Carmelo Anthony continues to etch his name beside some of the most influential basketball players of all time – and not just with more splashed turnaround jumpers and quick-trigger triples.

The future Hall-of-Famer was announced by the NBA on Friday as one of five finalists for the inaugural Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Social Justice Champion award, given to a current player who pursues social justice and advances Abdul-Jabbar’s life mission to engage, empower and drive equality for individuals and groups who have been historically marginalized or systemically disadvantaged.

Joining Anthony as finalists are Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings, Tobias Harris of the Philadelphia 76ers, Jrue Holiday of the Milwaukee Bucks and Juan Toscano-Anderson of the Golden State Warriors.

Anthony has been an outspoken advocate of social justice and the systemically oppressed in America for years. 

In the early 2010s, he was part of a group of NBA players including close friends and superstar peers LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul that committed to highlighting and working to overcome the sweeping effects of institutional racism via their public platforms – intentional efforts of activism for which Abdul-Jabbar helped pave the way during his legendary playing career.

Anthony started the Carmelo Anthony Foundation in 2005 ago as a vehicle for actionable change and social reform through a variety of outreach programs and disaster relief initiatives. Last year, he established the Social Change Fund alongside fellow NBA greats to focus on investing in organizations addressing critical and timely issues impacting the Black community including expanding access to voting and civic engagement, education, employment, housing, economic equity, and representation in leadership. Anthony currently serves as a board member of the National Basketball Social Justice Coalition.

His production and content company, Creative 7, focuses on telling stories of underrepresented groups and unheard voices via film, television, documentaries, podcasts and more.

Anthony, 37, is a free agent this summer.

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