Although the ongoing NBA Lockout has basketball fans nervous that they won't be able to get their pro hoops fix, it seems they will, at the very least, still be able to see some of their favorite hardwood heroes over the coming weeks and months. Whether it is playing at a local park or college in a summer league game or even appearing in your living room, professional basketball players have been turning up all over the place lately.
On Sept. 28, four-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony appeared in an episode of Law & Order: SVU playing himself. Although his acting chops may not be as finely honed as his post game, Melo has embraced such opportunities during the lockout. Fellow All-Star Chris Bosh also made an appearance in the recent episode of SVU.
"SVU reached out and wanted me to play myself," Anthony recently told HuffPost Sports. "That opportunity came and then Nurse Jackie called. They also wrote me into a role over there."
Among the most devastating offensive options in the game when the pressure is highest, Carmelo found himself in an unusual position on the sets of these two television shows.
"I was a rookie on the set," Melo admits. "I tried to use my past experience in front of the camera doing commercials and all that stuff. I kind of used that a little bit. I just went up there confident and having fun. It turned out really well."
A look at the way he handled himself as a freshman at Syracuse University or the following year as first-year player in the NBA should make it pretty clear that Anthony doesn't sweat new challenges. One year after leading 'Cuse to the national title and earning Most Outstanding Player honors in the NCAA tournament, he averaged 21 points and just over six rebounds per game in the NBA.
His on-court success made his appearance on set a big hit with the casts and crews of each program. Of course, they weren't the only ones who were impressed.
"When i walked on there -- especially at SVU -- it seemed like everybody was a big fan," says Anthony. "But I was more of a fan of them because I watch all the time. So, it was kind of crazy because I watch it all the time. It was a great experience to see how it is actually set up."
Undoubtedly, all of the NBA is eager to get back to work. But Anthony has been making the most of his unexpected time off.
"It's things that people like myself and athletes wouldn't normally do, especially Nurse Jackie," says Anthony. "So, I definitely wanted to just do that, just do something different."