“We talked a little bit after the game. He’s actually pretty happy with how it went. There’s obviously a lot of emotion involved, a lot of expectations when you have so many people vouch on your behalf on social media and what’s been going on for the last year. You almost feel a need to live up to those expectations right off the bat. It’s just like anything else. All these dudes are human. They need time to really get acclimated, get comfortable.”
After the Trail Blazers inked Carmelo Anthony to a non-guaranteed deal, his year-long absence from the NBA ended but it remained to be seen what he had left. The early results have been positive as Anthony has shown flashes of the ability that made him a likely Hall-of-Famer.
Anthony, 35, is averaging 17.7 PPG and 6.0 RPG through six games for Portland with the team going 3-3 during that stretch. The 10-time All-Star has had some strong performances, including a 25-point outing against the Bulls on Monday and 19 points on 9-of-11 shooting versus the Thunder on Wednesday.
It was a tumultuous journey for Anthony before his return, as his trainer Alex Bazzell detailed to Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. Bazzell spoke to Anthony’s in-game adjustments on both sides of the ball and the perception higher-ups had of his value versus the distraction he might be.
Check out some highlights:
Bazzell on Anthony changing his playing style:
“He’s gone 95% of his career where he’s been able to catch the ball, turn, face, have time. He’s never really been the guy that’s setting a ton of ball screens and popping and making quick decisions. So it’s new for him. But it’s something he worked extremely hard on. He understands. He’s not the type of guy who is bullheaded the way people want to portray him. He understands he has to adjust his game for the new style and he’s got to make some sacrifices to be on a team and contribute the way a team wants him to and he wants to.”
On his conversations with higher-ups about Anthony’s value:
“I had talked to a couple assistant GMs and GMs and the whole thing was that it wasn’t about his play. It wasn’t even about him personally. But it was about the media attention that was going to follow him, like the questions that were going to come every day: Is he happy? Is he getting enough shots? Is he good in the role he’s in? So a lot of teams that, not to his fault, they just thought it was too much of a media distraction to have to deal with early in the season. I think the whole mystique of ‘Melo hurt him.”
On how Anthony felt after his return to the NBA:
6 thoughts on “Carmelo Anthony’s Trainer Talks Adjustment To Current NBA”
Sometimes things come together for a man when he reaches age 35. That’s a fact of life. Lot of Ego and such for young man who has dominated much of the time and being a prima donna. Kudos to Carmelo for maturing and doing what it takes.
Goes to show one of the best guys in the league & one of the best players we have seen in this century, so yes kudos to Melo, the league is so much better for him playing in it. Shame on the many teams have passed on him, now they can enjoy his really good contribution to Portland so far, improving the team as well 4-9 before him, 3-3 after, that is an awesome turn around.
Its not Rocket Science, training, preparation, maturity, analytics, due diligence, or anything else… it’s just the perfect storm situation for both sides… no more, no less. Basically an off-season pick-up game (or All-Star Game, USA Basketball) type game/situation… perfect for Melo’s game.
A shame many teams passed on him?? Melo was the one who put himself in that position thanks to his inflated ego. He had no one to blame but himself for what happened.
I’m glad he’s finally matured and come around to the reality of his decline but let’s be honest. While he’s been a nice piece for a desperate Blazers team, he’s hardly winning them games they couldn’t have won without him (Bulls twice). And when the shots stopping falling in tougher matchups, his lack of defense is going to be a big problem.
Still a good move by the Blazers. They absolutely needed a scoring punch.
He seems to be keeping a low profile in games and getting sneaky points and generally succeeding with statistics more than style. Very strategic! Even his trainer is saying the right things so that Melo doesn’t have to:
“… he’s been able to catch the ball, turn, face, have time… [not] setting a ton of ball screens and popping and making quick decisions… it’s something he worked extremely hard on. He understands. He’s not… bullheaded the way people want to portray him”.
I’m not sure we can say yet Melo has matured or learned to adjust to a new role. Because of injuries, he’s been a starter so far, with a lot of minutes and also lots of shots (most nights at the level of Dame and CJ). When everyone is healthy, his role should be much less prominent. We’ll talk then. Nice last two games though.