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Kawhi Leonard on Melo’s Year Away, ‘I don’t think he was treated the right way’

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Clippers star Kawhi Leonard explained how he feels about Carmelo Anthony’s return to the NBA with the Trail Blazers.

NBA: New York Knicks at San Antonio Spurs Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Carmelo Anthony’s successful debut with the Trail Blazers has earned the 35-year-old forward awards and praise. On Monday, Melo’s impactful return to the NBA received Western Conference Player of the Week honors. Prior to Tuesday’s matchup against the star-studded Clippers, Kawhi Leonard shared his thoughts on Melo’s exit and return.

Leonard explained to Los Angeles Times reporter Andrew Greif that he felt that Melo’s dismissal from the Rockets and the year-long absence that followed was far from ideal when factoring in the legacy that the former Knicks star left behind.

“I don’t think he was treated the right way, how they left him out there being a future Hall of Famer,” Leonard said Sunday, after the Clippers’ rout of Washington.

When asked about Tuesday’s matchup against the Blazers, Leonard expressed excitement over facing Melo once again.

“As you can see he can still run it up and down the floor, still got a lot of basketball left,” Leonard said. “It’s just going to be a fun matchup for us.”

In his six games with Portland, Melo is averaging 17.7 points and six rebounds per contest. The Blazers will look to extend their current three-game winning streak to four games when they cross paths with the 15-win Clippers on Tuesday.