Carmelo Anthony doesn’t have much time left in the league.
The 36-year-old just wrapped up his 17th season in the NBA, after all.
Still, he’s not ready to give up the game just yet. He said after the Portland Trail Blazers’ 131-122 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night, which officially knocked them out of the playoffs, that he expects to “be right back in the fray of things when next season comes.”
Anthony wants that to be with the Blazers, too.
“I pray that it could be Portland,” he said, via The Oregonian. “Honestly, thank God I found a home in Portland. I got comfortable with the organization. I got comfortable with the guys on the team. They got comfortable with me.
“At this point in my career, I do think that that’s the best fit for me, the best situation. Especially having this experience now and kind of just getting my feet wet, coming in and being who I am and staying true to myself. I really hope that it can be Portland at the end of the day where we give ourself a chance to keep this team together, get guys healthy and get another run at it.”
Carmelo Anthony shined in Portland after rough year off
Anthony signed a one-year, $2 million deal with Portland after a rough few years in the league — something that had many thinking Anthony would never play again.
Anthony played in just 10 games for the Houston Rockets in 2018 before the team suddenly decided they wanted to move on from him. It took until January for the Rockets to trade him to the Chicago Bulls, who immediately released him.
He didn’t find a home in the league until Portland finally came along in November, something that head coach Terry Stotts was thrilled about.
“The fact that ‘Melo came and played for the season was special,” Stotts said, via The Oregonian. “What he meant to the team and the way he conducted himself. The way he played. Obviously, in the bubble, he made some big shots and got us into the playoffs.
“I feel very honored to have been able to coach him. He’s a Hall of Fame player, and he’s a Hall of Fame guy.”
Anthony averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds while playing in nearly 33 minutes per game in the starting lineup — the most he’s played since his final season with the New York Knicks. He, along with Damian Lillard, helped the Blazers rally inside the NBA’s bubble at Walt Disney World to claim the final playoff spot, too.
Anthony is now set to become a free agent. While a lot can change between now and the start of next season — something that still doesn’t have an official start date due to the COVID-19 pandemic — Anthony doesn’t see any reason why he should try and play anywhere other than in Portland.
“I think you saw it, why this is a good fit for me,” Anthony said, via ESPN. “When you find a situation that’s comfortable and allows you to be who you are, you want to stay in that situation. There’s no need to try different things when something is working.”
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