Carmelo Anthony’s tenure with the Houston Rockets didn’t go as planned, but James Harden still wants to see Melo get another chance to play.
The Houston Rockets’ relationship with Carmelo Anthony has been strange to say the least. Houston turned over every stone to pull off a deal with the New York Knicks in the summer of 2017 for Anthony, but the Knicks traded Anthony to Oklahoma City instead.
After just one season in OKC, the Thunder traded Anthony to the Hawks, who quickly waived Anthony. The Rockets were finally able to acquire Melo and they signed him to a veteran’s minimum contract.
After years of pursuing Carmelo, the Rockets finally got their guy. Anthony seemed to be really excited about playing for a team that was so close to the NBA Finals just a season earlier, and the other players on the roster were thrilled to have another future Hall of Famer in their presence.
Melo even said he would be willing to come off the bench, something that was unimaginable for him to say while he was playing for the Thunder. Anthony was committed to helping Houston win and his actions matched everything he said at media day.
Unfortunately, he just wasn’t that good on the court with Houston. In Anthony’s 10 games with the Rockets, the team won just four games. Melo did score at least 22 points three times during that stretch, but he struggled to score in other games. Anthony is still a good scorer when he’s in rhythm, but he doesn’t do much on the basketball floor besides score, which limits his effectiveness when his jumpers aren’t falling.
The Rockets quickly realized that Gary Clark‘s defensive versatility was more vital to the team’s success than Anthony’s inconsistent ability to score, so they quickly decided to move on from the 10-time All-Star. For all of the effort that it took to get Anthony in Houston, his tenure with the team was very short and extremely disappointing.
However, Anthony’s former teammates in Houston still want to see him get a second chance. James Harden said that Melo is one of those players that really loves basketball and he wants to see Anthony get a chance to play with another team, via ESPN’s Ian Begley.
“Yeah, man. Melo is one of the best to ever hoop. He loves the game of basketball. Some guys just do it just because they’re gifted or they’re athletic or they can shoot the basketball. There’s not that many players that like, love to hoop. … It kind of sucks that it didn’t work out. It is what it is. I just hope he finds somewhere where they can embrace him and he can still hoop. So he [gets to] make that decision that he’s done [playing].”
Mike D’Antoni also responded positively when asked if Anthony can still help a team, via Ian Begley.
“Sure, he’s a great player. Why wouldn’t he be able to?”
Many rumors point to the Los Angeles Lakers as Carmelo’s next stop. However ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski recently reported that the team has no plans to create a roster spot for him, but they could look into Anthony if an open roster spot emerges.
Either way, Anthony did things the right way during his short tenure in Houston. He said all the right things to the media, he was willing to come off the bench for the first time in his career and he never publicly bashed the Rockets’ organization after they decided to part ways with him. His positive attitude and willingness to make the needed sacrifices should land him a job in the NBA this season.