Three years ago, Carmelo Anthony brought the world "Hoodie Melo." Heading into the NBA's restart in Orlando, the Portland Trail Blazers forward is now showing off a lithe, svelte look that can only be called "Skinny Melo."
"Every summer it's a different name for me. This summer is 'Skinny Melo,'" Anthony told reporters, including ESPN's Royce Young, on Friday. "There's 'Hoodie Melo', 'USA Melo', there's so many different Melos out there. But at the end of the day, I'm me."
The 17-year NBA veteran confirmed what the eye test suggests: He's now at his lowest playing weight since the mid-2000s.
Anthony, 36, said he began a weight-loss regimen during the hiatus after Blazers head coach Terry Stotts told him he'd be playing small forward once play resumed. Portland will return to action without Trevor Ariza - who started 21 games at the 3 before the league suspended the season.
"I had that in the back of my mind once coach told me the position, that I'd be switching back to the 3," he said. "I kind of challenged myself to get down to that weight where I feel comfortable with playing the 3, comfortable running around and utilizing things I can do within our system from playing the 3."
Anthony's game has become better suited to the 4 as the NBA has evolved over the past decade. He hasn't exclusively played small forward since 2011-12.
"That was a big motivation for me to come back at that exact weight, or around that weight, 230, 235 (pounds)," he said. "I haven't seen 230, 235 since early, early in my career."
Other NBA players such as Marc Gasol have shed considerable weight during the hiatus, but Anthony isn't about to share his particular method for slimming down.
"I can't give you that secret," he said. "But it was a very intense, very healthy diet."