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Carmelo Anthony Says He's 'at Peace' Retiring Without a Championship Ring: 'I've Won at Life'

Anthony played 19 seasons in the NBA after he was drafted third overall for the Denver Nuggets in 2003

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks in action against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on November 13, 2015 in New York City. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 90-84.
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 13: (NEW YORK DAILIES OUT) Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks in action against LeBron James #23 of the Cleveland Cavaliers at Madison Square Garden on November 13, 2015 in New York City. The Cavaliers defeated the Knicks 90-84.

Carmelo Anthony says he isn't bothered by the fact that he's retiring from the NBA after 19 seasons without a single championship.

In an interview with Sports Illustrated published Tuesday, a day after Melo, 38, announced his retirement from the league, the star athlete and reality TV personality brushed off the notion that his time as a professional is not complete because it lacks a championship.

“I’m at peace," he told SI. "That doesn’t bother me no more; that idea that you’re a loser if you don’t win a championship. For me, I’ve won. I won back in 2003, the night I shook David Stern’s hand on that [draft] stage. I made it out of Red Hook. I’ve won at life. The ring is the only thing I didn’t get. It would’ve been a great accomplishment, but I don’t regret it, because I feel like I did everything I could to get it.”

© David Becker / Getty Images Carmelo Anthony
© David Becker / Getty Images Carmelo Anthony

Anthony began his NBA career when he was drafted third overall for the Denver Nuggets, where he played from 2003 to 2011. From there, he became something of a journeyman, playing for the New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and finally the Los Angeles Lakers.

Related:NBA Star Carmelo Anthony Announces His Retirement: 'My Story Has Always Been More Than Basketball'

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver called Anthony "one of the NBA's all-time great players and ambassadors" in a statement. "We congratulate him on a remarkable 19-year career and look forward to seeing him in the Hall of Fame.”

While he may not have an NBA ring, Melo did help Team USA earn three gold medals in the Olympics. He has six All-NBA team selections. And prior to being drafted, he won a national championship with Syracuse University.

In his surprise announcement on Monday, Anthony said in part, "I remember the days when I had nothing, just a ball on a court and a dream of something more. But basketball was my outlet. My purpose was strong. My communities, the cities I represented with pride and the fans that supported me along the way, I am forever grateful for those people and places 'cause they made me Carmelo Anthony."

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He added, in part to his son Kiyan, "My story has always been more than basketball. My legacy, my son, it's in you. I will forever continue through you because the time has come for you to carry this torch. Chase your dreams, let nothing hold you back."

Kiyan, 16, is only a sophomore but already averages 17.9 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in the Nike EYBL 16U circuit, and holds offers from 10 basketball programs, according to a post on his Instagram.

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