Following his successful comeback campaign with the Portland Trail Blazers this season, multi-time NBA All-Star and former league scoring champion Carmelo Anthony has said he wants to continue on with the club next year. The 36-year-old Anthony made the proclamation after his squad was eliminated from postseason play on Saturday by LeBron James and the top-seeded L.A. Lakers.
“I pray that it can be Portland,” he said, via NBC Sports Northwest.
“Honestly, I think that I found a home in Portland. I got comfortable with the organization. I got comfortable with the guys on the team. They got comfortable with me. At this point in my career, I do think that’s the best fit for me… I really hope it can be Portland at the end of the day.”
For his part, Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has already endorsed a second go-round with the three-time Olympic gold medalist.
One year ago, the idea that there was even a spot left in the association for Anthony was not universally held. After an up and down year with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017-18, which resulted in a disappointing first-round exit for OKC, Anthony was traded to the Atlanta Hawks, who subsequently waived him.
The former No. 3 overall pick quickly signed with the Houston Rockets and big things were expected of his partnership with James Harden and Chris Paul, but Anthony ultimately failed to stick with the franchise. After just 10 games in a Rockets uniform last season, he was sent home by the team. In January of 2019, he was finally dealt to the Chicago Bulls, but he was quickly released.
Despite Anthony’s desire to return to the court with a playoff team, he was unable to secure a job and forced to sit out the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign.
He finally got his chance at career resurrection when a 4-8 Blazers squad that had lost Zach Collins and Pau Gasol to injury came calling. In short order, he became an important contributor next to Lillard and CJ McCollum, and he eventually helped the Blazers secure the West’s final playoff spot in the Orlando bubble. In 58 games with the organization this season, Anthony averaged 15 points and five rebounds per contest while making almost 39 percent of his three-point shots.
Anthony transformed his body in an effort to keep himself on the court and playing effectively during his stint with the Blazers, and the venture ultimately proved to be successful. If he can keep himself fit and healthy heading into 2020-21, he’ll likely be given another opportunity to continue his career.