Carmelo Anthony says he was prepared to move on from the NBA if the Portland Trail Blazers hadn’t offered him a contract last month.
“I was ready to walk away,” Anthony told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols. “It’s hard, waking up every morning, not knowing what to expect, not knowing what to work on. Wanting to give up hope, wanting to give up faith and belief and just forget this whole basketball thing.”
Anthony, who was named Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday, is averaging 17.7 points per game since joining Portland on Nov. 19. Heading into Tuesday night, the team is 3-3 since his arrival, having won three straight games.
Upon signing with Portland in mid-November, Anthony said on his YouTube channel that Portland seemed like a “perfect opportunity” for him.
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 told Nichols that after a year away from the grind of the NBA schedule, his body is in a solid place.
"I feel good," Anthony said. "Just because I'm 35 years old and I'm supposed to be, you know, the book says you're supposed to be about to retire around this time? Like -- like, no, I've always been against all odds. ... I just had a year off. ... I had a year off restin' my body.
Anthony and the Trail Blazers face off against the Clippers Tuesday night and are in action again on Wednesday when Portland hosts Sacramento.
On Friday, the 10-time All-Star will get an on-court reunion with a fellow member of his 2003 NBA draft class when the Trail Blazers host LeBron James and the Lakers.