Damian Lillard: People 'Disrespectful' of 'Hall of Famer' Carmelo Anthony

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, left, and guard Damian Lillard head to the bench during a time out against the Denver Nuggets in the second half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019, in Denver. The Nuggets won 114-99. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony may be past his prime at 36 years old, but Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is looking for more respect for his teammate.

"I find it real funny and disrespectful the way people speak on Melo," Lillard said following Tuesday's 110-102 win over the Houston Rockets, per Bleacher Report's Taylor Rooks. "... He's a Hall of Famer."

The comments come after Anthony drilled the biggest shot of the game with a three-pointer to stretch Portland's lead to five with less than a minute remaining. The Syracuse product finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and two steals.

Bleacher Report @BleacherReport

MELO. CLUTCH. https://t.co/qXHmdAJrcU

Anthony may come up short in comparisons with fellow 2003 draftees LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, especially when it comes to having zero career championships, but there is no doubting his status as an elite scorer who is headed to the Hall of Fame as Lillard said.

He is a six-time All-NBA selection and 10-time All-Star who led the league in scoring in 2012-13 on the New York Knicks and has averaged 23.6 points per game throughout his career.

Anthony has taken on a different role from go-to scorer on the Trail Blazers given the presence of Lillard and CJ McCollum, among others, but he has provided key secondary support for a team looking to make a playoff push on the campus at Walt Disney World Resort.

He scored 21 points in a critical head-to-head win over the Memphis Grizzlies on Friday and notched a double-double Tuesday to go with that clutch shot in a game that came down to the final minute.

That shot could ring even more important depending on how the Trail Blazers finish in Orlando, Florida.

They are 1.5 games behind the eighth-seeded Grizzlies and hold the ever-important No. 9 seed by a half-game over the San Antonio Spurs, one game over the New Orleans Pelicans, 1.5 games over the Phoenix Suns and two games over the Sacramento Kings.

Whichever team earns that No. 9 seed will have an opportunity to play the No. 8 seed in a play-in tournament. If the No. 9 seed can win two games in a row in such a scenario, it will go to the playoffs.

That could give Anthony an opportunity to earn even more respect.