Blazers: Carmelo Anthony Reveals Why He Paused Hoops, Joined Damian Lillard

NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 07: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks celebrates a basket in the second half during a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2014 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)

Unless you’ve been living under a rock since Thursday: Carmelo Anthony is in the NBA!

Melo is now a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. He signed a non-guaranteed deal 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.

All along Anthony knew that he’d be on an NBA roster. In fact, two weeks the one-time Syracuse University National Champion shared with me that play ‘2000 percent.’

“Make that the headline,” he told me.

So why did Carmelo Anthony decide to sign with the Portland Trail Blazers? Anthony says that the Blazers contacted him last Wednesday and that he decided last Thursday to sign.

On Monday, he released a video via his YouTube Channel explaining his decision.

“I always kept my eyes on Portland,” said the NBA All Star.

“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.”

The third overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft, Carmelo Anthony has literally not played basketball in a year.

The last time that he suited up was when he was a member of the Houston Rockets on November 8, 2018.

Anthony likes what Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Hassan Whiteside and others bring to the table in Rip City. “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,'” he said.

“It will only work if all parties see it the same way.What happened before is the past, I can’t dwell on that, I learn from that. This happened at a point in time in my life where I do have a lot of clarity and understanding of different situations and just life, and my approach is totally different.”

With injuries to key players like Zach Collins, Pau Gasol and Jusf Nurkc, the Blazers are very thin in the frontcourt and the Blazers could use any help that they can get.

Their squad is currently sitting at 5-9 and in 12th place in the NBA’s Western Conference. Anthony is a 10-time NBA All-Star and has averaged 24 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists in his career as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets. He hasn’t joined the team yet. But says that he will. “‘Let me just get three or four days of just, get back into it,'” he said.

“Mentally and emotionally I had detached myself from the game a little bit, just to give myself some sanity and not think about it. Once I got that call, the challenge was for me to flip that back mentally. There’s a big difference in training while you’re waiting, and training once you get the call and saying, ‘OK, we wanna do this.'”