With a free throw in the third quarter of game against the Detroit Pistons, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony became the third active NBA player with at least 25,000 career points, joining Dirk Nowitzki and LeBron James. Anthony needed 17 points Saturday to hit the mark, which only 24 other players in NBA and ABA history have hit before. Every member of that group is either in the Hall of Fame, retired but not yet eligible for enshrinement (Tim Duncan and Paul Pierce) or still actively playing (Nowitzki and James).
James, who went two spots ahead of Anthony in the 2003 draft and crossed the 30,000-points mark four days ago, tweeted congratulations to his friend. Taking a smaller role by joining the Thunder this offseason, the 33-year-old Anthony is on pace for career lows in scoring average (17.6) and minutes (32.6) after averaging at least 20 points and 34 minutes per game in each of his first 14 NBA seasons. Anthony ironically hit the milestone against the team that passed on him with the No. 2 pick in the 2003 draft, the Pistons. After James went first overall to the Cavaliers, the Pistons took Serbian big man Darko Milicic before the Denver Nuggets took Anthony at No. 3.