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Carmelo Anthony: Nuggets gave Jokic No. 15 ‘to erase what I did there’

“[Expletive] you,” he said of the Nuggets’ front office. “You’re saying [expletive] me dead smack to the rest of the world.”
melo jokic.jpg
Posted at 1:10 PM, Jan 12, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-12 18:47:14-05

Nuggets legend Carmelo Anthony didn’t mince words this week when talking on his podcast about current Denver superstar Nikola Jokic wearing the same jersey number – No. 15 – as Anthony did during his time in Denver, calling it a “petty maneuver” by the organization.

The Nuggets, Anthony claimed, gave Jokic the number to slight the former face of the franchise.

“[Jokic] could’ve worn it because he wanted to pay homage [to me], but what I believe is that they gave him [number] 15 to try and erase what I did over there,” he said.

Anthony made the remarks on the latest episode of his podcast “7PM in Brooklyn,” which is co-hosted by The Kid Mero.

Anthony helped bring the Nuggets back to prominence during his eight seasons with the team, leading them to the playoffs each season in that stretch after what had been an eight-year playoff drought prior to his being drafted in 2003. He ranks third in team history in points scored and made four All-Star appearances as a Nugget.

There had been reports that Melo was unhappy in Denver before he was traded to the New York Knicks in February of 2011. A Denver Post article published a month before the deal called it a “messy, protracted divorce,” according to the paper’s archives.

“This is the narrative that they wanted to put out there, that [I] wanted to leave,” Anthony said.

Anthony, whose time in the No. 15 jersey made the Nuggets’ powder blue fit one of the most iconic in Denver sports history, said it was a “slap in the face” to give the number to Jokic, who was a second-round pick in 2014, three years post-Anthony.

“[Expletive] you,” he said of the Nuggets’ front office. “You’re saying [expletive] me dead smack to the rest of the world.”

Earlier in the show, ‘Melo and Mero discussed teams retiring jersey numbers in the wake of the Orlando Magic’s decision to retire Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 next month. Anthony said the Nuggets should retire his No. 15.

“Because we created something,” he said of his time in Denver.

Jokic has worn No. 15 since his days playing in Serbia before coming to the NBA. He says the number came down to his 7-foot frame.

“I was chubby, I was big, and 15 was the biggest jersey,” he said in a video shared on social media last summer. “I just stuck with it.”

It should also be noted that Jokic is not the first Nugget to wear No. 15 since Carmelo. Anthony Randolph, a reserve power forward, wore No. 15 in the 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons, his final two in the NBA.