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Carmelo Anthony holds longest active streak of never coming off bench

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony has proven elite in two categories — getting every cent of his guaranteed money and never coming off the bench.

According to Reddit user sop1232, Melo is a whopping 1054-for-1054 in start-to-appearance ratio since entering the league in 2003 as the third overall pick.

His draftmate LeBron James, also a perennial starter in the league, came off the bench for one game in the 2007-2008 season as a nod of support for his then-teammate Anderson Varejao. Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki came off the bench a few times during the 2012-2013 campaign, easing his way back from a knee surgery he underwent in October.

Before being traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder and being put into a third-option role, Anthony was only one of four players to ever average 20 or more points for the entirety of their NBA career, sitting along Michael Jordan, Kevin Durant, and James.

Though let’s not act as if Anthony was a starter his entire NBA career due to his reluctance of coming off the bench, a narrative that has only swirled throughout the last season, when he went from averaging 22.4 points in 2016-17 to a mere 16.2 points last season. Melo had been one of the NBA’s most gifted scorers of his generation and was put in the starting five due to his ability to collapse defenses with his offensive arsenal.

It’s not yet know if the Houston Rockets will bring him off the bench or insert him in the starting lineup. Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni said Melo is open to a bench role, but no decisions have been made.