Carmelo Anthony Ready to Open Building Named After Him at Syracuse
But Anthony has gotten some bragging rights. James doesn't have a building named after him.
Anthony does. The Denver Nuggets star forward is scheduled to be on hand Sept. 24 for a ribbon-cutting ceremony for Syracuse's Carmelo Anthony Center.
"Everyone's going to just call it the Melo Center," Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim said Friday in an interview with FanHouse.
Anthony, who led the Orangemen to the 2003 NCAA title, donated $3 million for construction of the $20 million facility, which will serve as the headquarters for the Syracuse men's and women's basketball teams. It includes two practice courts, a training room and locker rooms in addition to office space.
"We couldn't have done it without Melo giving his $3 million and getting it started," said Boeheim, who will begin the move into the new facility Sept. 22. "After that, another lady gave $2 million.... A former player (George Hicker, who played in the 1960s and made his money in real estate) gave $1 million. Two others gave $1.5 million. But it wouldn't have gotten started (without Anthony)."
Anthony will end up making several appearances this academic year at his former stomping grounds. Last week, he visited Syracuse to take part in the Courts for Kids program, to which Anthony contributed $30,000 to help resurface inner-city courts. Boeheim said 1,200 well-wishers showed up, and Anthony "was mobbed."
Sometime this season, Boeheim said Anthony's jersey will be retired and raised to the rafters at the Carrier Dome. Boeheim is in the process of matching up schedules of the Nuggets and Syracuse to find a good date, and will talk to Anthony about it later this month.
"We retire jerseys, not numbers," said Boeheim of the school policy, but said it's unlikely any player at Syracuse ever again will wear Anthony's No. 15.
Despite Anthony having played just one season at Syracuse before entering the NBA draft, Boeheim is thrilled with everything he has done to give back to the school and the community.
"The feeling goes both ways," Boeheim said. "We feel very strongly for him, and he feels very strongly for us and gives back."
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Anthony will whisk back to Denver for media day Sept. 25 and the start of training camp Sept. 26. Due to going to Asia for preseason games, the Nuggets are beginning camp three days earlier than most NBA teams.
"When I saw Melo (last week), he'd lost some weight," said Boeheim, who served as an assistant when Anthony helped lead Team USA to an Olympic gold medal last year in Beijing. "He looks great. I think he's on track to continue on (from last season when Anthony helped lead the Nuggets to the Western Conference finals)."
Anthony's wallet also has lost some weight. But he has a building named after him to show for it.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.