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Carmelo Anthony TMZ Interview Overstated

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TMZ is claiming that the Blazers forward guaranteed he’d be suiting up for Portland next season. The truth is more nuanced.

Portland Trail Blazers v Los Angeles Lakers - Game Five Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

TMZ Sports is claiming that Carmelo Anthony said that there’s “no doubt in his mind” that he’ll be with the Portland Trail Blazers as the 2020-21 NBA season commences. The popular sports and entertainment website released a video “sidewalk” interview with the Portland forward this afternoon. The attached article says Anthony not only claimed he’d be back in the league, but with the Blazers:

We spoke with Anthony about his hoops future ... and he says there’s no doubt in his mind he’ll be suiting up for the Blazers next season.

Listening to the interview leaves the matter more open to interpretation. From the video:

TMZ: Are we going to see you back playing next season?

Anthony: Playing basketball?

TMZ: Yeah! Are we going to see you out there?

Anthony: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I’ll be back. I ain’t going nowhere.

TMZ: Any target teams you want to go to?

Anthony: Naw, naw. I’m still with Portland!

TMZ: Alright.

After that, the interviewer went on to ask Anthony about his appointment to the new NBA Social Justice Coalition.

In tone and content, the exchange seemed less an assurance from Anthony that he’ll return to Portland than a “media-safe” response to a currently-unanswerable question about target teams he’d like to play for. It was far more of a non-answer than an answer. He may want to return to the Blazers. He may end up doing so. This interview didn’t say either was a guarantee, or anything close.

Anthony is an unrestricted free agent this off-season. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds on 43.0% shooting in 58 appearances for the Blazers this year.