After a year and some change since Carmelo Anthony has graced an NBA court, he will make a return to the league alongside Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers.
As reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the 10-time NBA All-Star and 2013 Scoring Champion will sign a non-guaranteed deal with the Western Conference squad. The Blazers (4-8), has had a slow start to the season marred with injury at the forward and wing positions. The additions of Anthony hopes to bring in a scoring punch to a team struggling to close games.
Anthony, 35, hasn’t played in an NBA game since November 8, 2018, when he lasted suited up for the Houston Rockets. In his short ten-game stint with Houston, he averaged 13.4 points off of 40.5% FG shooting and 32.8% from the three-point line. He would be removed from the team and traded to the Chicago Bulls, where he was subsequently bought out of his contract.
In the months going into free agency, Anthony would sit on the sidelines as teams would pass over him for players that fit their vision for the impending season. Anthony would express his desire to return to the NBA in an interview with Stephen A. Smith this past September.
“I’m in the gym every single day,” Anthony said, noting that “silence is not my surrender” and that he has been quiet until now because he felt he needed to step away from the game to “reevaluate myself, reevaluate my career, reevaluate my life.”
This past week, Carmelo spoke with TMZ saying that he was “2000% sure” he would play in the NBA this season, even considering a return to the New York Knicks before signing with Portland.
Anthony will be joining the Trail Blazers on their six-game road trip starting on Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs and an intriguing matchup against Melo’s former team, The Houston Rockets, on Monday night.