With all the fanfare and luster surrounding the entry of LeBron James into the 2003-04 NBA season, we all may want to take particular notice of the Denver Nuggets prize rookie Carmelo Anthony. He has already raised the eyebrows of players, coaches, fans, and media personnel alike with his flare for the game. Sometimes experience doesn't equate to success in any venture. One might say youth and exuberance is the greatest tool one could possess. If that is the formula for achieving greatness then Carmelo Anthony is well on his way, even with Lebron James on the horizon. Lebron has already taken the media by storm; however, the quiet and assuming Anthony has reveled not being in the thrust of the media.

High expectations are things that have followed Anthony during his days at Oak Hill Academy to the Syracuse Orangemen and now to the Denver Nuggets. This is like riding a bicycle for him. His on court presence, leadership by example, and willingness to be the consummate team player will be on display for years to come. Anthony stated, "Lebron is a great player and a good friend, I look forward to our battles over the years, and who knows, we might be the next Magic versus Bird rivalry." If we focus on the high flying exploits of Lebron individuals will never quite focus on Anthony, but when they look at how he can dominate a game with his unassuming presence people will definitely take notice. The problem with being an extremely successful college or high-school basketball player is that you get drafted by one of the teams that had the worst record in the league the year before.

So you have to adjust from winning most of your games one season to struggling to win a dozen or so games in your first pro campaign. This transition for Anthony will be a day to day or game to game evolution. I don't think I'm guaranteed anything just because I was the third pick in the draft," he said. "It's always good to stay hungry." With the comparison of the two phenoms, Anthony skills definitely grade a little higher. He's the type of young player who has more in the toolbox than Lebron James, he can shoot the ball.

That's the big thing. He can score the ball from the perimeter, he can post people up. He's a very physical offensive player down on the block. He can draw fouls; he can get to the line. He can get a put back. He can score by getting out on the break.

The main difference between the two is the high flying acrobatics of Lebron; however that doesn't equate to winning games at this level. The impact that a player can make which equals winning games is the ultimate challenge for these two new superstars. "Statistically, I think Carmelo should have a better season. And I think Denver will have a much better basketball team, but I think will be the same with Cleveland. "Cleveland will have so much more attention and focus because of all the hype that surrounds LeBron. Denver is not as big a market as the others, so I think that will give (LeBron) more of an edge.

"But statistically, no question, Carmelo is the guy who " ll get 18 a night, eight rebounds and that team will win a lot of games being in Denver because it's so hard for teams to come in and play in that altitude. Both rosters will have improved, but I think again, Carmelo will have more of an impact statistically," Said, Greg Anthony, of ESPN. In the final analysis, the tools of greatness that Carmelo Anthony has, needs to be tested over a period of time. If his past plaudits on the 94 feet of hardwood are any indication, this will be a story in which dreams are made of. His desire for greatness will take the Nuggets to higher heights not seen since the days of Dan Is sel, David Thompson, and Kiki Vandeweghe. Carmelo Anthony's name will ring with those of the Nuggets' past and will soar to new heights as well.

People will be saying his name first vice Lebron James' name as the head of the 2003-04 NBA class. By John E. Banks NBA Staff Writer, Basketball. com.