Carmelo Anthony, who introduced his retirement from the NBA this morning, leaves a placing legacy: all-time bucket getter. Undisputed hat god. Forward-of-his-time poster. And, simply ignored however no much less essential: real-deal sneaker innovator.
Recent off turning into the third choose within the loaded 2003 NBA Draft, a 19-year-old Anthony inked an unprecedented six-year footwear take care of Jordan Model. As much as that time, whereas guys like Ray Allen and Michael Finley had been sponsored by Michael Jordan’s burgeoning Nike sub-label, none had obtained their very own signature shoe—as an alternative hitting the court docket in player-exclusive variations of current Air Jordan fashions. This made a specific amount of sense: there can solely actually be one signature Jordan mannequin, proper? Certainly, that sample continued for Anthony’s first season in Denver, with the Jumpman initially gracing him with icy spins on the Air Jordan 12 and Air Jordan 2.
However in 2004, with Anthony’s star energy confirmed after a sensational rookie marketing campaign, Jordan awarded him with its first-ever non-MJ signature sneaker: the Jordan Melo 1.5. (That considerably complicated identify incorporates a nod to the shoe’s liberal use of parts from the primary two Air Jordans.) With its crisp, swooping strains and drool-worthy colorways—sneakerheads all the time go buck-wild for Jordans in Carolina Blue, shut sufficient to the Nuggets’ colours on the time—the 1.5 felt like a worthy declaration of intent for one of many league’s hottest younger superstars.
The shoe discovered an viewers straight out the gates. I used to be 14 on the time, and really clearly recall the chokehold the 1.5s had on youngsters my age. We liked the bulbous, space-age design, and the inclusion of the OG Air Jordan “Wings” brand. They had been, for a brief interval, an even bigger flex on the high-school hardwood than the Iversons, T-Macs, VC Shox, and And 1s that had been then ubiquitous—they usually regarded killer with the big denims and velour observe pants everybody was sporting off the court docket, too.