Lakers' LeBron James: Everyone Doubted Carmelo Anthony Would Get Another Shot

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistNovember 15, 2019

Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony handles the ball during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Brooklyn Nets, Friday, Nov. 2, 2018, in New York. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Mary Altaffer/Associated Press

Even though LeBron James remained hopeful Carmelo Anthony would receive another opportunity to play in the NBA, the Los Angeles Lakers star acknowledged a lot of people started to be pessimistic about the 10-time All-Star's prospects. 

Per USA Today's Mark Medina, James noted the length of time it took for Anthony to find a home made it natural to question if another team would come calling. 

"I think everyone had doubt, including himself, probably," he said Friday. "As the time goes on and on and on, you see yourself getting further and further away from it. But I always hoped that he would get an opportunity."

ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported Thursday that Anthony will sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Portland Trail Blazers

As recently as Nov. 7, Anthony told reporters he was committed to playing in the NBA again:

Knicks Videos @sny_knicks

Does Carmelo Anthony still want to play in the NBA? "2000 percent. Make that the headline." https://t.co/rU8aqEYUfy

James added there will "be some motivation now" for Anthony and that he "belongs in this league."    

It's been more than a year since Anthony played in an NBA game. His last appearance came on Nov. 8, 2018, as a member of the Houston Rockets. He scored two points in 20 minutes against the Oklahoma City Thunder

The Rockets announced one week later they were "parting ways" with Anthony and would be "working toward a resolution." He was traded to the Chicago Bulls in January, but the team waived him Feb. 1. 

Portland is looking to turn around its season and avoid falling out of playoff contention early. The team enters Friday last in the Northwest Division with a 4-8 record and is playing without Zach Collins (left shoulder) and Jusuf Nurkic (leg). 

Anthony has a career average of 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game across 16 seasons with the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Thunder and Rockets.