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Kenyon Martin Explains that Melo’s Presence “Lights a Fire Under Everyone”

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Kenyon Martin praised Carmelo Anthony in a recent feature for Basketball News and explained that he wished his former teammate landed with the Blazers sooner.

New York Knicks Vs. Boston Celtics At TD Garden Photo by Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Former NBA star Kenyon Martin paid respect to his former teammate Carmelo Anthony in a reflection-filled feature last week. Martin, who played alongside Melo in Denver and New York, explained that the current Blazers forward is a natural leader that was put on the floor to score.

Featured in a story at Basketball News, Martin explained that Melo has an established history of earning respect from his teammates.

Say what you want about ‘Melo, but he always got the ultimate respect from his teammates. When you’re in a locker room or a huddle, there are only a few players whose presence lights a fire under everyone. Not all players that are called “superstars” today are capable of getting their teammates to believe in them. For those who can, it’s the ultimate sign of respect. With ‘Melo, for me, it happened fast.

Martin went on to reveal that he spoke with CJ McCollum about Melo prior to the forward’s exit from the Knicks.

Funny thing is, over the summer, right before he was traded from New York to OKC, I remember seeing C.J. McCollum in Las Vegas. I pulled him aside and told him that they needed to go get ‘Melo, and he actually agreed that it would be a good look. I don’t know if Portland tried to get him then or what, but next thing I know, I see that ‘Melo was traded to the Thunder.

Martin doubled-down on Melo’s fit with the Blazers near the end of the feature. He explained that Portland might have hosted a title parade if Anthony joined forces with Damian Lillard and McCollum earlier in his career.

Truth be told, ‘Melo never told me that he wishes he ended up with the Blazers earlier or anything like that, cause like I said, most of us don’t like to think about the “what if?” But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that I wish he ended up there three or four years earlier. If so, the Blazers might have been champions.

Since his arrival in Portland, Melo has appeared in 103 regular season games (61 starts). In those outings, he has posted averages of 14.7 points and 5.0 rebounds per game. Melo currently sits at No. 11 on the NBA’s all-time scoring leaderboard. He is currently within 300 points of catching Elvin Hayes.

You can read the full story from Martin at Basketball News.