Carmelo Anthony made his much-anticipated Portland Trail Blazers debut Tuesday night against the New Orleans Pelicans. It had been over a year since Anthony last appeared in an NBA game; he was vocal about wanting to play again, but didn’t find a chance until now. Melo reflected on his debut after the game, saying that he felt right at home in the daily NBA schedule:
“It felt great to be back in the flow of the game, be back on the court, be back to where I think I belong at. Just being out there with the guys again. I think most of all the routine -- team bus, team lunch, being around the guys in the locker room -- just the routine I’ve been used to for 17 years now ... so getting back into that. As far as the game goes, it felt good to be back out there.”
Anthony also talked about his discussions with Portland ahead of getting his deal done. The two sides approached the situation with open communication about Melo’s potential role on the team, which encouraged him:
“That was something that was established out [of] the gate. 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.’”
You can watch the over 11-minute postgame interview here.