Carmelo Anthony Was Preparing To Retire Before Blazers Offered Deal

Sam Forencich  NBAE via Getty Images

Sam Forencich NBAE via Getty Images

His time with the Blazers is apparently different from that. It's easy for him to appreciate every moment because he knows how close he was to calling it quits.

"I was preparin' myself", he told Rachel Nichols of ESPN.

Prior to inking the non-guaranteed contract with Portland, the 10-time All-Star had not played since November 8, 2018, with the. Those 12 months were some of the most mentally and emotionally trying of his life. Few players have more leverage with their own team than James and the Los Angeles Lakers, who are off to an NBA-best 17-3 start.

As the months passed, Anthony found it harder and harder to train for hours each day when he didn't know if his work would ever pay off.

Still, Anthony admitted that he would have likely moved on if he had still been waiting on an opportunity at this point. "And I had prepared myself to kinda just walk away from the game - if the right situation didn't come about". I just had a year off ...

Anthony continued to receive support from his friends within the league throughout his year away the National Basketball Association.

"I never called him and said, "What're we doin"?' Or "I need you to do this for me, '" Anthony said".

Anthony added that the communication with the Blazers early on was key -- specifically in terms of what his role with the team would be. "I have to get rid of my ego".

"I mean, we've been - we're 17 years in".

That mental fortitude has allowed him to quickly make an impact with the Blazers. Even during the first month of the 2019-20 season, Anthony was without a roster before the Blazers finally revived his career and stopped the 35-year-old from quitting the sport. Anthony led those efforts, averaging 22.3 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Some background: This was the third game in Anthony's return, and his first game playing with both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, as Lillard returned to the lineup after missing two games with back spasms.

It's safe to say that Anthony's Blazers tenure is going much better than Houston.