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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Carmelo Anthony believes Rockets waived him for non-basketball reasons

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony was at one point believed to be an important piece that could help the Houston Rockets get over the hump in the Western Conference, but his tenure with the team lasted just 10 games. While his skills have certainly diminished over the past several years, Anthony believes the Rockets parted ways with him for reasons unrelated to basketball.

Anthony opened up about his NBA past and future in an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take” Friday morning, and he said he is unhappy with the way his tenure in Houston ended. He said he feels he did everything that was asked of him and the decision to waive him was “deeper than basketball.”

“I’m like, ‘I can’t make a nine-man rotation, that’s what you’re trying to tell me?’ I’m already starting to accept the fact that I had to come off the bench, which was very hard for me,” Anthony admitted. “I accepted that, and I moved on from that. But you’re telling me I can’t make a nine, 10-man rotation on this team? It’s deeper than basketball.”

Anthony said his close friend Chris Paul seemed just as puzzled with the way things played out, and both Paul and James Harden told Carmelo they did not know the decision was coming. Stephen A. Smith then noted how people would assume if Harden wanted Anthony on the team, the Rockets would have kept him.

“I never spoke to James about this, so I would never make that assumption,” Anthony said. “I had a hear-to-heart with CP3 at 1 (o’clock) in the morning, and he looked me in the eye and told me he would never do something like that.”

As expected, Anthony confirmed that he still wants to play next season. He said he is willing to come off the bench and denied the recent claims his trainer made about Melo wanting a farewell tour. He also confirmed he has had “dialogue” with certain teams and reached out to the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers.

Anthony recently got some support from an NBA star on Twitter, but he’s 35 and barely played last season. It may be tough for him to sell his services to teams, but he’s close friends with LeBron James. That could help him land a spot with the Lakers eventually.

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