Carmelo Anthony appears to be back on his game after joining the Portland Trail Blazers in November.
Had the Blazers not reached out with a deal, however, Melo was prepared to retire.
“I was ready to walk away, yeah,” Anthony told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols in an interview that aired Tuesday. “It was hard. But there came a point when I was, like, ‘You know what? I’ve given a lot to this game. I played 15, 16 years in this game. I’m ready to give it up, because I just knew that at that point in time from a basketball standpoint, that narrative that it — it was already out there. So I’d been fightin’ an uphill battle anyway if I didn’t go to the right situation.”
Anthony is averaging 17 points, 5.4 rebounds and 30.7 minutes in six games this season. The Blazers may be 3-3 since picking him up, but that doesn’t negate the impact he’s had on the squad.
“I feel good,” he said. “Just because I’m 35 years old and I’m supposed to be, you know, the book says you’re supposed to be about to retire around this time? Like — like, no, I’ve always been against all odds. … I just had a year off. … I had a year off restin’ my body. The most important part about that is I rested my mind right. I got my mind right. And I don’t think people understand how strong that is. When you’re able to get your mind right, everything else flows.”
After all, Melo said, “There’s no better feelin’ than when you feel wanted. And I think that’s what kinda keeps me motivated and understandin’, like, this situation is — it is and was the best situation for me.”