Paul George to Carmelo Anthony Critics: 'Let Him Play. Let Him Hoop'

Megan ArmstrongAnalyst IIIDecember 4, 2019

Portland Trail Blazers' Carmelo Anthony (00) smiles during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Clippers Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press

Los Angeles Clippers guard Paul George and Portland Trail Blazers guard Carmelo Anthony were teammates in Oklahoma City for only the 2017-18 season, but Anthony left enough of an impression for George to defend him. 

The Clippers defeated the Trail Blazers 117-97 Tuesday night, but George sided with Anthony afterward (h/t ESPN's Ohm Youngmisuk): 

"I'm not going to be happy with (the criticism), with how they tried to shoot him down when he first started. I am not going to be happy now that he's playing well and they want to be on his side. He is going to have a long season. Let him play. Let him hoop.

"Say what you want when he's finished, but let him hoop. It's great that he's getting that recognition now. When it is all said and done—people, let him play and let him hoop. It's tough regardless when he came back; he had been out over a year, so there's going to be some ups and downs. But let Melo hoop."

George's comments were directed at negative reaction to Anthony being named the Western Conference Player of the Week on Monday. Per ESPN, the last time Anthony earned the recognition was March 10, 2014.

Anthony signed with the Blazers on Nov. 19 after a year-plus out of the NBA. The 35-year-old 10-time All-Star had last played on Nov. 8, 2018, for the Houston Rockets. 

In seven games with Portland, all starts, Anthony has averaged 16.4 points, 6.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists.