One of the biggest and most intriguing storylines involving the Portland Trail Blazers this season revolves around the signing of Carmelo Anthony. The acquisition was mostly unexpected when announced in November, but as of today, that move looks to be a success. Portland Tribune’s Kerry Eggers sat down with Anthony regarding recent playing experiences, his year off from the game, and his fit in Portland.
Brought in as a desperation depth piece with a non-guaranteed contract, Anthony contributed immediately. And, as it turns out, he is quite enjoying his time in the Rose City.
“I’m happy,” he said during an interview after Tuesday’s practice session. “I like the group a lot. When I came in, it was like a welcome-home party. I come in and it’s, ‘Thank you for coming’ from everybody.
”The coaches have been phenomenal with me. We talk almost every day about things I could do to help out with the team and with the young players — things I need to be doing. I’ve been on board with everyone and everything from Day One.”
Anthony is enjoying his time with the Blazers so much that he is interested in sticking around past this season.
“I would love to stay,” he said. “I feel like this is the place for me to end my career. It could have happened earlier, but it didn’t. Now, where I’m at in my life and my career — this is where I want to retire.”
Head coach Terry Stotts said that the Baltimore native is fitting in well both on and off the court.
“When he came in (to join the team), you don’t know what to expect, whether he feels like he has something to prove,” Stotts said. “But he fit in right away. He has taken (scoring) opportunities that are there, he’s a great teammate, he passes when we need him to. He has done everything we’ve asked.”
After fully guaranteeing his contract in December, the Blazers will be paying Anthony $2,159,029 until the contract expires at the end of the season. Anthony will then become an unrestricted free agent, but it sounds as if he wants to remain in Portland past this season.
The 17-year NBA veteran is currently averaging 16.1 points and 6.4 rebounds a game heading into Wednesday’s national television clash against the Houston Rockets.
You can read the rest of Eggers’ well-written feature here.