Carmelo Anthony and the Portland Trail Blazers would have preferred a win on Tuesday night (November 19), but both sides are optimistic for what this future partnership might hold.
Following the Blazers 115-104 loss to the Pelicans, in which Melo saw his first NBA action in over a year, the 12-time All-Star was appreciative of the moment and the opportunity.
“The greatest feeling of all was to feel wanted by a group of guys who believe in me and my talent and what I can bring to the game,” Anthony said, according to The Oregonian. “It wasn’t just the players. It was the coaching staff. They really showed a strong level of belief in me and what I can still do.”
The Blazers are dealing with a rash of injuries that necessitated the signing of Melo and his appearance in the starting lineup.
He finished the game with 10 points on 4-14 shooting. While not the best stat line, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts liked what he saw.
“To be honest, I thought he looked good,” Stotts said, via ESPN. “I thought offensively he got looks, he got good looks at the basket. I thought he got fouled at least two or three times taking it strong to the basket. He then came away empty, so that kind of affected his [stat] line. But I thought, for having a morning shootaround, I thought it was pretty good.”
Melo believes he has something left to contribute to a team, and the Blazers are giving him that chance.
Unlike his most recent stint, last year in Houston with the Rockets, Melo says the Blazers are being up front about his role and what they expect.
“That was something that was established out [of] the gate,” Anthony said. “When we had that phone call, it was ‘Let’s be transparent.’ That was the miscommunication over the last couple of seasons about what my role would be and things that are expected of me. That was a big point in talking to those guys: Be transparent. It’s not nothing I won’t be willing to do, but just let me know up front, and whatever it is, just let me know. Put it all on the table and we go from there. Nothing was ever questioned. It was ‘OK, we want you to come in, we want you to play, we want you to start, we want you to get going.’ That was that and that was a big reason why I made that decision to come.”