The past couple of years have been a rollercoaster ride for Carmelo Anthony. Not that long ago, one of the best scorers of his generation was miles away from the league, as he was portrayed as a guy who couldn’t accept a less significant role. Front offices knew he could still play, but the problem was the baggage that comes with Melo. So after the Houston Rockets released him in November 2018, Carmelo went unsigned for a whole calendar year.
It is difficult for an aging star in the NBA, and it was tough for Melo, mostly because most executives saw him as a ‘bad fit.’ Also, the Trail Blazers were afraid that Melo was out of shape when he was coming to training camp, but again, he had proven his determination. Anthony revealed that he was ready when Portland called him.
“My physical condition was a major key. My mental condition was major. On that break, I had to really get to a place mentally and say, ‘You know what, it is what it is, I got to accept this and whatever is going to happen is going to happen, but I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing.’ I love to train, everybody that knows me would tell you that. I love to workout; I’m a gym rat. And people that know me know that. At that time I didn’t care what people think, I knew what I was doing and people around me knew I was in great shape so that’s when I got the call about Portland and it was like ‘I’m ready to go‘.”Carmelo Anthony, The Woj Pod
Thanks to the Portland Trail Blazers, the veteran forward was eventually back in the league and showed that he isn’t a ‘liability.’ Anthony also showed that he still deserves to be in the league. In his first season with the Trail Blazers, Carmelo averaged 15.4 points (43.9% field goal, 32.8% 3-point percentage), 6.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. This month, Melo passed Oscar Robertson and moved to No. 12 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
“That list is different. You start thinking differently about the people you’re about to surpass. The names start to get bigger, bolder, and louder. Dominique Wilkins, Oscar Robertson, those are the names that I never imagined passing in the scoring list.”Carmelo Anthony, The Woj Pod
Anthony is no longer in his prime, and it’s most obvious on defense. But as the leader of the second unit who can step up in big moments in the playoffs? Melo still has a role to play in the NBA.