The NBA’s old guard is slowly being ushered out of the league, and former New York Knicks superstar Carmelo Anthony is just the latest example.
He has been unable to latch onto a team this season, but Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul said he thought Anthony should be able to find one and then leave the game on his own terms.
“Melo is one of the best to ever to play the game,” Paul said January 2 after the Knicks beat the Suns 102-83. “I’m obviously biased and hope he’s in the league soon because somebody of that caliber, with that ability, with the heart that he has, and the stuff he’s done for the game — he should be able to walk off the court when he’s ready.”
Anthony, 38, who is best known for his days with the Denver Nuggets (2004-11) and Knicks (2011-17), played last season for the Los Angeles Lakers and was productive, averaging 13.3 points per game on 44.1% shooting.
Carmelo Anthony Reunion With Knicks Unlikely: Report
There was some chatter about him possibly joining the Knicks for this season, but he has remained unsigned and the Knicks appeared to have shut the door on a reunion.
“Based on one Knicks source, the indications are that Anthony would not fit the style the Knicks are trying to play — namely defense,” Newsday’s Steve Popper wrote on December 10.
Anthony could join Dwight Howard as one of the league’s best all-time players who leave without much fanfare. Like Anthony, Howard was active on a roster last season, but now he is playing in Taiwan. Anthony, meanwhile, is getting tributes while sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden.
What Teams Could Use Carmelo Anthony?
With all of the injuries the Knicks were going through, including one to Obi Toppin, there was some chatter about them possibly reuniting with Anthony. Popper quickly put an end to those rumors.
“Unlike the Phil Jackson era, when the front office tried to run Anthony out of town, his long-time agent, Rose, is running the show,” Popper wrote. “His son, Kyan, is playing ball locally at Christ the King High School. So could he make one last farewell run through Madison Square Garden? Probably not. Anthony has been without a job this season, the second time this has happened to him in recent years. The first time, he resurrected his career in Portland and then helped out the Lakers.”
This would seemingly leave Anthony with few other options. Though he didn’t help the Lakers make the playoffs last season, signing again with Los Angeles could seemingly make sense because shooting is something the team currently lacks. However, they might want to avoid adding another aging vet to the roster. They are also struggling again — even with the services of Anthony Davis — and it’s unlikely that adding a 38-year-old to the roster would be the spark they need.
Other than the Lakers, it’s slim picking for the former superstar, and that could be a big part of why he finds himself sitting at home instead of on an active roster.