After his exile from the NBA, it was the Portland Trail Blazers who gave Carmelo Anthony another chance. After signing him early on in the 2019-20 season, Portland benefited from the scoring punch Melo provided, and it was clear that Melo was feeling comfortable and appreciated in his new situation.
When the two sides decided to continue their run together this past season, it only served as evidence of their growing relationship.
But after just two seasons with the Blazers, Melo packed his bags to head south, leaving many wondering why he elected not to return to the team he had felt loyal to a year ago.
Anthony himself finally explained why:
“Well to be honest, I was just waiting to see what Portland does, you know, I was talking to Dame, talking to CJ, you know, are they going to call, are they interested? I hadn’t heard anything like do they wanna bring me back, do they want me to move on, there was a new coach…so there was just a lot of things happening over there that weren’t clear.”
The Blazers have had a pretty wild summer so far, so it's not all surprising to hear Melo describe the situation there as chaotic.
What was surprising was hearing that the Blazers apparently didn't even contact Anthony in free agency, essentially confirming they never had any intention of bringing him back.
“They didn’t get back to me like the way i thought they were going to get back to me. There’s no loyalty in sports but that’s just the way it is and I felt loyal to Portland. I didn’t wanna leave Dame, I didn’t wanna leave CJ but I know this is just the business of the game.”
Melo, 37, is well past his prime at this point of his career, but he was valuable to Portland off the bench, averaging 14.3 points and 4.6 rebounds per game through his two seasons there.
With the Lakers, however, Anthony has the chance to compete at the highest level alongside his good friend, LeBron James.
The Blazers, meanwhile, made a couple of notable acquisitions themselves.
It's just unfortunate that Carmelo's run in Rip City ended in such a disappointing way.