The Houston Rockets were a game away from reaching the NBA Finals last season and went for a "home run" signing to get over the top by bringing in Carmelo Anthony, but things didn't go as planned.
"We tried to hit a home run and it didn't work out," head coach Mike D'Antoni said of the situation, per Marc J. Spears of ESPN's The Undefeated. Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle and Tim MacMahon of ESPN shared more comments from the coach in which he discussed the poor fit:
D'Antoni's comments come after general manager Daryl Morey announced, "After much internal discussion, the Rockets will be parting ways with Carmelo Anthony and we are working toward a resolution."
Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported on the situation and noted the veteran is still technically on the roster for now while pointing out, "Anthony's wisest course of action could be exercising patience and allowing changes in league rosters—through trades, injuries, team needs—to create more playing options for him."
D'Antoni pointed to the poor fit, and the numbers bear that out.
According to NBA.com, the Rockets' net rating was minus-nine when he was on the floor and plus-3.1 when he was off it. Houston was simply a better team when he wasn't playing, and it went 4-6 in the 10 games he appeared in this season.
The losing record is a far cry from last season when it finished with the top seed in the Western Conference.
Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 0.5 assists per game in those 10 contests, which would both be career-low marks extended over the entire campaign. This comes after he posted career-low totals in points (16.2), field-goal percentage (40.4) and assists (1.3) last season as a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Recent performances suggest the 34-year-old Anthony is well past his prime even as a 10-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA selection who once led the league in scoring (2012-13). He never established himself as a difference-maker for the Rockets even though he wasn't asked to be the primary focal point of the offense.