NEW YORK – Carmelo Anthony was not quite ready to say goodbye to the NBA last season.
Anthony said Friday that at 35, he is working and waiting for his next chance. The 10-time NBA All-Star ended last season without a team but is hopeful the phone will ring before training camps begin next month.
“I’m in the gym every single day,” Anthony said in an ESPN interview about a potential comeback.
Anthony has averaged 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his career. He played 10 games with the Houston Rockets last season before general manager Daryl Morey called Anthony into his office to let him know the relationship wasn’t going to work.
“He came in and basically said, ‘Look, your services are no longer needed,’ ” Anthony said of his conversation with Morey. “I was like, ‘What? Hold up. What the hell are you talking about?’ . . . You telling me I can’t make a 9-, 10-man rotation on this team?’ “
Rumors percolated throughout the winter that Anthony would join LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers, but that deal never happened.
Anthony said he needed the solitude that came his way for inner reflection and to decide what was next. Specifically, Anthony said he had to “reevaluate myself, reevaluate my career, reevaluate my life.”
He arrived at the conclusion that his fire still burns for basketball. But he remains miffed about the way things ended with the Rockets. It’s part of what is fueling his comeback bid.
“I started questioning myself after that. Can I still do this? What did I do? I asked him this. . . . He just said it wasn’t working out,” Anthony said. “When somebody in power that tells you that they no longer need your services . . . I’ve been utilizing my services for a long time. For you to tell me you don’t need that no more. I honestly felt that I was fired. I felt like what other people go through on a day-to-day basis. People get fired. I honestly felt like I got fired.”
And he isn’t ready to retire just yet.
“I know I can still play.”