Carmelo Anthony Says He 'Hit Rock Bottom' Before Signing Trail Blazers ContractMay 5, 2020
Carmelo Anthony described the time period before the Portland Trail Blazers signed him last November as "rock bottom" during The Uninterrupted's WRTS: After Party chat with Sue Bird, Maverick Carter and Paul Rivera on Monday night.
"I hit rock bottom emotionally, and I had to build myself back up—basically by myself—to get here where I'm at today to be able to tell this story," the 35-year-old said. "So, this season will always be one of the highlight chapters of any story [that I tell]."
The 10-time All-Star had been out of the league since the Houston Rockets released him in November 2018.
Anthony went further in-depth:
"If I ever write a book, this chapter would be highlighted. I mean, you gotta think—and I'm just gonna give a full-year span in a quick sense. I go from New York, making the All-Star Game, averaging 22, 23 [points] in the Eastern Conference, dealing with everything that I was dealing with off the court, organizational structure, just everything I was dealing with in New York.
"... Getting traded the day before media day to OKC. Going to OKC, actually really liking it, didn't work out for whatever reason, to going to Houston the following year to playing nine games. The first time I've ever come off the bench in 15 years. Ever. So that was an adjustment for me. Leading to having a year off. ... I don't think nobody will understand what I went through emotionally to get through and to be where I'm at today. I'm talking about doubting myself. I'm talking about mentally wanting to give up."
Anthony was selected third overall by the Denver Nuggets in the 2003 NBA draft. The Syracuse legend played seven-plus seasons in Denver before the Nuggets traded him to the New York Knicks in February 2011. Once the six-time All-NBA selection got to the Big Apple, he strung together six straight All-Star campaigns.
New York made the playoffs the first three of Anthony's seven seasons but has not made the postseason since then.
Anthony's Knicks tenure fizzled out, resulting in a trade to the Oklahoma City Thunder in September 2017. He averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds in 32.1 minutes per game across 78 starts for the Thunder in 2017-18 before getting traded again to the Atlanta Hawks in July 2018. He was waived shortly after.
The Rockets signed Anthony in August 2018, but he only appeared in 10 games (starting two) at the beginning of the 2018-19 season before the team traded him to Chicago in January 2019, where he was immediately waived.
However, since the Blazers gave Anthony another chance, the 2012-13 scoring champion has revived his career. He was averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists in 32.5 minutes per game across 50 starts in Portland before the NBA's COVID-19 hiatus started on March 12.
The Blazers guaranteed Anthony's contract for the remainder of the 2019-20 season in December. He is set to become an unrestricted free agent after this season.