Carmelo Anthony was playing a major role for the Rockets.
Anthony’s 10-game stint with Houston looks like it might have been the odd end to his NBA career.
The Rockets kept him rostered in exile a while. They eventually traded him in a tax-avoidance maneuver to the Bulls, who waived him. He reportedly had multiple NBA options. Most chatter centered on the Lakers. All of it went nowhere.
But Anthony’s trainer, Chris Brickley, said the forward is “100 percent” ready to play in the NBA and maybe even ready to start.
Brickley on The Breakfast Club
Yes, given the situation. Allen Iverson. Do you remember?
He kind of got, some people say, not blackballed, but got into a situation at the end of his career where teams would be like, “Oh, he’s going to want this role. So, we’re going to stay away.” And I think that’s what’s going on with Melo right now. He’s easily better with 60 percent, 70 percent of NBA players walking around. It’s just I think teams are afraid of, “I want to be a starter” or “I want this.” That’s not the case, though. Melo just wants to have a final season, farewell season, do what D-Wade did, do the jersey swap. He had a great career. He’s a Hall of Famer. So, hopefully that can happen.
I don’t trust Brickley’s assessment of Anthony’s current playing ability. Anthony employs Brickley. That makes Brickley an unreliable evaluator here.
I’m more interested in Anthony’s motivations. Brinkley has more credibility on revealing those.
Dwyane Wade clearly enjoyed his farewell season with the Heat. Anthony saw some of it firsthand. It must feel really nice to spend a year travelling around the country having your praises sung.
But few players leave the NBA on their own terms. Jeremy Lin is openly grappling with the emotions of not getting the job he wants. Anthony has handled his saga more privately. I suspect there are overlapping feelings.
Wade was still just good enough to get another NBA season. It helped that Miami has such an attachment to him after he spent so much time there, including winning three titles. Anthony doesn’t have that bond with any franchise.
How will Anthony convince another team to sign him?
Brickley downplayed the idea Anthony wants a big role, I think that concern is overstated. Anthony just no longer appears good enough for any role. Even his scoring has become quite inefficient. I don’t believe he’s better than anywhere near 60 percent of current NBA players.
Anthony looked washed up at age 34. That almost never gets better at 35.
But if Anthony is motivated to return for a sendoff season, more power to him. It’s fascinating to learn what drives players, especially ones as famous as Anthony.