Last offseason, the Oklahoma City Thunder engaged in a trade deal with the New York Knicks with the belief that Carmelo Anthony could help Russell Westbrook fully dominate the Western Conference and win an NBA championship title. The “Big Three” of Westbrook, Anthony, and Paul George led the Thunder to 48-34 record where they finished fourth in the Western Conference. Unfortunately, they ended up being eliminated in the first round by the Utah Jazz, who were led by rookie Donovan Mitchell.
Paul George and Russell Westbrook somewhat managed to show a good chemistry during their first season playing together, but Carmelo Anthony was obviously the odd man out in Oklahoma City. In a recent interview with ESPN, the 10-time NBA All-Star revealed why things didn’t work out in his first season with the Thunder.
“At the end of the day, it wasn’t a good fit,” Anthony said. “I think last year — and I haven’t talked about this before — everything was just so rushed, going to the team for media day and the day before training camp. Them guys already had something in place, and then I come along in the 25th hour like, oh s—, Melo just come on and join us. Like, you can figure it out since you’ve been around the game for a long time. That’s why it was so inconsistent.”
Also: With completion of the Carmelo Anthony trade now within sight, here's Monday's story on Carmelo Anthony's plans to sign with the Houston Rockets once he clears waivers –> https://t.co/5odrLe7T8z
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) July 25, 2018
As of now, the deal that sent Carmelo Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks is official. Anthony won’t be staying in Atlanta for too long as the Hawks are expected to waive him soon. When he becomes an unrestricted free agent, multiple reports claimed that the All-Star forward will be signing a veteran minimum deal with the Houston Rockets.
Unlike the Thunder, the Rockets have managed to establish an impressive performance last season where they forced a Game 7 against the reigning NBA champions, Golden State Warriors, in the Western Conference finals. Anthony believes playing for the West runner-up will help him change the perception that he isn’t about winning.
After losing Trevor Ariza to the Phoenix Suns and Luc Mbah a Moute to the Los Angeles Clippers, the Rockets need to fill a huge void in the wing. Anthony may not be a great defender like Ariza or Mbah a Moute, but he can be a reliable contributor for the Rockets on the offensive end of the floor. Though Anthony is yet to sign a contract with the Rockets, most people have doubt how he can make himself fit with James Harden and Chris Paul, who, like Westbrook and George, are also ball-dominant players.
However, the Rockets are a very different team with the Thunder. As of now, Anthony is excited on his next journey and hoping that he can revive his game in the 2018-19 NBA season.