Carmelo Anthony is currently in the midst of his 14th NBA season, and he thinks he still has several more years left in him. As Marc Berman of The New York Post writes, Anthony has set a goal of playing 20 total seasons in the NBA, which would mean another six more years starting in 2017/18.
“I would love to get 20 in, I could do 20,” Anthony said on Wednesday. “I could do 20. I’ve done a great job taking care of my body. I’ll continue doing that. No severe injuries. I can see myself going for 20.”
The 2022/23 season would be Anthony’s 20th, so he still has quite a ways to go. Major injury problems or a significant drop-off in his production in the coming years could force the veteran forward to eventually reevaluate that goal. However, more and more NBA stars are approaching that two-decade mark as of late.
Dirk Nowitzki, who surpassed the 30,000-point mark on Tuesday night, has said he plans to return for 2017/18, which will be his 20th season. Vince Carter has also expressed a desire to put off retirement for at least one more year and get to his 20th season. Even Jason Terry, who will have to play two more seasons to get to No. 20, said last month that he hopes he can pull it off.
While Anthony is no longer the superstar scorer he was four seasons ago, when he led the NBA with 28.7 PPG, his numbers haven’t fallen off substantially. The longtime Knick, who earned his eighth consecutive All-Star nod this season, is averaging 23.2 PPG through 62 games.
Anthony has never averaged below 20.8 PPG in a season since entering the NBA, and while that won’t continue forever, he has a chance to reach some milestones of his own in the next few years if he can stay healthy, either in New York or with another team. Earlier this season, he passed Charles Barkley to become the league’s 30th-leading scorer of all time.