Carmelo Anthony has made a name for himself with his career as a professional basketball player for the Los Angeles Lakers. The New York native has been named an All-Star ten times and scored big when he joined the US national team at the Olympics. He won a bronze medal in 2004 and gold medals in 2008, 2012 and 2016.
Now, the athlete is branching out into writing, with his recently released memoir, Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised. Anthony dives into what life was like as he grew up around poverty, racism, mental illness and more. He reflects on how having a strong community around him inspired him to keep pushing to where he is today.
From his favorite wine to what other career choices he has considered in the past, Anthony sat down with Us Weekly to share a variety of fun facts about himself.
Keep scrolling to learn 25 things about Anthony:
1. I grew up in the housing projects of Red Hook, Brooklyn and the Murphy Homes of West Baltimore (a.k.a. Murder Homes, subject of HBO’s The Wire).
2. My memoir, Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised, is out now and details my life before the NBA and the life of growing up in an inner-city environment. It’s honest, raw, unfiltered and emotional coming directly from me. I’m sharing my story with you just like if I was in the living room sharing it with family and friends.
3. At the end of my junior year of high school at Towson Catholic High School my future in basketball was bright, but the discrimination I faced from the administration really came to a head. The vice principal backed me into a corner: spend the entire summer before my senior year scrubbing the school’s floors and serving detentions for things like sporting a crooked necktie, having a slightly untucked shirt, or even for wearing cornrows, OR be kicked out. I ultimately decided to leave the school with the help of my family, leading me to Oak Hill and an entirely new life and community in Virginia. The rest is history, it proved to be the best decision I ever made.
4. I love all types of wine but my favorite wine right now is Burgundy.
5. The gateway wine that really got me into wine first was Pétrus. It introduced me to French wines.
6. I started my podcast, “What’s In Your Glass?,” to educate people on wine and the overall wine culture and experience, but I also really just love to have great conversations with people over a glass of wine. And you know the conversation always gets better on the second glass.
7. My favorite TV shows growing up were Martin, Good Times and Sanford and Son.
8. My favorite TV shows of all time have to be The Wire, The Sopranos, Oz and Game of Thrones.
9. My first album ever was Raekwon’s “The Purple Tape”.
10. Before big games I actually like to listen to Frank Sinatra, Miles Davis, and just great jazz music to mellow me out.
11. In terms of hobbies, I love fishing, listening to music or watching movies and TV shows.
12. Italy is my favorite place to vacation.
13. If I didn’t pursue a career in the NBA, I’d be a content creator. I love the creativity of storytelling.
14. I still wanted to become a producer to bring light to new perspectives, new ideas, new movements and most importantly, doing so beyond just the world of sports. I cofounded the multi-platform content company Creative 7 to tell the stories of the unsung heroes and champion the narratives that have gone unheard for too long.
15. My favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.
16. Besides basketball, I love baseball. Baseball was my first love.
17. My father died when I was two years old, but he was a member of the Young Lords. The group originated from a Chicago street gang but evolved into a group of Puerto Rican activists that organized and used their power to call for self-determination for the Latinx community and against racial discrimination and inequality in the 60s and 70s. The more I learn about the group, the more I stay connected to him.
18. My ideal wine and food pairing has to be something Italian — a nice pasta and a heavier Italian wine.
19. I love keeping up with all things tech — I founded my venture capital firm, Melo7 Tech Partners, in 2013 with the goal of investing in early-stage startups across digital media, consumer internet and technology ventures.
20. One of the awards I’m most proud of to date is the Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion earlier this summer. I’m lucky to be part of a league full of players who are equally as passionate about making a difference, but I was truly humbled to be recognized by Kareem, who’s a legend in his own right. It’s my hope that this award encourages others to continue to do their part in propelling equality and justice for all.
21. I’m heading into my 19th year in the league, and from the 2003 draft class I think it’s just Bron [Lebron James] and I left still in the game. Time flies!
22. My scar above my left eyebrow is from when I fell off a speaker at four years old trying to watch my brother play basketball.
23. In the NBA bubble last year, I chose to put “Peace” as the name on the back of my jersey because I was playing off of my jersey number: double zero. The reason why I picked double zero initially was because it’s an infinite number. The message for me was, ‘We want infinite peace or we can’t say we have peace at all.’ It’s all or nothing for us right now. And at the end of the day, we will keep pushing for that now and for our future generations.
25. As a freshman, I was cut from my high school basketball team. Don’t give up on your dreams!
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