The Portland Trail Blazers have been pleased with the play of veteran forward Carmelo Anthony, as the team is amending Anthony’s contract in order to fully guarantee it for the rest of the season, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Portland had until early January to fully guarantee the deal for the season but obviously felt that they didn’t need any additional time to make the move.
Anthony signed a non-guaranteed deal with the Blazers last month after over a year away from the NBA, and he has been solid in his return to action. In eight appearances for Portland (all starts), Anthony has averaged 16.9 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 1.8 assists in 31 minutes of action per game. He was the Western Conference’s Player of the Week for Nov. 25 to Dec. 1.
Having his deal guaranteed will be a relief for Anthony, 35, who admitted that he wasfrom the game before the opportunity with the Blazers presented itself.
“I was preparing myself. And I had prepared myself to kinda just walk away from the game if the right situation didn’t come about,” Anthony said. “I was ready to walk away, yeah. 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 fighting an uphill battle anyway if I didn’t go to the right situation.”
Anthony’s career will continue for the rest of the season, at least, although now that he’s back in the league, he’s made it clear that he doesn’t plan on walking away anytime soon.
“My love for the game don’t stop.. I’m not thinking about retiring right now,” Anthony said. “I had (thought about it) during this past stretch over the summer. But ain’t no retiring in my mind. I believe in what I have left.”
Anthony’s return — and subsequent productive play — has been one of the better stories of the NBA season so far, and now after over a year of uncertainty, he will get a little peace of mind knowing that his deal is guaranteed.