The New York branch of famed international wax museum Madame Tussauds unveiled its newest addition on Tuesday afternoon — a life-sized figure of New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony, now on display at the museum's Times Square location. Anthony joins notable roundball predecessors like Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Shaquille O'Neal, Yao Ming and Dirk Nowitzki on the list of NBA players who've been immortalized in this deeply, deeply creepy fashion.
Anthony said he had to pose for six hours for the figure's sculptors after a practice last season, and that time and attention to detail shows; as you can see above, the likeness is uncanny. Or, at least, it would have been at the end of the Knicks' first-round loss to the eventual NBA champion Miami Heat.
Anthony told reporters, including Marc Berman of the New York Post, that he's lost 12 pounds since the close of New York's season, trimming down in advance of joining teammate Tyson Chandler and the U.S. men's national basketball team to vie for a gold medal at next month's 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Anthony's also got his sights set on a deeper postseason run next year — one that he thinks could end with a long-awaited championship of his own:
"I believe my time is coming," Anthony said after posing with the statue with his wife La La at a press conference. "I'm a big believer in that. Whether this year or next year, I truly believe our time is coming. We're going to keep playing for that." [...]
Anthony's likeness will join a sports room filled with other New York sports heroes: Derek Jeter, Joe Namath, David Wright, George Steinbrenner and Eli Manning. Michael Jordan, Serena Williams and Evander Holyfield are also in the room.
"This is the No. 1 thing," said Anthony, a Brooklyn native. "I never imagined representing New York like this."
Of course, in the eyes of many Knicks fans — and NBA fans in general — the "No. 1 thing" is actually winning a championship, rather than losing weight and talking about it, and even maybe just getting out of the first round for the second time in your career. Those fans tend to overreact to things like this, seeing a wax figure made for a legitimate celebrity as more of an undeserved statue for an athlete who ain't won squat yet.
As we learned in the immediate aftermath of the figure's unveiling, many of those fans are on Twitter ... and many of them seem to like making pretty much the same two or three jokes. Want to see angry folks spit the kind of venom that wax hasn't much seen since Ice Cube fell off? Hit the jump for a collection of reactions, compiled using Storify.
Ouch. Well, if you didn't know that folks A) don't have much respect for 'Melo's defense, B) think he's a ball hog and C) will believe that he's title-ready only when they actually see it, well, you sure do now.