As of this writing, the Houston Rockets have yet to officially sign Carmelo Anthony as a free agent, despite expectations among fans that the 34-year-old All-Star small forward will join a star-studded lineup led by guards James Harden and Chris Paul. With the Rockets having just re-signed center Clint Capela to a five-year, $90 million contract, as reported earlier on Friday by ESPN, the team has yet to find a replacement for Trevor Ariza at small forward. As suggested by FS1’s Jason Whitlock, Houston would be better off without the “delusional” Anthony in their lineup.
“Carmelo’s delusional like most athletes,” Whitlock said on Friday’s edition of Speak for Yourself on FS1.
“Look, I still think I can play football, and I can barely get out of bed [on] most days. He’s delusional, and it’s a bad sign. That’s why the Rockets should stay away.”
While Whitlock did not elaborate much on why he believes Carmelo Anthony is “delusional,” his co-hosts offered their own opinions on whether he would be a good fit for the Houston Rockets or not. Chris Mannix opined that the Rockets might as well go “all-in” on offense after losing defensive-minded small forwards Trevor Ariza and Luc Mbah a Moute to the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Clippers respectively. He added that Anthony might fit in well with the Rockets, given how head coach Mike D’Antoni has “evolved” from a coach who favors run-and-gun basketball to someone with a more deliberate, isolation-friendly offensive strategy.
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Another co-host, Greg Jennings, was also in favor of the potential signing as he said Carmelo Anthony could give the Houston Rockets the extra offensive punch they lacked in the 2018 Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, as he could serve as a good option in the event James Harden and Chris Paul are having off-nights.
On the other hand, Speak for Yourself co-host and The Big Lead founder Jason McIntyre brought up Anthony’s reputation as a difficult player to coach, as he looked back on how “Melo” allegedly demanded to be traded and forced coaches out during previous stints with the Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks, and refused a bench role with the Oklahoma City Thunder. He also brought up how LeBron James, who is friends with Anthony, reportedly helped the Los Angeles Lakers sign journeyman Michael Beasley instead of convincing his new team’s management to see if they can sign Anthony.
Later on in the discussion, Jason Whitlock again stated his case and stressed that Anthony might not be able to help the Rockets, agreeing with McIntyre’s earlier comments about him being hard to deal with behind the scenes.
“Y’all missing McIntyre’s excellent point… [Head coach] Jim Boeheim in Syracuse don’t want Melo back. It’s over for Melo. He couldn’t help.”
Earlier this week, a few other sources offered similarly grim predictions for Carmelo Anthony if he signs with the Houston Rockets. As noted by the Inquisitr, recent forecasts from SportsLine showed the Rockets having a slightly lower chance of becoming NBA champions in 2019 assuming they signed Anthony. Separately, James Herbert of CBS Sports commented about the prospective deal, suggesting that Anthony’s poor defense could be a cause of concern despite his ability to “punish” switching defenses in the postseason.