Why is there even a debate to retire Carmelo Anthony's jersey?

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Photo Credit: NY Daily News


Since the news of Carmelo Anthony’s jersey retirement broke yesterday afternoon, people have been debating the decision for the 2003 NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player’s jersey retirement,  in regards to its timing and decision as a whole.

But why? One of the main arguments that I’ve been reading and hearing is that Lawrence Moten should have his jersey retired first. While I agree Lawrence Moten should have his jersey retired, why does the timing matter for it? With this season being the 10 year anniversary of the championship, along with the fact that we are in the final season of the Big East, why not retire Anthony’s jersey now? The Lawrence Moten discussion is a completely different argument. To agree or disagree that his jersey should be retired is absolutely a conversation with some great points. But why is that influencing your opinion on whether or not Carmelo should have his jersey retired?

Another argument that I don’t understand is that a player that was only in Syracuse for one year should not have his jersey retired. The contributions that Carmelo Anthony has made to this school in community over the past ten years is unbelievable. Carmelo’s love for Syracuse and the game of basketball led to the building of the ‘Melo Center for the men’s and women’s basketball teams, along with numerous courts throughout the city for the youth of Syracuse to play the game he loves so much.

And that is just off the court.

Carmelo Anthony averaged 22.2 points and 10 rebounds as a freshman playing over 36 minutes a game. His best game came at one of the most opportune times for the Orange, with a 33 point barrage in the final four against Texas. He then followed his best performance up with a 20 point 10 rebound effort in the national championship game, bringing Syracuse fans something that they have never experienced before, and have never experienced since.

His contributions both on and off the court were program changing. Jim Boeheim has always said that Dave Bing was the most influential player in the history of Syracuse basketball because he got the program rolling. While I have the ultimate respect for Bing and think that Syracuse basketball would not be where it is today without him committing to the then “no name” program and taking it to a new level, I think Carmelo Anthony has had just as great of an impact for Syracuse — if not more.

Syracuse’s facilities are up there with the best in the nation, and it is of no coincidence that some of Syracuse’s best teams they have ever put on the court are coming after these facilities were built. While recruits are visiting campus and looking at these top notch facilities, they will walk right past the gorgeous crystal ball trophy in a display sitting next to a television that plays the 2003 national championship on repeat 24 hours a day.

Carmelo Anthony made history at Syracuse, and absolutely deserves recognition for it. There is no debate in my mind that his jersey should be hanging in the Carrier Dome, and love the fact that is finally is happening.

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