Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers took 10th place on the NBA’s all-time scorecard, overtaking Hall of Famer Elvin Hayes on Monday night.
Melo now has 27,318 points in his 17-year career.
Anthony grabbed Hayes ‘spot with a pointer and a 3-pointer in the third quarter of the Trail Blazers’ 123-114 loss to the Atlanta Hawks.
“The all-time top 10 is a special thing,” Anthony said after the game. “I don’t want to take this moment for granted. I understand the magnitude of this moment. It doesn’t feel real because I’m still in it. I always do that.
Melo finished the night with 14 points in 22 minutes.
“A few years ago, I don’t think I was going to be in this moment. I was out of the league for some reason… I’m back. I persevered. I stayed strong, I stayed true to myself and now I’m in the Top 10. ” pic.twitter.com/QkmI0FbF3S
– Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) May 4, 2021
Anthony said he didn’t care when he approached 15th, 13th or 11th place, but he was very aware that he was riding Elvin Hayes’ record.
“I felt it. I felt him come into the game. I didn’t want to rush him or force him or anything; I wanted to let the game come to me and unfold naturally. I felt great arriving today, and as you can see the photo was falling early and I got off to a great start. It made it easier. I could breathe out and relax.
Melo began his career with the Denver Nuggets as the third pick in the 2003 Draft.
Although he has never competed for the title, the 36-year-old is a 10-time All-Star and won the scoring title in 2012-13 while playing for the New York Knicks.
“I told my teammates after the game that it was my persistence, it was me who stayed true to myself, never wavered and stayed strong,” said Anthony. “That is why I am able to take on this position today.”
Congratulations came from teammates and players from across the league, including Damian Lillard.
“I appreciate him more as a friend than as a teammate, and I really appreciate him as a teammate,” said Lillard. “I think that really speaks to the kind of person he is. I’m happy for him.