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.
Carmelo Anthony is joining the Portland Trail Blazers on a non-guaranteed contract, but he won’t be with the team in time for a big revenge game, according to a report.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported on Friday that Melo still needs to pass his physical before his contract is finalized. The physical could come as soon as Saturday.
The Blazers play at San Antonio on Saturday, at Houston on Monday, at New Orleans on Tuesday and at Milwaukee on Thursday for the first four games of a six-game road trip.
The game at Houston is a big one as Melo’s time with the Rockets went poorly. After signing with them last year, Melo played 10 games for the team before the Rockets essentially asked him to go away. He has not played since then, but it sounds like his first game back in the league won’t come by then.
Woj says Tuesday’s game at New Orleans would be the earliest for Melo’s return.
In 10 games last season, Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. Portland has looked to him due to injuries to Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic.
Carmelo Anthony is back in the NBA after a year-long absence.
Anthony is signing a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported on Thursday night.
Portland has been dealing with some injuries this season. Hassan Whiteside has a sprained right foot; Zach Collins is out for several months with a shoulder injury; and Jusuf Nurkic remains out with his major leg injury suffered last year. They had an open roster spot, so adding Melo makes sense.
The signing should not come as a huge surprise to NBA fans, though it represents a shift in mindset from Anthony. The Blazers have wanted him for a while. Two years ago, Anthony refused to be traded there. But now that he has been out of the NBA and found job offers tough to come by, he decided to take the chance to finally join the Blazers.
The 35-year-old’s basketball career has gone downhill ever since the Knicks traded him to the Thunder. He never fit well in OKC, and that experiment failed, which led few teams to have interest in the veteran after that season. The Rockets signed him before last season but only kept him on the roster for 10 games.
Anthony has not played an NBA game since November 8, 2018. He will join Portland on an upcoming road trip.
Carmelo Anthony wants to play basketball next season and is committed to showing teams he still has something to offer. One of the potential suitors that could make sense for him is the Brooklyn Nets, and their two most important players are apparently on board with signing the 10-time All-Star.
Frank Isola of The Athletic reports that Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving have been “pushing” the Nets to sign Anthony. Carmelo recently trained with a group of Nets players in Los Angeles, and general manager Sean Marks got a closer look at him during an informal workout. It’s unclear if Marks wants to sign Anthony, but there are a few reasons he could be persuaded.
For starters, Durant is not going to play at all in his first season in Brooklyn. That opens up a spot on the roster for another scorer, and the 35-year-old Anthony is confident he can still find ways to put the ball in the hoop. Another thing working in Carmelo’s favor is that the NBA announced on Thursday that Nets forward Wilson Chandler has been suspended 25 games for testing positive for a banned substance.
Anthony’s recent workouts in LA are said to have gone well, as one Nets source told Isola that he “certainly helped his cause” and “his body looked great.”
While Marks will have the final say with regard to Anthony, having an endorsement from both Irving and Durant is obviously significant. Carmelo insists he is still playing at a high enough level to contribute and recently accused the Rockets of cutting ties with him for non-basketball reasons. He’s also a Brooklyn native, so the Nets may be his best chance at a last chance.
Carmelo Anthony is still trying to work his way back into the NBA. In the meantime, he’s also helping out the next generation.
Skills coach Chris Brickley shared a video on Instagram Monday night that showed Melo working on some offensive drills with son Kiyan. The youngster looked impressive:
Kiyan is 12 years old and seems to have advanced skills for his age. He’s much younger than Dwyane Wade’s oldest son, Zaire, and also younger than LeBron’s older son, Bronny. Can you imagine a future NBA that includes the sons of the Banana Boat Crew? If they all keep working hard like this, maybe one day it will come.
One of the lingering subplots of the NBA offseason is the fact that Carmelo Anthony remains without a team despite a willingness to play. That, according to one former player, is the fault of LeBron James.
Royce White, a former first-round NBA draft pick currently playing in the BIG3, blames James for the Lakers not signing Anthony. White suggests James was failing as a “voice of the players” by letting the team sign Jared Dudley instead of his close friend.
There was a time early in the offseason that Anthony was regarded as likely to land with the Lakers. That hasn’t happened. Anthony isn’t a great defender and mostly has value for his shooting at this point, while Dudley is more well-rounded. That’s clearly what the Lakers prioritized, whether White likes it or not.
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.
Carmelo Anthony may never get another opportunity to play for an NBA team, but his personal trainer says the 10-time All-Star will savor every last second of it if he does.
Anthony’s trainer, Chris Brickley, said during an appearance on “The Breakfast Club” this week that Carmelo is still better than most players on NBA rosters and is willing to play any role. Brickley believes some teams are under the impression that Anthony would insist upon being a starter, but what he really wants is a Dwyane Wade-style farewell tour.
“I think teams are afraid of, ‘I want to be a starter,’ or, ‘I want this.’ That’s not the case, though,” Brickley said, as transcribed by Dani Mohr of the New York Post. “Melo just wants to have a final season, have a farewell season, do what D-Wade did. Do the jersey swap. He had a great career, he’s a Hall of Famer. So hopefully that can happen.”
Brickley also compared Anthony’s situation to the way Allen Iverson was viewed at the end of his Hall of Fame career, when Brickley believes teams “blackballed” Iverson because of their false ideas of the role he wanted to play.
Anthony received some support on Twitter this week from an NBA star who believes he still deserves a shot, and it’s still possible he could get it. A Wade-style farewell tour probably isn’t his No. 1 priority, however, as Carmelo still does not have an NBA championship ring. We’re guessing that’s what he covets the most at age 35.
Carmelo Anthony has at least one major star in his corner as he looks to climb his way back into the NBA.
In a post to Twitter on Monday, Portland Trail Blazer All-Star guard Damian Lillard called for Anthony to get another shot in the league using the hashtags “VoteForMeloFarewellSeason” and “StopPlayinMelo.”
When a user suggested Portland sign the veteran forward, Lillard replied that the team had no money but added that Anthony should be playing regardless.
As August looms, the ex-scoring champion Anthony remains without an NBA offer, nearly nine months after his last game for the Houston Rockets. Lillard is not the only player who feels that he deserves another shot, as a player from Melo’s former New York Knicks also tweeted something similar this month.
Carmelo Anthony is still without an NBA team, and one player on his former club would like to see that change.
On Sunday, New York Knicks guard Allonzo Trier called for the exiled 10-time All-Star to be signed with a tweet that read “Free Melo” and tagged Anthony.
Trier, who just had a strong rookie season with the Knicks as an undrafted free agent, was never teammates with Anthony in New York. Having been born in 1996, it’s a good bet that Melo was one of the players he grew up idolizing as well.
One particular destination may be lurking for Anthony if any, but with his apparent unwillingness to reinvent his style of play as he ages, it’s very possible that we have seen the last of the 35-year-old at the NBA level.