Ten-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony seems to be looking forward to his next NBA opportunity. In a new video posted late Monday night on Anthony’s YouTube channel, the 35-year-old forward spoke about joining the Blazers for the first time.
“You know I always kept my eye on Portland,” Anthony said. “It just didn’t work out at other times, but now it seems like it’s a perfect opportunity.”
The Syracuse product was a free agent for most of last season after playing just 10 games with the Houston Rockets. He was effectively dismissed from the team in mid-November and traded to Chicago last January, but was waived on Feb. 1.
He said the process started last Wednesday and that he committed on Thursday. Anthony says that the team wanted him to “get right into it,” but that he asked for a few days to help himself transition.
“Let me just get like three-to-four days of just like getting back into it mentally and emotionally,” Anthony says he told the team. “I had almost detached myself from the game a little bit just to get myself some sanity and not think about it.”
Anthony, who was drafted third overall by the Denver Nuggets in 2003, also said that he and Blazers guard Damian Lillard have talked on-and-off throughout the past couple of years. CJ McCollum, Anthony says, has been a frequent participant in his “blackout runs.”
As SI's Chris Mannix noted when Anthony signed last week, Portland has been among the teams most interested in the forward in recent years and had interest in trading for him when he was still with the Knicks.
Anthony has averaged 24.0 points per game in 16 NBA seasons and could provide the Trail Blazers with an offensive boost. Portland is 5-9 to start the season and has slipped offensively after being third overall in offensive rating last year. The team is also relatively thin at power forward after Zach Collins suffered a dislocated shoulder in early November.
Anthony reportedly joined the team on a one-year, non-guaranteed deal.
Anthony could potentially make his debut Tuesday night when the Blazers travel to New Orleans. Tipoff is set for 8 p.m.