When the 2019-20 NBA season started with Carmelo Anthony still unable to find his new home, most people believed that the 10-time NBA All-Star had already reached the end of his career. However, a few weeks after the season began, Anthony surprisingly received a one-year, non-guaranteed contract from the Portland Trail Blazers. After showing that he still has plenty of gas left in his tank, the Trail Blazers decided to sign Anthony for the rest of the season.
In a recent interview with CJ McCollum on Pull Up podcast, Anthony discussed several topics, including his decision to sign with the Trail Blazers this season. Aside from giving him the opportunity to prove that his career is far from over, Anthony revealed that he “needed Portland for other reasons.”
“I think the biggest part of it was I had to be right mentally, I had to be right emotionally and spiritually,” Anthony said, per Casey Holdahl on NBA.com. “What I always tell people now is Portland came at a pivotal time in my life and my career. I needed Portland at this point in time, what I was looking for as far as on the court and off the court. I needed it, I needed the serenity of being in Portland, I need the space, I needed this me time to figure out me at the end of the day and to get my mind right and to focus on my body and emotionally.”
Signing with the Trail Blazers indeed helped Anthony in many ways. It not only allowed him to revive his NBA career, but it also brought back his confidence. Although there’s no doubt that he’s on the downside of his professional basketball career, Anthony has shown in the games he played with the Trail Blazers this season that he remains a reliable contributor, especially on the offensive end of the floor.
So far, the 35-year-old small forward is averaging 15.3 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting 42.6 percent from the field and 37.1 percent from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, despite Anthony’s impressive performance, the Trail Blazers still failed to find a way to consistently win games in the 2019-20 NBA season. As of now, the Trail Blazers are out of the playoff race, sitting in the No. 9 spot in the deep Western Conference with a 29-37 record.
Anthony and the Trail Blazers still have the chance to play in the 2020 NBA Playoffs, as they are only three wins behind the Western Conference No. 8 seed Memphis Grizzlies. However, if they don’t show a massive improvement with their performance on both ends of the floor, it is highly likely that the Trail Blazers would suffer an early playoff exit even if they reach the postseason.