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Carmelo Anthony says he can still play and he is waiting for next NBA chance

Ten-time All-Star says he felt like he was "fired" by the Houston Rockets in 2018-19 season

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 2: Carmelo Anthony #7 of the Houston Rockets looks on against the Brooklyn Nets on November 2, 2018 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE  (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony was not quite ready to say goodbye to the NBA last season and now says 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.

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"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 nine-, 10-man rotation on this team?'"

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony on court in a Lakers-Rockets clash
Image: LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony on court in a Lakers-Rockets clash

Rumours swirled the winter that Anthony would join LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers, but that deal never happened.

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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."

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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 [Morey] this. ... He just said it wasn't working out," Anthony said.

Carmelo Anthony Chris Paul
Image: Carmelo Anthony with Chris Paul during his brief Rockets tenure

"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 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."

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