Carmelo Anthony was prepared to retire from the NBA “if the right situation didn’t come about.”
Anthony, 35, says joining the Portland Trail Blazers last month once again made him “feel wanted” after being out of the League for over a year.
Melo adds that his body and mind are fresh, and has no plans to “walk away from the game” anytime soon.
“I was preparin’ myself,” Anthony said. “And I had prepared myself to kinda just walk away from the game — if the right situation didn’t come about.”
Anthony, who played in just 10 games last season as a member of the Houston Rockets, could not find a job until the struggling Blazers came calling.
“I say that because I know what I can do,” Anthony said. “So if I were just to go to a team and to a situation just to be on the team and it didn’t work out, it was gonna come back on me anyway. Like, the blame is gonna be on me anyway. So a situation like Portland, where I could just come in and just play my game and have a group of guys that really want me, and the organization that want me.
“There’s no better feelin’ than when you feel wanted. And I think that’s what kinda keeps me motivated and understandin’, like, this situation is — it is and was the best situation for me.”
Throughout his sabbatical from the league, Anthony was outspoken in his belief he could still play.
“I was ready to walk away, yeah,” Anthony said. “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 that it — it was already out there. So I’d been fightin’ an uphill battle anyway if I didn’t go to the right situation.”