Carmelo Anthony ‘2,000 percent’ still wants to play in the NBA

Free agent Carmelo Anthony isn’t giving up on a possible return to the league after a rough ending with the Rockets last season. (Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

Carmelo Anthony may not have a team in the NBA anymore, but he hasn’t given up on his quest to get back into the league.

Anthony, while attending the ALS Association of Greater New York’s Lou Gehrig Sports Award Benefit on Thursday night in Manhattan, was asked by reporters if he still wants to play basketball.

“2,000 percent,” Anthony answered. “Make that the headline.”

The longtime Denver Nuggets and New York Knicks star hasn’t played in the league in almost exactly one year, having last suited up for the Rockets at the start of last season. The 35-year-old, though, only lasted 10 games in Houston before he was told that he was “no longer needed.” 

He hasn’t played a game in the league since. 

No team has made a move to sign the 10-time All Star since then, either, something that has caused many — including Royce White, who was essentially banished from the league himself after a battle over his mental health — to think Anthony is being blackballed. 

Anthony, though, still believes he’s good enough to play in the league. The former No. 3 overall draft pick told Stephen A. Smith in August that he’s been in the gym working on his game every day, and just wants to play basketball again — regardless of who it’s for. He averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game in his last full season in the NBA with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017-18, numbers that would undoubtedly make an impact somewhere in the league.

While the apparent lack of interest in him is frustrating, Anthony said he hasn’t quit trying.

“I’m surprised, of course,” Anthony said. “It is what it is at this point though. I’m sitting back waiting to see what happens.”

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