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#pounditWednesday, September 30, 2020

Carmelo Anthony prepared himself to retire before Blazers offer

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony hadn’t played an NBA game in over a year when the Portland Trail Blazers came calling, and it seems he thought that he might never play again when that call came.

Anthony admitted in an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he had started mentally preparing himself for retirement before the Blazers signed him in November.

“I was preparin’ myself,” Anthony said, as transcribed by ESPN’s Nick Friedell. “And I had prepared myself to kinda just walk away from the game — if the right situation didn’t come about.

“I was ready to walk away, yeah. It was hard. But there came a point when I was, like, ‘You know what? I’ve given a lot to this game. I played 15, 16 years in this game. I’m ready to give it up, because I just knew that at that point in time from a basketball standpoint, that narrative that it — it was already out there. So I’d been fightin’ an uphill battle anyway if I didn’t go to the right situation.”

Anthony has always made clear he thought he could still play, but he also wasn’t going to sign with the first team that came calling. He certainly appears to have found the right fit with Portland. He’s averaging 17.7 points and six rebounds per game in six games so far, and is the reigning Western Conference Player of the Week.

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