA basketball legacy and retirement from national play.
Back on U.S. soil
Grocery store trip
After arriving back to the states, it didn’t take long for Melo to feel right at home after taking a trip to the bodega in his bathrobe.
Gold medals. Another one.
Training with Kristaps Porzingis
The 2016–17 season might be the most important year in Carmelo Anthony’s career. With the additions of Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah and the evolving presence of Kristaps Porzingis, the Knicks should be one of the teams to watch in the East. Anthony might be in the best shape of his life after leading Team USA to gold and continuing his workout regime with Porzingis prior to the season.
Made in America Festival
Who knew Melo was a Coldplay fan?
Carmelo and his wife La La then attended Beyonce’s “Soul Train” themed birthday party.