Carmelo Anthony stopped by the Dan Patrick Show on Thursday and the topic of his year with the Syracuse Orange came up. Anthony, who left after winning the 2003 National Championship so that he could become the third pick in the NBA Draft, says now that if it were up to him, he would have stayed in school instead.
Patrick: I know you win a National title at Syracuse but if you could of come out of high school right to the pros. Would you have done that?
DP: You weren’t ready?
CA: I don’t think I was ready. I had the opportunity to come. But I just always wanted to go to college.
DP: But that moment though, when you win a national title. You sorta accomplished everything basketball-wise right?
CA: Yeah. I was having so much fun though at school. Like I was just having so much fun. It was like so much excitement being up there at Syracuse. At that time Syracuse was maybe the No. 1 party school in America [laughs].
DP: You didn’t get cheated up there, did you?
CA: (Laughs) No I didn’t get cheated up there So I was actually enjoying myself up there at Syracuse I didn’t want to leave. And then [Jim] Boheim brought me into his office and kind of kicked me out.
DP: He said you gotta go, it’s time?
CA: Yea he said your services are no longer needed [laughs]?
Carmelo, we had a deal. You came here and won a National Title and we consider you a legend even though you only spent roughly seven months here. We shook on this.
I think(?) Melo's just being a little tongue in cheek because anyone who was there knows Melo would have been an absolute idiot not to go to pro at that time. And the idea that he wasn't ready for the NBA is a bit undercut by the fact that he scored 21 point per game as a rookie for the Denver Nuggets.
Donte Greene wasn't ready when he left early. Carmelo Anthony was ready before he even came to Syracuse.
One part Carmelo also left out is that his grades were so bad he probably couldn't have stayed at Syracuse even if he wanted to.
In his book, "Bleeding Orange," Boeheim, for some reason, revealed Anthony’s freshman year grades at Syracuse. According to Boeheim, Anthony received four Cs and a D in the first semester of his freshman year.
"Maybe if we hadn't won the title, he would've come back," Boeheim writes, according to the Wall Street Journal. "I honestly don't know, and I don't think Carmelo knows. Carmelo did his work, went to class and never gave us any trouble. He made four C's and a D in his first semester, and if anyone wants to roll his eyes at that, plenty of freshmen who aren't carrying a basketball team on their back do a lot worse. But we couldn’t put him in for the Wooden Award because his grades weren’t good enough. Nevertheless, this much is certain: No college basketball player in America was better than freshman Carmelo Anthony over the course of the 2002-03 season."