Ten-time NBA All Star Carmelo Anthony will make his NBA debut this evening as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers.
Anthony signed a non-guaranteed deal with Portland which will reportedly pay him $14,490 for each day he is on the Blazers’ roster.
The deal will become fully guaranteed on Jan. 7 if he’s still on the roster.
Melo sat out from playing in the National Baketball Association since November 8, 2018. With his new beginning, the three-time Olympic gold medalist will be wearing a new number: #00.
He explained his reasoning via Instagram:
“One should be concentrating on clues that the universe is dropping for them to take up a quick reaction,” Anthony wrote.
“Divine power is seeking my undivided attention. I had to achieve the tranquility of spiritual maturity through the guidance of the Universe. I WILL ALWAYS BE 7️⃣.”
Anthony has career averages of 24 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists during his NBA career with the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets.
Melo wore #15 while playing for the Denver Nuggets and switched to number 7 when he was traded to the Knicks in 2011.
Melo couldn’t wear #15 in Portland because it is retired. Number 15 belonged to Larry Steele, a member of the the Portland Trail Blazers 1977 Championship team.
Also worth noting: While number 7 is not retired, Brandon Roy wore it during his time with the Blazers.
Roy is beloved by Blazer fans.
The NBA’s Rookie of the Year in 2007, Roy averaged 18.8 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.7 assists during his career. Unfortunately, degenerative arthritis in his knee forced the Seattle, Washington natie to retire from basketball in 2011.
Carmelo is amped up to play basketball. Just two weeks ago, he shared with me that he would be playing this season.
“2000 percent,” he said. “Put that in the headline.”
The Blazers have work to do. They’re also hurt. Portland is without Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic and Pau Gasol.
Mind you: this is a team that made it to the NBA’s Western Conference Finals last season and were led by Damian Lillard’s 26.9 points, 6.6 assists and 4.8 rebounds in 40.6 minutes over 16 games in the Playoffs.
Worth noting: Lillard shot 41.8 percent from the field and 37.3 percent from 3-point range.
Lillard shocked the world when he hit a 37-foot 3-pointer with no time remaining to give the Trail Blazers a 118-115 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Portland eliminated OKC in Game 5 of their first round series and Lillard scored 50 points in that contest.
“Two star point guards going against each other,” Lillard told me in September.
“It was like one of the only games that was on that night. I had 50, there were so many things that went into it a big moment. It changed a lot.”
Carmelo Anthony is ready for a fresh start. In between chatting with diehard Knicks fan Gianna Gregoire, who was diagnosed with brain cancer, Melo’s been preparing for his Blazers debut tonight at Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, Lousiana, he’s been gathering perspective.
“I always kept my eyes on Portland,” he said via a video posted on YouTube.
“It just didn’t work out at other times, but now it seems like a perfect opportunity. Me and Dame, we’ve been talking for the past couple years, just off and on, CJ has been playing in my Black Ops runs for the past four years. I just look at that opportunity, that team and say, look ‘this is what I can bring to the team, this is where I can help.’ It will only work if all parties see it the same way.”