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Carmelo Anthony 'ready' to retire before Trail Blazers call

Wednesday 4 December 2019 07:11, UK

Carmelo Anthony celebrates a basket en route to 25 points against Chicago
Image: Carmelo Anthony was considering retirement before signing for the Portland Trail Blazers

Carmelo Anthony admits he was coming to terms with officially retiring from the NBA before the Portland Trail Blazers called with a playing opportunity.

Instead of leaving the game, the 35-year-old Anthony has made a triumphant return, decorated with Western Conference player of the week honours on Monday.

Anthony said: "I was ready to walk away. It was hard. But there came a point when I was, like, 'You know what? I've given a lot to this game.

"I played 15, 16 years in this game. I'm ready to give it up, because I just knew that, at that point in time from a basketball standpoint, that narrative, it was already out there. So I'd been fighting an uphill battle anyway if I didn't go to the right situation."

Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers shoots the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder on November 27, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon
Image: Anthony has averaged 17.7 points this season

Anthony played just 10 games last season with the Houston Rockets, but the Blazers had the need for some offence after Zach Collins underwent shoulder surgery and Jusuf Nurkic broke his leg.

Since Anthony arrived, the Blazers have gone 3-3. The veteran has averaged 17.7 points, including games of 25 and 23 points in victories against the Chicago Bulls last week.

"I feel good," Anthony said. "The book says you're supposed to be about to retire around this time? No, I've always been against all odds. I had a year off resting my body."

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Now in his 17th season, Anthony has averaged 24.0 points in his 1,070-game career. The former No 3 overall draft pick in 2003 has played for the Denver Nuggets, New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Rockets and Blazers.