WATCH: Lakers’ Carmelo Anthony Gets a Warmer Welcome Than Kevin Durant Ever Got in Oklahoma

Published 10/27/2021, 9:29 PM EDT
October 8, 2021; San Francisco, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Carmelo Anthony (7) shoots the basketball against Golden State Warriors forward Nemanja Bjelica (8) during the first quarter at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports


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.

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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.

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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 – 

After this, verified NBA sportswriter Vincent Goodwill made a claim that compared Melo’s fandom with KD’s. 

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.

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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. 

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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? 

Watch this story: The Weirdest Things Carmelo Anthony and Other NBA Players Have Ever Bought

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Sourabh Singh

1739 articles

Sourabh Singh is an NBA sports analyst for EssentiallySports, who has been working with the site since May 2020. Prior to this, he functioned as Managing Editor at WittyFeed, followed by a stint at Decathlon. The Sports Management graduate leads an active lifestyle, veering to the mountains for off-trail adventures.

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