Carmelo Anthony, despite the obvious decline in his play over the last few years, has openly expressed his reluctance to not come off the bench. As such, the soon-to-be Houston Rocket star’s antics have led him to a milestone: he is the only player to have played at least 1,000 games since the 1981-1982 season to never come off the bench.

Per Basketball-Reference, Anthony has played a total of 1054 games, all of which were part of the starting line up.

In his lone year with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Anthony played and started a total of 78 games. He logged in a career low of 16.2 points in 32.1 minutes per game. Critics pretty much saw this as a clear sign of Anthony’s decline.

They noticed that Anthony didn’t have the same lift on his jump shot which forced him to miss more often. He shot just 40.4 percent from the field last year, which is another career low.

At one point in their careers, players of the same caliber as Anthony have put aside their ego and agreed to come off the bench. It’s not an insult, but rather, a sacrifice to be done for the sake of the team.

During his stint with the Thunder, some say that he would have been more effective if he came off the bench. He immediately dismissed such suggestions. As reported by Royce Young of ESPN, after being eliminated in the playoffs, Anthony said:

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“I’m not sacrificing no bench role. So that’s out of the question.”

Now with the Rockets, it’s still a mystery whether or not Melo will agree to come off the bench. The Rockets just lost their small forward Trevor Ariza. So there’s a pretty good chance that Melo will likely suit up as part of the first five. Like his record three Olympic Gold medals, his number of starts will be a tough feat to beat.