Carmelo Anthony Claims He Felt Like An ‘Outcast’ During His Brief Stint With Rockets

Carmelo Anthony of the Portland Trail Blazers celebrates during a playoff game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
Ashley Landis / Getty Images

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony recently looked back on his time with the Houston Rockets in the 2018-19 campaign, stating he felt like he didn’t belong during the 10 games he played for the team.

As quoted by ClutchPoints Thursday night, Anthony appeared on the latest edition of New Orleans Pelicans guard J.J. Redick’s podcast, The Old Man & The Three, where he opened up about his abbreviated stint with the Rockets.

According to the 10-time All-Star, he immediately felt like an “outcast” after arriving in Houston, though he was initially confident he would eventually fit in because he would be teaming with close friends Chris Paul, James Harden, and P.J. Tucker. He added that he thought he would prove to be the missing “piece” the Rockets needed to contend for an NBA championship.

“But that wasn’t their thinking. They wanted me to come in and be a spot-up, corner shooter. Run to the corner, spot-up and that’s it and it didn’t work at all. I used to tell them like look, ‘yo throw me a bone. Like on a switch, just throw it in there.’ I need that feel, I need that touch. You know, I’m a rhythm player.”

Anthony stressed that he wasn’t comfortable coming off the bench and shooting consecutive three-point shots as he was supposedly asked to do.

Carmelo Anthony and James Harden of the Houston Rockets have a talk during a 2018 game against the Los Angeles Lakers.
  Harry How / Getty Images

As shown on his Basketball-Reference player page, Anthony saw his numbers decline with the Rockets as he put up averages of 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 0.5 assists and shot 40.5 percent from the field and 32.8 percent from three-point range while starting just two games in 2018-19. After getting deactivated by the organization, he was traded to the Chicago Bulls later in the season. He was then waived without playing a game for his new team, leaving him a free agent until November 2019 when he signed with the Blazers.

Playing for Portland in the 2019-20 campaign, Anthony seemingly proved that he “still has a lot of game left in the tank,” as noted by ClutchPoints. He started in all 58 games he played this season, averaging 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds, and 1.5 assists and shooting 43 percent from the field as the Blazers’ starting power forward.

This isn’t the first time Anthony has publicly commented about his quick yet troubled stint in Houston. As cited by Sports Illustrated, the former NBA scoring champion appeared on ESPN’s First Take in August 2019, telling host Stephen A. Smith that shortly before his deactivation, he reached out to the Rockets general manager, Daryl Morey, in hopes of discussing ways in which he could contribute to the team. However, Morey allegedly responded by telling Anthony, before a game against the San Antonio Spurs, he was going to be released.