At 34 years old, 6 foot 8 inches and 240 lbs, Carmelo Anthony has spent 15 years in the NBA after playing in Syracuse. Anthony had logged 1,054 total consecutive starts while playing in Denver, then New York, then OKC, and now Houston.
Last night, “Melo” and the Houston Rockets fell to the New Orleans Pelicans 131-112. He came off the bench (for the first time in 1,054 games) to score 9 on 3-of-10 in shooting for 27 minutes of play. This single-digit scoring in a season opener was also a first for his career.
Anthony has told Houston coaches that he is open to playing whatever role that would best suit the Rockets. Coach Mike D’Antoni said that he appreciates the sacrifice that Anthony is making on behalf of the Rockets. However, is this sacrifice truly for the Rockets, or is it more personal?
Let’s rewind to the end of last season, when Anthony seemed almost unwilling to accept a role where he would have to come off the bench during his exit interview with the Oklahoma City Thunder. Remember when he sat on the bench for much of Oklahoma City’s first round loss to Utah?
To quote him directly, he told reporters a few strongly worded statements:
“Yeah, I’m not sacrificing no bench role”
“I think everybody knows I’ve sacrificed kind of damn near everything…Family, moving here by myself, sacrificed my game for the sake of the team, and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out. So it’s something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball.”
What kind of player does he want to be? He wants to play as a 34 year old with a high energy level as an isolation specialist. In my opinion, with OKC last year, he was more of a catch-and-shoot player.
When it comes down to it, his opinionated statements during his exit interviews last season made him seem unsure of his future. After reality hit after his first non-start in a long time, I wonder what his thoughts are now.
Quotes via The Associated Press via NBA.com.
Image via The Hollywood Unlocked.