NBA Rumors: Carmelo Anthony's New Slimmed-Down Figure Could Help Him Stay In Blazers Starting Lineup

Carmelo Anthony has dropped some weight ahead of the NBA's return, and it may help the veteran forward stay in the starting lineup for the Portland Trail Blazers. As ESPN reported, the athlete lost a significant amount of weight to help ease a transition from power forward to small forward -- which also led to a new nickname directly from Anthony himself.

"Every summer it's a different name for me," Anthony told reporters on Friday. "This summer is Skinny Melo. There's Hoodie Melo, USA Melo, there's so many different Melos out there. But at the end of the day, I'm me."

The report noted that Anthony's weight loss was prompted by the expected return of Jusuf Nurkic and Zach Collins, who will occupy the frontcourt for the Blazers in the NBA's restarted season. This will allow Anthony to revert back to his traditional spot as a small forward, which the All-Star said gave him a new motivation to get into the proper shape to play on the wing.

"That was a big motivation for me to come back at that exact weight, or around that weight, 230, 235," he shared. "I haven't seen 230, 235 since early, early in my career. So now it puts me back in a mindset of that from a confidence standpoint knowing that I was able to get back to that. On the court I feel good, I feel healthy."

The Blazers are currently on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. They need a push to get close enough to the No. 8 seed and trigger a play-in series.

Anthony credited a very intensive and very healthy diet for helping him to drop the weight, though the total weight loss wasn't all that large. The player said that he lost close to five pounds, but more importantly, he underwent a redistribution of his total weight by reducing his total body fat.

The new look has earned the attention of his teammates, including guard C.J. McCollum who said that Anthony is carrying the weight well and appears to be moving smoother on the court.

As The Inquisitr reported, there were rumors that Collins' return could push Anthony out of the starting lineup. Stevie Cozens of Fansided's Rip City Project noted that Anthony seemed likely to be demoted so the returning player could take over the frontcourt because Anthony seemed to be a better fit to come off the bench given his defensive deficiencies and Collins being known as a much stronger defender.