Carmelo Anthony has not played NBA basketball since November and yet, the 10-time NBA All Star still gets love from former teammates.
While discussing a wide-range of topics with CBS Sports’ DJ Sixsmith, Knicks co-captain, Lance Thomas spoke at length of how Anthony made him a better player.
“We always played one on one after practice,” Thomas told Sixxsmith.
“We went at each other all the time. I became a better defender going at him every single day. He worked on offensive talents that he already had. I guarded him a different way and was always really hands on with him. He was able to find ways to score on me. When he would go against other defenders that wouldn’t guard him as close, it was so easy for him.”
Anthony signed with the Houston Rockets this past summer after clearing waivers in a trade that shipped him from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks.
“I think Carmelo’s game still adapts to today’s game, it just has to be the right situation,” Sacramento Kings assistant coach Bobby Jackson told NBA writer, Landon Buford.
“With Carmelo’s situation being that he is 15 or 16 seasons in, will he be willing to take a back seat by coming off the bench and being a limited role player in that offense? I think that is the biggest question with Carmelo.”
The Rockets traded Anthony to the Chicago Bulls before the NBA’s trade deadline and was later waived.
The third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, the Los Angeles Lakers had been leaning toward signing Anthony for the rest of the season — until a mound of LA losses occured.
Anthony has averaged 24 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists in his career with the Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets.
A long forward, Anthony is the epitome of today’s game, honestly.
He can score!
But he’s also contemplated retirement.
In an interview with Taryn Finley of the Huffington Post recently, Melo suggested he is at peace with the fact he may not play much longer:
“I’m sure [retirement is] coming soon. I’d be sitting lying to you if I said it’s not coming soon. I think I want it to come soon. I don’t think I want to do this forever, but because you love it so much, it’s hard to give it up. At the end of the day, at anything you do, when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. But as long as you feel good with that.”
“I hope above all else that whatever it is, however he wants it to end, he gets to walk away and go down on his own terms,” Quentin Richardson, Anthony’s former Knicks teammate told me on the Scoop B Radio Podcast.
“He is one of the best 300 players in the world that’s not playing,” TNT’s Kenny Smith told me.
“You can’t say he’s not one of the best 300 players.”
“You don’t get better sitting out of basketball,” TNT’s Charles Barkley told me.
What about next season?
“It might be over,” said Barkley.
A long forward, Anthony is the epitome of today’s game, honestly. He can score.
“I don’t know if they remember how good of a player he was and still is,” Blake Griffin told Basketball Society Online during the regular season.
“Sometimes it’s the situation. It sucks to see as a basketball player to see people act [as if] he is something [that] he is not.”
“He’s a great player,” Lance Thomas told me in December.
“He’s a great teammate, most importantly he’s a great human being and he’s always been a great advocate for the NBA as a brand. So I just want him to get back on a team and play the sport he loves that’s paved a way for him and his family, and he just loves to play basketball, so I really want him back on a team.”