Lakers’ Carmelo Anthony is arguably one of the NBA’s greatest comeback stories, ever. He hasn’t just reignited his career but has also given some game-winning nights to his teams. Perhaps this commitment towards his franchises is what compelled a rival crowd to cheer for him as if he’s still their own.
That’s exactly what happened when Melo showed up as a Laker playing against his former team in Oklahoma. It was one of those surprising moments that even Kevin Durant could not have possibly matched.
Do OKC fans miss Carmelo Anthony more than they miss Kevin Durant?
During the Lakers vs OKC game on October 27th, 2021, Carmelo Anthony came off the bench with under six minutes remaining in Q1. He replaced former OKC star Russell Westbrook and came in when the Lakers were leading 21-13. That’s when the Paycom Center crowd went crazy cheering for him. Take a look –
A warm welcome for former Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony as he checks into the game.
i found this pretty cool. pic.twitter.com/EyqZH3fysE
— 𝙏𝙝𝙪𝙣𝙙𝙚𝙧 𝙁𝙞𝙡𝙢 𝙍𝙤𝙤𝙢 (@ThunderFilmRoom) October 28, 2021
After this, verified NBA sportswriter Vincent Goodwill made a claim that compared Melo’s fandom with KD’s.
Carmelo got a warmer welcome in OKC as a former player than KD ever has. That’s wild
— Vincent Goodwill (@VinceGoodwill) October 28, 2021
Melo made his first impact in the game by assisting Kent Bazemore for a three and then stealing the ball away from Josh Giddey. A happy 37-YO closed Q1 with 2 points that came off a layup.
Why is Lakers’ Melo so popular?
Carmelo Anthony’s career almost died after that forgetful 2018-19 season with the Rockets and if it wasn’t for the Blazers, there was no way he was still playing. But overall, he has played for six franchises in his 19-year career. So he is forever going to be an icon for teams like the Nuggets, the Knicks, and the Blazers.
However, OKC’s love for him is more strange because he played just one year here as opposed to someone like KD’s (who left the franchise on an arguable negative note) nine. In fact, that one year was the first time Melo had averaged below 20 ppg in a season and a career-low 11.8 ppg in the postseason.
But as it turns out, the 10x All-Star is a charmer and his aura is beyond his gameplay. So how do you see this? Is Melo really more popular than KD in Oklahoma?
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