Carmelo Anthony ended a year-long absence from the NBA when he joined the Trail Blazers for the 2019-20 season. The former No. 3 in the 2003 NBA Draft turned in a successful season, especially when you consider that he did it as a 36 year old at a position that features a plethora of young talent.
Earlier this week, Bleacher Report’s Dan Favale put together a list of players that are still performing at a high level past the age of 33. Favale explained that the age-defying players on this list should be considered through a flexible lens.
Remember: This isn’t necessarily about identifying players who remain at the peak of their powers. It’s a tribute to those who have perhaps bent in the face of age but not yet surrendered their impactful workloads—or, in some cases, their stardom.
Melo, who averaged 15.4 points over 58 regular season games, earned honorable mention honors inside Favale’s list.
A 36-year-old on the downswing who requires such a delicate offensive equilibrium isn’t age-defying in the cleanest sense. Melo is not a net positive in every situation, and there were nights with the Blazers in which he was an outright negative. His best role might include coming off the bench and jacking shots as a member of the second unit, and who knows whether his offensive rhythm translates to noticeably fewer minutes.
But, um, this man is 36. He was out of the NBA for more than a year. And then he came back, averaged more than 32 minutes and 15 points per game and buried 38-plus percent of his triples. That he’s still a bucket at all is impressive.
Favale’s list went on to include Goran Dragic, LeBron James, Kyle Lowry, Chris Paul, JJ Redick and Lou Williams. You can check out the full story at Bleacher Report.