Carmelo Anthony on Owning an NBA Team: ‘I Want It Now’

Carmelo Anthony

Getty Carmelo Anthony takes in a game from the sidelines.

He’s a legend in New York, as he was born in Brooklyn, attended college at Syracuse and of course, starred for the New York Knicks. And soon, Carmelo Anthony could be part of an NBA ownership group.

When asked about when his NBA ownership aspirations could come to fruition, Anthony wasn’t shy, saying, “Now. I want it now. And that’s something that I’m working towards as we speak. So, I’m actually excited about those opportunities.”

But First, the National Basketball League (NBL)

Anthony is just getting his feet wet in the basketball ownership game, having been granted an expansion team in the NBL, Australia’s premier basketball league. Anthony will own the league’s 10th team, though the location and date has yet to be decided.

In addition to ownership in the NBL, Anthony will act as a global ambassador for the league’s Next Stars program, which has produced NBA players LaMelo Ball, Josh Giddey and Ousmane Dieng.

“It’s time that the rest of the world knows exactly what’s happening over there in Australia and the excitement from around the rest of the world that’s happening for the NBL …,” Anthony recently told Andscape at Icnclst Studios. “The NBA draft is about to happen. So, you’ll start seeing, those pipelines of players coming from the Stars program here to the NBA. There is just a lot of excitement around it. I get a chance to be a part of it in a very integral way, in a very pivotal way where we’re opening up doors and connecting players, we’re connecting the game of basketball from a global standpoint. I’m excited about it.”

NBA Ownership & Why It’s Important

For a league comprised largely of African American men (70.4% as of 2023), it’s unfathomable that there are currently zero represented among majority owners in the NBA. Michael Jordan was the last, as owner of the Charlotte Hornets, though he sold off his majority stake in August 2023.

Before Jordan, Robert Johnson of the then-Charlotte Bobcats was the first African American majority owner of an NBA team. Between Jordan and Johnson, there have been other minority owners (Vivek Ranadive, Joseph Tsai, Mikhail Prokhorov) but none were African American.

Having Anthony as an owner, especially if the team is successful (sorry, MJ) would be an important landmark for African Americans in ownership. Representation is great, success is paramount. Former players in management positions haven’t always fared well. Some of the greatest of all time have struggled as coaches and general managers. For every Danny Ainge and Joe Dumars, there’s a Magic Johnson and Isiah Thomas.

Anthony is a soon-to-be Hall of Fame player with a resume that matches nearly anyone in his era, and being just 40 years old affords him the ability to better relate to young NBA players. The generational gap wouldn’t really exist on or off the court.

Anthony owning the Knicks would be the dream scenario for about 8.336 million citizens, though there’s no evidence current owner James Dolan is going to sell the team, willingly at least.

The more likely scenario is the NBA follows through with its proposed plan to expand the league by two teams. As that wouldn’t happen for a few years, it provides Anthony the opportunity to get experience as an owner in the NBL before joining an NBA ownership group.

Read More