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#pounditFriday, January 15, 2021

Carmelo Anthony admits accepting bench role was difficult

Carmelo Anthony

Some two years after infamously saying, “Aye P. They told me I gotta come off the bench,” Carmelo Anthony is now about to do just that.

The Portland Trail Blazers forward said Friday that he has accepted the fact that he will not start next season but admitted that doing so was difficult.

“I had to swallow that pill,” he said, per Bleacher Report’s Sean Highkin. “We had multiple conversations leading up to me coming back here. It was very honest and transparent from both sides. I was comfortable with the situation. They let me know I will still be a major part.”

The ten-time All-Star Anthony returned to the Blazers this offseason on a one-year minimum deal. He started all 58 of his appearances for the team last season and has only come off the bench for eight of his 1,122 career games (all eight came with the Houston Rockets in 2018).

Anthony still averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game last year. He also hit a number of clutch baskets for Portland in the Orlando bubble. But the Blazers traded for Robert Covington and signed Derrick Jones Jr. in free agency this offseason. Thus, Anthony will be relegated to a bench role but could still foreseeably close for them in certain matchups. The Blazers have also gone out of their way to show that they have his back regardless.

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