Don’t forget where you came from. Taking pride in one’s roots is an M.O. people have observed for thousands of years.
However, the dynamic has recently changed, especially in the melting pot that is the United States. Nationality is either worn on your sleeve or, conversely, blurred and abandoned.
When Anthony discovered Hispanic Business magazine named him one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the United States in 2008, he was clearly a bit surprised. No, not surprised because he was on the list, but because he was, well…considered Hispanic. To Melo’s credit — and being the perpetually positive thinker that he is — he deftly picked up a save. From the Rocky Mountain News:
“I want to be No. 1,” Anthony said after learning he was on the list. “That’s my goal. I’ve got to see who’s on the list and see what I can do to top (them).”
Melo’s father was Puerto Rican, but Anthony never lived outside of the United States (specially: Brooklyn, Baltimore, Mouth of Wilson (Virg.) and Denver). He barely knew his father who died of cancer when Carmelo was two-years-old. Surely, Melo doesn’t forget his Latin blood, but it’s safe to say the honor was one of Anthony’s bigger offseason surprises.
Others in Anthony’s company this year are Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, Luis Castillo, (highly recommended) author Junot Diaz, L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and former Denver mayor Federico Pena.
With this honor and an Olympic gold, Carmelo is receiving some nice accolades this offseason. But he’s not done receiving praise just yet. Syracuse hopes to retire Carmelo’s jersey in the coming months.
UPDATE: Thanks to commenters WhaHuh and King David who point-out Carmelo has a tiny Puerto Rican flag tattooed on his right hand.