Carmelo Anthony is under a microscope after his lackluster play against Golden State on Monday night. The Knicks were held to 63 points, with 14 from Melo’s output. How efficient he will be over the course of four more games on the road is up in the air, considering he’s sustained a sore right knee, which had him sidelined for three games. As Melo’s performance is being scrutinized by press in the face of his health, and the state of his team that can succeed in his absence, there’s one thing not at the center of controversy—his sneakers. Melo signed with Jordan Brand in 2003 when he entered the league fresh off an NCAA championship at Syracuse. The white, university blue, and yellow taxi colorways of the Denver Nuggets became a staple of his signature shoes; metallic silver, and black were part of the alternate design.
Being a member of Jordan Brand, Anthony also enjoyed the perks of having a limited run (e.g. Player Exclusive, Future Sole) of Jordans also in Denver colorways. He would wear those on court as much as his own signature shoes. Today, the Jordan Melo series continues with the M9, released this January. In the past couple of years since he’s been in New York, the M8, M8 Advance, and M9 are all you see in Melo’s rotation, not any special Jordan Retro versions in Knicks orange and blue. Is it safe to say Carmelo Anthony’s sneakers as a Knick have eclipsed his Denver era? The Melo collection has shown an evolution in design and popularity. There’s no denying the M6 as one of Melo’s best because they were one of his most light-weight shoes ever. Before that, the M5.5 contained notes of the Jordan 5 and 6: like the 3M tongue and silhouette, but it was all Melo at the end of the day with his emerald birthstone incorporated into the design, along with a TV ad campaign that took him back to his hometown of Baltimore.
The tide is changing for Melo’s sneakers. His most recent shoes are slowly breaking away from being referred to with the Jordan prefix, now becoming an major event that isn’t just another Jumpman23 release. The M9 is pushing the envelope with Flywire materials setting it apart from other Air Jordan releases. That’s an achievement for Melo’s branding. Immortalizing his legacy in the sneaker world can be mentioned in the same breath as his retired jersey. Patrick Ewing has seen this type of fanfare recently with the resurging popularity of his own signature kicks. Before that moment comes for Melo, take a walk down memory lane of his classic material.
AIR JORDAN XII MELO PE (UNWORN) (C. NICEKICKS)