‘I had to swallow that pill’
Carmelo Anthony has resigned with the Portland Trailblazers for another campaign but will accept a bench role. Speaking during the opening week of training camp, Melo revealed accepting the bench role was an effort to “swallow that pill.”
Melo spoke with ESPN and revealed that the effort would work for the team and what was needed. Anthony would state that it isn’t about if he should be starting, instead what suits the needs of the team to be successful. The Blazers starting line up will put the team’s newest members of Robert Convington and Derrick Jones Jr. at forward, with Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, and Jusuf Nurkic finishing off the starting five.
“I had to swallow that pill. I had to be really honest and transparent with the team and organization,” Anthony said. “And also with Dame and CJ. We had multiple conversations leading up to me coming back here. Those conversations were very honest from both sides. I was very comfortable and familiar with this situation, so I would rather do that here knowing this team and the players still respect me from a different level. They let me know I still would be a major part of what happens with this team.”
The Blazers will come into the next season with a roster of healthy stars opposed to their bubble run, which saw Melo taking on a larger role due to injuries to Nurkic, Zack Collins and Rodney Hood.
The season tips off on December 22, but the first game for the Blazers will be against the Utah Jazz at home on December 23.