Tim Duncan, Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, Hakeem Olajuwon and Elvin Hayes all have something in common.
They’ve all been passed on the NBA’s all-time scoring list this season by Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony.
The former Syracuse basketball star eclipsed Hayes for 10th all-time in Monday night’s 123-114 loss to the Atlanta Hawks following an and-1 3-pointer.
At the 11:09 mark of the second quarter, Anthony sized-up Hawks forward Danilo Gallinari and pulled up for a triple while the whistle was blown, signaling the foul. Anthony pulled out his signature celebration of poking the side of his head with three fingers as soon as the ball splashed through the net.
Anthony entered Monday’s game needing only nine points to pass Hayes’ career mark of 27,313 points. The shot was his third triple of the first half, giving him 12 points going into halftime. He finished with 14 points on 3-for-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Hayes, a 12-time NBA All-Star, is one of the most talented power forwards ever to play in the league. He led the league in scoring in 1969 with the San Diego Rockets and won an NBA championship in 1978 with the Washington Bullets alongside Wes Unseld. He posted career averages of 21 points, 12.5 rebounds and two blocks per game.
Next on Anthony’s road of surpassing the NBA’s greatest scorers is Hall of Fame center Moses Malone, who finished with 27,409 points.
Anthony is averaging 13.6 points and 3.2 rebounds this season on 40% shooting from 3-point range, which makes passing Malone a realistic feat with seven games remaining in the regular season for the Trail Blazers.
Also in front of Anthony are Shaquille O’Neal, Wilt Chamberlain, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Karl Malone and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar.
Anthony’s run of climbing the NBA’s all-time scoring list is particularly significant considering how his career came to an abrupt pause after the Houston Rockets released him 10 games into the 2018-19 season. He resurrected his NBA career with the Trail Blazers in 2020 and re-signed with the franchise on a one-year contract which ends this summer.
No matter how the rest of Anthony’s career plays out, his resurgence in Portland has solidified his place among the NBA’s greatest scorers.