VICE Sports followed Carmelo Anthony to All-Star Weekend in Toronto where he watched his old high school team and reminisced about his playing days.
Anthony, 31, attended the Jordan Brand Invitational to watch his high school alma mater Oak Hill play against Canada’s top team Orangeville Prep.
When Anthony arrived at the game he greeted Tony McIntyre, founder of the CIA Bounce AAU Program, one of the top AAU programs in Canada.
Melo and McIntrye spoke about the recent influx of basketball talent from Toronto. Bounce’s program has produced many of those player, such as NBA players like Andrew Wiggins, Anthony Bennett, and McIntrye’s son, Tyler Ennis.
Anthony grew up in Baltimore but if he’d stayed there in his own words, “nothing good would’ve happened.” He spoke about his experience transitioning to Oak Hill, essentially a boarding school located in Virginia, and how he’d never dealt with strict rules before.
Anthony’s Oak Hill team was No. 1 in the country in Feb. of 2002 when they faced the No. 1 player in the country, LeBron James. Melo recalled the game being during All-Star weekend in Philly, and “everyone was there.”
James was already a star back then, constantly on ESPN and Anthony was excited to face the future No. 1 overall pick.
“He was supposed to be the best player in his class at the time. I just wanted the matchup. That’s all I wanted. I was just more excited about that, the opportunity.”
Melo’s competitive fire shown through even back then in the beginnings of their friendly rivalry. The two future Hall of Famers have known each other their entire prolific careers, with Anthony pointing out how they became fast friends upon their first meeting.
The episode closed with Anthony talking about how he has put All-Star weekend in a new perspective as a veteran. He isn’t interested in partying like a kid anymore, but more of just taking in the atmosphere and the actual game.
Melo changed this season on the court. It’s very clear that he’s changed off the court as well.