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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Articles tagged: Carmelo Anthony

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.

Carmelo Anthony finalizing contract to return to Blazers

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony liked his time with the Portland Trail Blazers so much, he’s staying for at least another year.

According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, Anthony is finalizing an agreement to return to Portland next season. The Blazers appealed to Anthony for multiple reasons. He wanted to remain loyal to them after they resurrected his career, and he’ll be able to play for a contender where he knows his role.

Anthony started 58 games for Portland last season, averaging 15.4 points per game. It was a remarkable turnaround for a player whose career looked over after he was cut loose by Houston early in the 2018-19 season.

There was some chatter that Anthony might end up back with his hometown team. If the 36-year-old was prioritizing a contender, though, he’s chosen a better situation.

Carmelo Anthony expected to end up with Knicks?

Carmelo Anthony

Could Carmelo Anthony end up back with the New York Knicks? Apparently some around the NBA think so.

Anthony is a free agent after signing a 1-year deal with Portland last year. He has been linked to the Knicks because his former agent Leon Rose now runs the team.

SNY’s Ian Begley said in a video published on Thursday that there is talk about Anthony going back to the Knicks.

“I think there’s going to be mutual interest there,” Begley said. “Some teams expect him to end up back in New York. I’m sure they will have discussions about Carmelo returning home to the Knicks.”

Anthony played for the Knicks from 2010-2017. He was an All-Star in every season he was with the team and won a scoring title in 2012-2013. And though the team made the playoffs three straight years while he was there, he wore out his welcome eventually.

Anthony missed most of the 2018-2019 NBA season after Houston parted ways with him. But he eventually signed with Portland last year and was able to prove his value.

The Knicks are excited about their draft pick and the future they have. It’s possible that that future could include Carmelo.

George Karl now appears to tweet shot at Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony

George Karl’s Twitter page is the gift that just keeps on giving.

Karl, the former Denver Nuggets head coach, tweeted this week that the ten-year anniversary of the team trading away Carmelo Anthony was coming up. Karl made a point of saying that he strongly believed it was one of the best trades in league history … for the Nuggets.

Denver did get a nice haul in exchange for trading Anthony to the New York Knicks. Among the players they acquired were Wilson Chandler, Danilo Gallinari, Timofey Mozgov, and multiple draft picks. The Nuggets then made three straight playoff appearances, though all were first-round exits.

But Karl did not mention any of the non-Anthony aspects of the trade. The actual ten-year anniversary is also not for another four months, as Anthony was dealt away in late Feb. 2011. Couple that with the fact that Karl recently tweeted a shot at another one of his former players, and this certainly reads like Anthony shade.

It is no secret that Karl and Anthony did not see eye to eye in Denver. The former appeared to extend a peace offering to the latter earlier this year, but now this latest tweet definitely seems like a step in the wrong direction.

Chris Paul, Carmelo Anthony could team up on Knicks?

Chris Paul

The New York Knicks may have some banana boat-shaped dreams for this offseason.

The New York Post’s Marc Berman reported this week that if Chris Paul ends up on the Knicks via trade, close friend Carmelo Anthony will likely want to follow. Knicks president Leon Rose was previously the agent for both players. Berman adds that Rose is amenable to an Anthony return to New York even without Paul.

Paul, 35, and Anthony, 36, played together on the Houston Rockets in the 2018-19 campaign. It lasted just ten games however before Anthony was waived. Paul, who is under contract for next season, has been linked to the Knicks in trade rumors for many months now. Meanwhile, Anthony, a free agent, was a Knick for seven seasons from 2011 to 2017. The interest in a reunion has also been there for several months.

The Knicks do lack veteran stars to help show their young players the way. Post-prime Paul and Anthony probably will not get them much closer to title contention. But it could still be a fun experiment to watch unfold.

Blazers troll Nuggets for leaving Carmelo Anthony off list of franchise icons

Carmelo Anthony

The Portland Trail Blazers are having a bit of fun on social media at the expense of the Denver Nuggets.

To start some discussion, the Nuggets had asked fans on Twitter to name their favorite Denver players of all time. The tweet was accompanied by a graphic showing some of the franchise’s iconic players.

Notably missing? Carmelo Anthony, who at least statistically ranks as one of the franchise’s greats.

Anthony’s current team, the Portland Trail Blazers, promptly jumped in to have some fun at Denver’s expense.

Why not take the chance to stick up for your player? That’s especially true when the Blazers essentially revived his career.

Anthony averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds per game this past season. Those are nice numbers for a 36-year-old who looked done before signing.

Damian Lillard thinks Blazers could have beaten Warriors last season with Carmelo

Damian Lillard

Carmelo Anthony has been quite a difference-maker for the Portland Trail Blazers this season, and Damian Lillard wishes that he had arrived sooner.

On Friday, the Blazers guard spoke on Anthony’s impact and gave an interesting take on how the team might have fared with him last year.

“He should’ve been here three years ago,” said Lillard in a nod to Portland’s previous efforts to lure Anthony, per Sean Highkin of Bleacher Report. “We get on his case about that all the time. I feel like we could have been in the Finals last year if we had him.”

If you recall, the Blazers made a surprise run to the Western Conference Finals last season where they were swept by the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors then fell in the NBA Finals to the Toronto Raptors in six games.

The truth likely lies somewhere in the middle here — Anthony’s offensive versatility and clutch shooting surely may have swung a couple of the close games against Golden State (two were decided by two points or less). But the Warriors, even with Kevin Durant injured, still had a healthy Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green, which would have created matchup problems for Anthony on the other end of the floor.

In any case, Anthony has showed up to play in the Orlando bubble, and the Blazers are now close to overtaking Memphis for the No. 8 seed in the West thanks in no small part to his strong play.

Carmelo Anthony ready to switch positions for Blazers after slimming down

Carmelo Anthony

Carmelo Anthony is ready to turn the clock back a few years in Orlando.

Speaking with reporters on Friday, the ten-time All-Star said that he is ready to play small forward for the Portland Trail Blazers in the bubble after losing some weight during the NBA shutdown.

“For me, I had that in the back of my mind, once coach told me the position that I’d be switching back to the 3,” Anthony said, per ESPN’s Royce Young. “I kinda challenged myself to get down to that weight where I feel comfortable with playing the 3, comfortable running around and utilizing things I can do within our system from playing the 3.

“That was a big motivation for me to come back at that exact weight or around that weight, 230, 235,” he added. “I haven’t seen 230, 235 since early, early in my career. So now it puts me back in a mindset of that from a confidence standpoint knowing that I was able to get back to that. On the court I feel good, I feel healthy. I have a lot of clarity, too. All of that was part of the plan.”

Video emerged this week of the 36-year-old looking noticeably skinnier during practice in the bubble. Officially listed at 240 pounds, Anthony had spent much of his career at the small forward spot but had been playing almost exclusively at power forward ever since leaving the New York Knicks.

While the last time that Anthony slimmed down did not work out too well, his trim physique is a good sign for a Portland team clawing for a playoff spot and doing so without usual small forward Trevor Ariza, who opted out of Orlando.

Carmelo Anthony not sure if he will participate in restarted NBA season

Carmelo Anthony

The NBA will resume its season with 22 teams in Orlando next month, but Carmelo Anthony is not sure if he will participate.

Anthony told Turner Sports’ Ernie Johnson that he is “up in the air” about playing in the resumed season.

On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowksi said that some NBA players were questioning whether restarting the league was a good idea. Anthony is among that group of players.

Terms of the restart that some players might find objectionable include a 48-hour quarantine upon arriving at Disney World and the inability to have visitors for 60 days while within the “bubble” environment.

Recognizing that some players may be reluctant to participate in the resumed season under these circumstances, the league reportedly is coming up with possible solutions, such as having replacement players ready to fill in for players who get injured, opt not to play, or test positive for COVID-19.

Anthony is averaging 15.3 points per game for Portland, which is ranked ninth in the Western Conference standings.

Knicks could rekindle interest in Carmelo Anthony reunion?

Carmelo Anthony

The New York Knicks’ first attempt to bring back Carmelo Anthony ultimately fell through, but they could be trying a second time come this offseason.

Ian Begley of SportsNet New York reported on Friday that the Knicks will be looking to add a forward who can shoot and lists Anthony as one potential option. Begley notes that the team strongly considered signing Anthony last summer but that he fell out of their plans when they failed to sign the stars that they wanted to. New Knicks president Leon Rose was also Anthony’s agent for many years and “remain[s] close” with the ten-time All-Star.

Anthony, 36, had a revival of sorts with the Portland Trail Blazers this season after almost flaming out of the league. He averaged 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game on 37.1 percent from deep in 50 starts for Portland.

While Anthony’s seven seasons in New York were often up and down, he did seem very open to the possibility of a reunion earlier this year.