Carmelo Anthony makes his debut with the Portland Trail Blazers this Wednesday against the New Orleans Pelicans. In addition to wearing a new uniform, Melo will also debuting in a different way as he is wearing 00 - a fresh start from his years wearing Nos. 7 and 15.
The forward took to Instagram to explain what led him to choose that number, mainly related to the infinity symbology.
One should be concentrating on clues that the universe is dropping for them to take up a quick reaction. Divine power is seeking my undivided attention. I had to achieve the tranquility of spiritual maturity through the guidance of the Universe. I WILL ALWAYS BE 7️⃣ #007 #GRA7EFUL #STAYME7O
00 (not to be confused with 0, which the NBA recognizes as another number) is currently used by two other players in the league: Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic and Rodions Kurucs of the Brooklyn Nets.
How many have worn it in the history of the league? 36 players, among them, we highlight the following Top 5, with the originator being Robert Parish.
Carmelo will also be the fourth Blazer to wear 00; Kevin Duckworth (7 seasons), Ken Johnson (1 season) and most recently, Enes Kanter in 2018-19.
Top five players to wear 00
- Robert Parish: The first to wear 00. The Hall of Fame big man was the first player in the history of the NBA to use the number when he entered the league in 1976 and would never wear another. Parish would play for 21 seasons, 1611 regular season games (all-time record) and 184 playoff games. In those years as, Parish solidified himself as one of the best pivots of all time, earning four All-Star selections and winning four titles (three with Boston and one with Chicago).
- Kevin Duckworth: Initially wore No. 54 in San Antonio, but after just 14 games, was traded to Trail Blazers in 1986. Duckworth would go on to play seven campaigns in Portland, two in Washington, one with the LA Clippers and one in Milwaukee, and wore 00 at each stop. Duckworth participated in two All-Star Games (1989 and 1990), with his best season coming in 1988-89, where he averaged 18.1 points and 8.0 rebounds with the Blazers.
- Johnny Moore: This is the only player to make the top five that isn't a big man. Moore was an impressive guard that wore 00 for eight seasons with the Spurs and one with the Nets, after wearing 10 in his rookie year (1980-81). Moore had his best season in 1981-82 as he led the NBA in assists per game with 9.6. Additionally, Moore's 7.4 assists per game over nine seasons is the second-best career mark in Spurs franchise history.
- Benoit Benjamin: After Parish, Benjamin has played the second-most seasons wearing 00 (14), donning the number during his time with the Los Angeles Clippers, Seattle Supersonics, Los Angeles Lakers, New Jersey Nets, Vancouver Grizzlies, Philadelphia 76ers and Cleveland Cavaliers from 1985 to 2000. Benjamin, the No. 3 pick in the 1985 draft, enjoyed his best season was the 1988-89 campaign with the Clippers where he averaged 16.4 points and 8.8 rebounds.
- Greg Ostertag: In an era where having a good defensive big man was critical, Greg Ostertag earned a place in the league, despite not being a prolific scorer. Ostertag's toughness resulted in his spending 10 seasons with the Utah Jazz and one with the Sacramento Kings, appearing in 89 playoff games. Ostertag wore 00 for all but one season, as he wore No. 39 in 2000-01.
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