Carmelo Anthony, a father, a husband, a philanthropist and a brand. He is one of the top scorers in the National Basketball Association. Drafted 3rd overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, Anthony has surely made a name for himself as he demonstrated during his championship season at Syracuse University. Melo continues to prove to his fans, teammates and coaches that he is a leader, a competitor and a hard worker displaying his passion, maturity and excellence for the game of basketball.
Carmelo has a heart for the community, and is always looking for creative ways to give back. He partnered with his college coach, Jim Boeheim, to start the Courts 4 Kids program where they refurbish basketball courts in underserved areas. The first court was completed in the summer of 2009 in Syracuse, and since then several more have been refurbished. Anthony’s GiveBack program has provided over 5,600 families in need with food and personal supplies during the holidays and times of natural disasters, partnering with Feed The Children and local community agencies. His Carmelo Anthony Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to positively impacting the lives of individuals living in underserved communities through 3 key areas – education, recreation, and community outreach.
Special interests: Melo is a techie. In July 2014, Melo7 Tech Partners was birthed to help invest in and develop tech start-ups, the first of which is the Silicon Valley smart kitchen company, The Orange Chef. He also helped develop Be Everyware, a leading provider of mobile technology for small businesses. In 2013, Carmelo partnered with Curtis ’50 Cent’ Jackson to create SMS Audio, a premiere audio headphone and accessories brand. Carmelo is known to have the latest gadgets and avidly keeps up with his over 10 million social media followers. Also known for his great passion of fine watches, art, music and fashion, I spoke with Melo and he shared his secrets:
Troy Alexander: You’ve acknowledged your love for luxury and “it isn’t about mansions and fancy cars.” Can you expand on your passion for art, wine, fashion and cigars? How do these luxuries make you feel?
Carmelo Anthony: It’s not necessarily about luxury; it’s about what I’ve been exposed to and what I’ve developed an appreciation for. I happen to enjoy wine, fashion and cigars. These things are an extension of my expression and in all of those categories; it’s based on how I feel in various moments that determine what I indulge.
TA: What would you consider your greatest achievement? Is this a high point to be from New York City and selected by the fans to start in the 2015 NBA All-Star game? How will you cherish the moment?
CA: It’s amazing to be from New York. I love it and I embrace it. This All-Star is very special to me because it is held in New York City and without my fans, I wouldn’t get this opportunity to represent them. I consider it a great honor to represent New York City at the 2015 NBA All-Star game. I will be in the moment for everything and I consider it a true privilege to be an All-Star.
TA: You are known for your interests outside of work – venture capital firm, Melo7 Tech Partners, seeded a few early-stage startups and a production company. Can you talk a little about how your business ventures and how playing in the NBA help bring your best thinking and leadership to everything you do?
CA: Typically, athletes are known for being physical beings; rarely are we known for being thoughtful or intellectual. I’ve always thought that a successful athletic career requires a very high level of concentration, discipline, focus and decision-making — qualities that are important in any field.
TA: You’ve said, “I believe (Elon Musk) is the smartest man on the planet, his mind-set, his vision for our society, for our world – technology, where he is trying to take it and what he’s doing with Telsa.” In what areas have you been teachable and benefited from his actions? And how do you see yourself as businessman and an entrepreneur?
CA: Elon Musk has incredible curiosity and passion. He envisions a world that others have barely thought about and has unstoppable drive to achieve his vision and this inspires me. I want to help build businesses that have a lasting impact on the world.
TA: I recently wrote an article on personal branding and how you look matters. What are your thoughts on personal branding? Do you think the clothing we wear reflect what is inside of us?
CA: Branding is your presence, so whether you’re approaching a new client or going for a job interview, your appearance, your look and the way you present yourself is all a part of personal branding. We have our own websites and personal social media platforms. The clothing we wear reflects what’s inside of us and what we’re feeling at a particular time in our lives or even a specific day. Typically when you feel great it exudes through your attitude and clothes and when you care about yourself, you care about what you look like!
TA: How has your style (in the fashion context) evolved since you started in the NBA? And are there any cities, people, designers, bloggers or things you draw inspiration from?
CA: Well everyone knows what my style was like in my earlier years in the NBA. As I grew into being a father, a husband, a businessman, a brand, my style started to reflect this. Being in the city of New York inspires you, from the people to the architecture and especially the fashion. I’ve become so much more culturally involved in not only fashion but art as well.
TA: What, in your opinion is a marker of good clothes and who is your favorite tailors?
CA: A marker of good clothing is the great attention to detail and the craftsmanship of a piece, especially a suit. One of my favorite tailors is Beckenstein bespoke, however, I also frequent Zegna and Armani for great suiting pieces.