Best Nugget Denver 2004 - Carmelo Anthony
Readers' Choice: Carmelo Anthony
The drama of the Denver Nuggets' sudden rise from the doldrums of incompetence to the heights of playoff contention features rookie sensation Carmelo Anthony as its leading man. After just one glory year at Syracuse (the underdog Orangemen won the NCAA championship), the 6' 8", 220-pound small forward opted for the pros. Now, not only are the hapless Nuggets delighted with their number-three draft pick, but they're counting on him to revivify a franchise that has long been a bad joke. With twenty-something points per game and six-plus rebounds, Anthony compares favorably with the NBA's other star rookie, Cleveland guard LeBron James, and the debate about which team got the better prospect is likely to rage for years. For now, though, light and hope have returned to Nuggetville, and Melo is the smiling, gifted nineteen-year-old who made much of it happen. If that's not sweet enough for you, he's also added his own candy bar, the Melo, to the local scene.