Thursday, February 24, 2011
Why Carmelo chose to wear No. 7
By Ian Begley
There are two reasons Carmelo Anthony chose to wear No. 7 with the Knicks.
The first is that his son Kiyan's birthday is March 7.
The other? 22-15=7.
Confused? Here's an explanation:
Anthony wore No. 15 in his 7½-year tenure with the Nuggets and in his one season at Syracuse.
He wore No. 22 during his high school years in Baltimore and at Oak Hill Academy.
And 22 minus 15 equals seven. Simple math.
"Right now, seven is a great number, I don't see why not," Anthony said after scoring 27 points on 10-of-25 shooting in his Knicks debut, a 114-108 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Anthony couldn't wear 15 with the Knicks because the organization retired the number for Earl Monroe and Dick McGuire.
He also couldn't wear No. 22 because the team retired that number for Dave DeBusschere.
"I wish I could take  back down," Anthony said on Wednesday. "I was talking to Earl. ... I don’t know who I gotta go through to get it. I'll wear it in his honor. I want to honor him and wear that number."
Monroe, who was at the Garden for Legends Night on Wednesday, told ESPNNewYork.com that he wouldn't have a problem with Anthony wearing his old number. He delivered the same message to Anthony prior to Anthony’s introductory news conference on Wednesday.
Though, as Monroe pointed out, the family of the late McGuire may have an issue with Melo wearing 15.
"It doesn't matter to me man, you can wear it. It's all good," Monroe said. "But Dick McGuire, he was here for almost 60 years himself. ... I'm quite sure his family would have something to say about it. But as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't make a difference."
The Knicks are unlikely to allow Anthony to wear 15. But if Anthony wants to change his number for next season, NBA rules stipulate that paperwork needs to be filed with the league by March to request the change.
And if he does change his digit, you can bet Knicks fans who bought his No. 7 jersey on Wednesday won't be too thrilled with the decision.