Thank God for Carmelo Anthony. Whereas thrilling, the primary weeks of the NBA season lacked a sure measure of the enjoyable, panache, and swaggering confidence it takes to observe one 17-footer that clanged off the rim with one more fadeaway midranger. However Melo and his to-hell-with-analytics shot chart made his return to the affiliation final night time as a member—a starter!—of the Portland Trailblazers in a loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. And most significantly, Melo’s comeback additionally means a comeback for nex-level headgear.

Melo wears many hats: basketball participant, entrepreneur, dressmaker, tech investor. He additionally…wears many hats: berets, pork pies, beanies, buckets, trappers, and prime hats. The present season of the NBA could boast the emergence of MVP-candidate Luka Doncic and James Harden averaging nearly 40 factors a sport, however who else can we rely on to ship beautiful hats on an evening to nighttime foundation apart from “Candy Melon” (an actual nickname for him listed on Basketball Reference)?

Carmelo Anthony in Syracuse, November 6, 2019.Wealthy Barnes / Getty Photographs
Carmelo Anthony in Paris, June 21, 2019.Edward Berthelot / Getty Photographs

In his NBA return, Melo reached for an atypically protected cap alternative: a black beanie tucked behind his ears like he’s starring in a Wes Anderson movie. (To be truthful, that is precisely how everybody in Portland attire.) If Melo’s historical past tells us something, although, it’s that that is solely the beginning of a fantastic headwear journey. The previous Knick has worn tophats that make him appear to be a Batman villain threatening to freeze Gotham, straight-from-Moscow fur trapper hats, and sufficient berets to make him an honorary Marxist.

A concept: Melo, the Hatsman, is an ideal reflection of Melo, the basketball participant. These are powerful pictures he’s taking! Not a match within the trendy NBA, ill-advised, one thing you’ll by no means see throughout a Houston Rockets sport: isn’t the beret actually the basketball equal of a pull-up midranger? Whereas a baseball cap is a lay-up, and no matter Cam Newton’s pilfered from the Mad Hatter’s hovel are high-variance three-pointers, the beret is neither painfully easy nor impressively tough to drag off. The identical will be mentioned for the bucket hats Melo loves.

Carmelo Anthony in Philadelphia, September 4, 2016.Shareif Ziyadat / Getty Photographs
Carmelo Anthony in New Orleans, February 15, 2008.Jennifer Pottheiser / Getty Photographs

That these hats aren’t completely off the overwhelmed path is perhaps what mystifies Melo’s stylist, Khalilah Beavers, who doesn’t appear to grasp the fascination along with her shopper’s hats. For the Win interviewed Beavers concerning the military-style outfit Melo wore in 2012 that’s as memorable as any goofy NBA outfit. Listed here are some alternative quotes from that interview:

“Actually it’s only a common hat. It’s simply leather-based — that was all there was to it.”

“It was only a hat I assumed was cool and he cherished it.”

“‘It’s a cool hat,’ she mentioned, understandably a bit exasperated.”

“It’s a cool brown leather-based hat.”

Across the third or fourth insistence that that is truly a “Cool Hat,” the road takes on the texture of a child mendacity to their dad and mom. It’s time to come clean with it and admit none of Melo’s headwear can precisely be described as “only a common hat”—and that’s an excellent factor. Anthony’s proven a career-long dedication to distinctive hats (Simply have a look at the beneath bandana-print bucket hat he wore all the way in which again in 2006). At this level, it’s as a lot his factor as hoodies and a pathological dedication to taking unadvised pictures. You don’t get to collaborate with Williamsburg’s favourite milliner Goorin Brothers by sporting “common hats.” Right here, just a few extra of our favorites.

Carmelo and La La Anthony in New York, June 28, 2006.Matthew Peyton / Getty Photographs
La La and Carmelo Anthony in New York, February 12, 2015.Paul Zimmerman / Getty Photographs
Carmelo Anthony in New York, December 20, 2013. Stephen Lovekin / Getty Photographs
Carmelo Anthony in New York, June 20, 2005.Ray Tamarra / Getty Photographs
Carmelo Anthony in California, July 16, 2015.Jason LaVeris / Getty Photographs