The pressure is on as it appears Carmelo Anthony will join with his fourth NBA franchise in his career, the Houston Rockets.
Free agent Carmelo Anthony plans to sign his one-year, $2.4M deal with the Houston Rockets today, league sources tell ESPN. He traveled to Houston and he’s completing his physical.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 13, 2018
This will be Anthony’s fourth NBA team in his polarizing career and potentially his last chance at a championship. At least on the surface, some of his new teammates seem to be welcoming him with open arms.
Gerald Green, speaking at a Boys and Girls Club event in Houston, believes that Melo has never played with a point guard like Chris Paul or a scorer like James Harden. When asked about his fit on the team, Green responded, “I want him to be Melo”.
Green also mentioned that Anthony should be in the starting line-up, however, it will be interesting to see if head coach Mike D’Antoni and general manager Daryl Morey feel the same way.
Anthony is coming off a down year with the Thunder. Melo posted career lows in points per game (16.2), rebounds (5.8) and assists (1.3). To add insult to injury Melo did not hold back when asked about his role on the team going forward.
After losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Utah Jazz, via Fred Katz (formerly) of the Norman Transcript, a disgruntled Melo explained,
“It wasn’t no strategy to me being here, me being a part of the actual system and what type of player and things like that…I don’t think I can be effective as that type of player. “
Later in the summer, Melo also sat down with Jemele Hill of the Undefeated and the two discussed Melo’s future and public perception. The ten-time All-star doubled down on his confidence in his abilities and refuted the idea of a reserve role in the near future.
“I know how to play this game of basketball,” he said. “I’ve been playing it for a long time. When I feel like I’m ready to take that role, then I’ll take that role. Only I know when it’s best for me to take that role. I’m not going to do that in a situation where I still know my capabilities and what I can do. And at the end of the day, the people who really matter know my capabilities and what I can still do. You start getting to the media and debates, it’s going to always be kind of back-and-forth.”
In the end, only time will tell. Anthony is joining a team that had the best record in the NBA last season and pushed the Golden State Warriors to a game seven in the Western Conference Finals.
If Anthony is looking to avoid the role of scapegoat, he may need to swallow his pride for the sake of his legacy.