Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports news from Friday, highlighted by Carmelo Anthony opening up about the doubts he experienced following his release from the Rockets and his desire to still play.
We also will take a look at the Athletics signing a fan who threw a 96 mph pitch during a recent speed pitch challenge at a Rockies game and the Christmas Day schedule is out for the NBA – see who will be slated in the league’s marquee matchups.
All this and more as we kick off the weekend and get you up to speed with the sports world on this Saturday!
Carmelo Anthony Opens Up About Overcoming Doubts, Still Wants To Play
Ten-time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony sat down with Stephen A. Smith on ESPN’s First Take on Friday and revealed just how much being released by the Houston Rockets last year affected his confidence and overall will to continue playing the game he loved.
Anthony, who had previously played for the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder, only took the court in ten games for the Rockets before being released early in the 2018 season.
The six-time All-NBA player was left doubting his ability during a time in which he said he was “emotionally vulnerable.”
“I felt like the game didn’t want me back at that point in time,” said Anthony.
“That was an ego hit. That was a pride hit. I started questioning myself after that. Can I still do this? What did I do? I asked him [Rockets GM Daryl Morey] this. … He just said it wasn’t working out.”
Anthony, who has averaged 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his NBA career, has regained his passion for the game after some time away.
“I’m in the gym every single day,” Anthony said. He would go on to say that he stepped away from basketball to “reevaluate myself, reevaluate my career, reevaluate my life.”
Anthony seems dedicated to finding his next opportunity to take the court with a team that will give him a shot.
“I feel like I still can play,” said Anthony. “I know I still can play. My peers know I still can play.”
More from Heavy.com: Carmelo Anthony has talked to Lakers & Clippers
IF YOU THROW IT (FAST), THEY WILL COME: Fan Who Hit 96 MPH on Radar Gun Challenge Gets Signed by Athletics
In a made-for-movie script, 23-year-old Nathan Patterson’s wildest dreams came true this week, as he signed a contract with the Oakland Athletics after video of him firing a fastball at a speed pitch challenge went viral.
Patterson, who had played baseball in high school, topped the radar gun at a sizzling 96 mph two weeks ago at a Colorado Rockies game at Coors Field. The video was posted to social media and two weeks later the right-hander had an offer from the Athletics.
As if that weren’t incredible enough, the rest of Patterson’s story is as amazing. After not having thrown in years since playing in high school, Patterson threw a 96 mph heater last August in a radar gun booth during an Athletics Triple-A affiliate game in Nashville.
He then began training but was struck by a car and suffered a wrist injury, according to CBS Sports. Patterson worked his way back from the injury and began pitching in a recreational league until his big break finally came.
Dreams really do come true. Patterson posted a photo of him signing the contract with the Athletics on Instagram and included these inspiring words in his caption:
“And for those who tell you that you can’t achieve your dreams, use that as fuel to work even harder. Because those people are the ones that settle. …Go after your dreams and make them a reality.”
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Lakers-Clippers headline slate of NBA’s Christmas Day games
- Manchester United agree to sign Harry Maguire, paying a world-record fee for a defender
- Lionel Messi suspended three months from playing for Argentina
WHAT’S ON TAP IN THE SPORTS WORLD
NFL: Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony
Eight people will be enshrined in the NFL’s Hall of Fame on Saturday night, highlighted by Tony Gonzalez, Ed Reed and Champ Bailey, who all made the Hall on their first ballot.
WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN, NFL Network
NASCAR: Go Bowling at The Glen at Watkins Glen
With only five races remaining until NASCAR’s postseason, several drivers need a win in order to advance to the playoffs. This Sunday’s race will be on a road course in Watkins Glen, New York.
WHEN: Sunday, 3 p.m. ET
Missed Yesterday’s Roundup? Click here for it.