After a 376-day absence, Carmelo Anthony returned to the NBA, starting for the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday against the New Orleans Pelicans. Anthony was wearing the unfamiliar No. 00 — No. 15 is retired in Portland for Larry Steele, and No. 7 has been held out of circulation since Brandon Roy last wore it in 2011 — but the sight of Anthony on an NBA court was enough to get his friends and colleagues from around the association excited on social media.
Not surprisingly, the first player to tweet about Anthony’s comeback was longtime friend and fellow draft class of 2003 member LeBron James, hours before he took the court for his own game Tuesday.
So damn Happy for my brother @carmeloanthony!!!! Just saw him warming up for the game on the TV and it made me smiled. Back at it Champ! Good luck 🙏🏾💪🏾👑 #007
— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 20, 2019
The recently retired Dwyane Wade, who was drafted two spots after Anthony in 2003, needed just one word — with a few extra Os, perhaps to represent Anthony’s new number — to express his excitement.
— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 20, 2019
Jusuf Nurkic, still out rehabbing his leg injury, was ready to watch his newest teammate go to work.
— Jusuf Nurkić (@bosnianbeast27) November 20, 2019
The rest of the NBA was equally excited to see how Anthony would look after a year away.
I don’t be tweeting like that but I’m hype as hell waiting to watch @carmeloanthony hoop again…
I think every Nba player gone be watching this!!
— Kyle Lowry (@Klow7) November 20, 2019
— kuz (@kylekuzma) November 20, 2019
Welcome back @carmeloanthony 🙏🏾
— Donovan Mitchell (@spidadmitchell) November 20, 2019
It’s Amazing to see the Big Bro back on the Court🙏🏽💯 Welcome Back @carmeloanthony 🙌🏽 #007
— Trae Young (@TheTraeYoung) November 20, 2019