Carmelo hits the double, on the covers of ESPN and Sports Illustrated at the same time.
Courtesy ESPN and SI
December 31, 2003 -- What’s cooler then being cool? Carmelo Anthony!

Carmelo has had a remarkable year, winning a national title at Syracuse and establishing himself as a terrific young player in the NBA. Now, Melo and his patented headband are all over the newsstands gracing the covers of both Sports Illustrated and ESPN the Magazine for their year-end issues. Carmelo is joined on the cover of ESPN by another one of 2003’s top newsmakers and Buzz favorite, Jay-Z.

Carmelo is a huge fan of Jay-Z, having memorized The Black Album, and vise versa with Hova talking about what he enjoys most about Carmelo’s game. “What I like is that you have a cool to your game that’s deceptive. Like you’re not trying,” enthused Jay-Z. “Then that little smile after you score -- that’s style, that’s Baltimore right there!”

Jay’s take on the future of Carmelo vs. LeBron: “Yeah, well, you’re both gonna be great. You guys are the new definition of Magic and Bird -- but way cooler!”

Cooler than Magic and Larry??? That’s not cool, Jay, that’s cold …