Carmelo: Blazers’ Stint Not “Farewell Tour”

Carmelo Anthony has made an impact since joining the Trail Blazers and he insists his latest return to the NBA isn’t a farewell tour, as he told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

Anthony signed a one-year, non-guaranteed contract with Portland this month after starting power forward Zach Collins suffered a major shoulder injury. Anthony, 35, is averaging 16.0 PPG, 5.3 RPG and 1.8 APG in his four games with the Blazers. He scored 25 points in a win over Chicago on Monday.

Anthony’s stint with Houston last season lasted just 10 games. He and his representatives had been lobbying to get him back in the league this season before the Portland opportunity came along. He plans to play beyond this season, though he contemplated retiring when his phone didn’t ring.

“This ain’t a damn farewell tour,” Anthony told Charania. “My love for the game don’t stop. I don’t know where this ‘farewell tour’ thing came from. I’ve never talked about a farewell tour. I know what I can do and I believe in myself. When a farewell tour comes, it comes. That’s not something I think about. I’m not thinking about retiring right now. I had (thought about it) during this past stretch over the summer. But ain’t no retiring in my mind. I believe in what I have left.”

Anthony said he knew that the Blazers’ interest was serious when some of their players contacted him, including star Damian Lillard.

“It really wasn’t any conversations. I was continuing to go on with life and hanging with my (family) and doing my other business ventures. Then Dame called me. CJ (McCollum) called me. Zach called me,” he said. “Everybody, a lot of people texted me and called me. But it had to be something that I felt comfortable with and that they felt comfortable with. We got on the phone, got comfortable and went from there.”

Anthony said his stint with the Blazers will only get better with time.

“I’ve had (four) games with these guys. We haven’t had no practices yet, no time to adjust, just straight on-court basketball and going off of talent and skill,” he said. “I’m just walking in the gym and thrown into the fire. Until we have time to practice, get in the gym and get together and get back in Portland, nothing is going to be determined for us.”

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