Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum Pay Their Respects to Carmelo Anthony Following Portland Trailblazers’ Extension

Published 12/02/2020, 9:19 AM EST
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 12: Carmelo Anthony (00) of the Portland Trail Blazers prepares to face his former team the Denver Nuggets before the first quarter on Thursday, December 12, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)


One of the biggest winners of the 2020 NBA Free Agency were the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite not having cap space, they pulled off a few moves to improve their squad. One of their moves was to bring back veteran Carmelo Anthony, who had a great first season with the Blazers.

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Teammate Damian Lillard was happy about this move. He said, “He wanted to come back, I wanted him to come back, Terry wanted him to come back, all our teammates wanted him to come back. … It’s a respect factor. That’s a key for us, having that respect.”

During the off-season, Melo had talked about how he felt like he belonged with the Blazers. He said, “I think I’ve found a home in Portland. At this point in my career, I do think that that’s the best fit for me.”

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Blazers star CJ McCollum also expressed his happiness about Melo’s return. He said, “First and foremost, he’s a great person. He brings great storytelling, good charisma. Does a lot for the locker room.”

Can Carmelo Anthony continue to repay the faith shown in him by the Blazers?

Melo’s desire to return was reciprocated by the front office when they offered him a one-year contract. They took a chance with him when he was a free agent for almost a year. The Rockets released him just ten games into the season in November 2018. Anthony couldn’t find any other team, till the Blazers picked him up in November 2019.

He started each of the 58 games he played and proved that he belonged in the league. He averaged 15.4 points while shooting 38% from three. During the playoffs, he stepped up and shot 42% from three, but it wasn’t enough to prevent a first-round loss to the Lakers.

DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 12: Carmelo Anthony (00) of the Portland Trail Blazers backs down Will Barton (5) of the Denver Nuggets during the second quarter on Thursday, December 12, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

The Blazers have now strengthened their squad with the arrivals of Robert Covington, Derrick Jones Jr, Enes Kanter, and Harry Giles III. They will be aiming for a strong finish, after barely making it into the playoffs last season.

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Melo will be the scoring plug off the bench for the Blazers, and could potentially have a Sixth Man of the Year campaign. He is now entering Year 18 of his NBA career, but still has some more in the tank to offer.

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Aaron Mathew

1632 articles

Aaron Mathew is a sports analyst at EssentiallySports. A graduate in Mass Media from Xavier’s College, Aaron has been a part of EssentiallySports since May 2020 where he covers both NBA and NCAA basketball news, and has also covered NBA 2K. In the past, Aaron has worked at the Sports Desk of Mumbai Mirror.

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