Carmelo Anthony’s Exclusive Air Jordan 12s Are Expected to Return

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In addition to news that the Air Jordan 8 “Aqua” will be returning in 2025, more significant Air Jordan Retro updates for next year have surfaced.

Early reports indicate that an Air Jordan 12 Retro in Carmelo Anthony’s player exclusive colorway will launch in ’25. This rendition of Michael Jordan’s 12th signature sneaker was originally created for Anthony during his NBA rookie season with the Denver Nuggets in 2003-04. The look keeps things relatively simple, opting for an all-white leather upper with University Blue accents on the sole, heel, liner and tongue logo while Metallic Silver hits cover the uppermost eyelets. Anthony’s personalized pair also included his nickname, “Melo,” embroidered at the heel.

Air Jordan 12 Retro “Melo” (2004). Credit: GOAT
Air Jordan 12 Retro “Melo” (2004). Credit: GOAT

The retail releases of the Air Jordan 12 Retro “Melo” have been spotty to say the least. After Anthony’s custom version had fans eager for a chance to own the shoes, a similar pair sans “Melo” embroidery was released at retail during Valentine’s Day in 2004. However, this February ’04 iteration was a women’s exclusive, leaving many would-be buyers empty-handed. It wasn’t until a few months later in May ’04 that the sneaker finally released in men’s sizing. For fans of Anthony, this was as close as they could get to the “Melo”-branded pair he wore during his rookie year while rubbing shoulders with LeBron James.

Following its ’04 release, the “Melo” Air Jordan 12 was back-burnered for over a decade. It then returned in 2016 — almost. The ’16 version of the sneaker was released only up to grade school sizing and also swapped the Metallic Silver eyelets for Metallic Gold, so it’s hard to call them a true one-to-one rerelease of the original.

Air Jordan 12 Retro GS “University Blue” (2016). Credit: Nike
Air Jordan 12 Retro GS “University Blue” (2016). Credit: Nike

Anthony in May 2023 announced his retirement from the NBA, ending a legendary 19-season run in the league. He was named to the NBA’s 75th Anniversary team in 2021 and will be eligible for the Basketball Hall of Fame in 2026. The 10-time NBA All-Star signed his deal with Jordan Brand as a rookie in 2003, although he was originally intended to wear Nike sneakers before the brand signed James. Instead, Anthony was chosen to represent Jordan with the promise of eventually getting his own signature line.

The exact details behind the upcoming Air Jordan 12 “Melo” aren’t yet known, although it’s expected to return in men’s sizing for the first time since the ’04 release. According to @zsneakerheadz and Sneaker Files, the “White/University Blue/Metallic Silver” colorway is expected to launch during summer 2025 for a retail price of $200.

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