In between an intense seeding game schedule, Portland Trail Blazers’ forward Carmelo Anthony sat down with Rachel Nichols of ESPN’s The Jump to discuss his personal resurgence and the team’s playoff aspirations.
What's a little thunder & lighting among friends? Definitely the most unusual convo @CarmeloAnthony & I have had in 15 years of sitting down together Smart, funny, fascinating stuff on his fight for real social change. Oh, and all the noise he & the Blazers are making here too pic.twitter.com/li7zuAuy35— Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) August 10, 2020
He highlighted that with age and maturity he is now able block out what others say or think about him, focusing on believing in himself.
“At the end of the day, some people are going to believe in you and some people are not, but as long as you know what you still can do and your capabilities and where you’re at mentally and physically then anything else is irrelevant.”
“I’m at peace now, I’m going to be honest, after the Houston thing it took me a while to bounce back mentally, emotionally, to get myself back on my own square.”
“You watch my play now, I’ve got a different vibe, different energy, different aura with me, surrounding me and I literally take it one day at a time now.”
Anthony said the Trail Blazers also considers themselves more than just a potential eighth seed.
“We don’t consider ourselves an eighth seed, look our mindset it not an eighth seed mindset, we consider ourselves a very good basketball team coming together at the right time, at the right part of the season.”
He talked about his work with friends Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade, developing the Social Change Fund and making a difference on important social issues, as well as his time as guest editor for Slam’s Black Lives Matter issue.
“Over the years you see athletes starting to feel more comfortable with speaking out and stepping up in doing the work that they have to do.”
“(We want to accomplish) education reform, prison reform ... I just want change at the end of the day.”
“My mindset is that we’ve got to start from the ground, we got to change the people in our local communities.”
He discusses his wine podcast What’s In Your Glass? which has included guests such as as Jamie Foxx, Venus Williams, and Ludacris, talking about their favorite tipple but also wider social issues.
Finally, he talks about his late father Carmelo Iriarte, who died of cancer when Anthony was just two years old. Iriarte was a member of the Young Lords in Puerto Rico and heavily involved in fighting for social rights and change.
“I think I know him more now than I did when I was younger, I knew the stories but I didn’t know him.”
“I took that moment of seeing those pictures and those stories to start to go out there and do my own research and really get back to Puerto Rico and talk to the people down there.”