Carmelo Anthony continued his absolutely scorching start to the season, especially inside Staples Center, in helping the Los Angeles Lakers to a three-point victory over the Charlotte Hornets.
Anthony hit 7-of-10 from 3-point range and is now averaging 20.6 points on 57.4% shooting from the field and 64.4% from 3-point range in eight games inside the Lakers’ home arena.
As is well known at this point, there was a time when Anthony was out of the league after being traded by the Rockets in 2019 after playing just 10 games, and was then subsequently released by the Chicago Bulls. The 2019-20 season began with no one signing Anthony until the Portland Trail Blazers brought him in and Anthony hasn’t looked back since.
Even three years later, Anthony admitted he still thinks about that time in his career.
“I think about that every day… The problem with that is everyone else thought that. I never believed that,” Anthony said. “Saying it’s something that I took that on the chin, dealt with it, I lived with it, played the scenarios all through my head for months. But I never doubted myself in anything that I did. Always stayed solid on who I am, what I can do. The right situation for that came that I was taken in a situation at that point, which was Portland. They opened their doors up to me and they gave me the same opportunity.”
In the end, all Anthony needed was a chance to show that he could still provide a lot to a team and the Blazers gave him that. Now in the purple and gold, Anthony is thriving in his role and showing that there was no way he should have ever been out of the NBA.
Lakers head coach Frank Vogel still doesn’t get how it happened. “I honestly never understood it. I really didn’t,” Vogel said. “I actually thought when he went to Houston, with his shooting ability and their capacity to shoot threes, that he would have been a great fit. I don’t know what really happened there.
“When he got to Portland, he gave them really good minutes and production and he’s obviously got a lot in a tank and we’re excited to have him. I just never understood it.”
Anthony’s outstanding shooting has certainly been a bright spot for the Lakers so far this season and if he were elsewhere, things could be a lot worse for L.A., who sit at 6-5 on the season.
Russell Westbrook continues praise for Carmelo Anthony
Russell Westbrook is no stranger to what Anthony is capable of as the two were teammates in Oklahoma City in 2017. The Lakers point guard added to the deserved praise the Lakers heaped on the veteran forward after the game.
“He’s a Hall of Famer, you know, he knows his worth,” Westbrook added. “He’s never wavered since I’ve known him and always kept his head in the right place. And that’s why he’s been playing well for the last couple of years, regardless of what other people may think of him and his game and what they see his value is.
“Us here understand his value, we understand how to use him and we’re gonna do a good job all year long of continuing to make the game easy for him.”
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