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Carmelo Anthony on missing All-Star Game: Part of ‘sacrifice’ to join OKC

Carmelo Anthony will not be part of the NBA’s All-Star Game festivities, ending a streak of eight straight, when the league descends upon Staples Center in L.A. next month.

But to the 24-year-old veteran, missing out on the NBA’s annual midseason showcase simply is part of accepting a reduced role to join the Oklahoma City Thunder this past offseason.

“It is what it is. Everybody can’t make it. They only pick seven guys,” Anthony said after Tuesday’s 109-108 victory over the Brooklyn Nets, via the New York Post. “No, I don’t think it’s any disappointment for me. Coming here I knew it would be a sacrifice. It would be a final sacrifice for me, this is part of that sacrifice. No hard feelings for me.”

Anthony posted a solid stat line in Tuesday’s win, scoring 10 points and pulling down eight rebounds. But Anthony is in the midst of his worst output, statistically speaking, of his career, averaging 17.7 points per game. That per-game average is of course not surprising. As Anthony noted himself, “sacrifice” was necessary to join the Thunder.

Anthony has always been a high-volume shooter who needed the ball in his hands. This of course would not fly with Russell Westbrook being such a ball-dominant player, not to mention the Thunder’s need to give Paul George his looks on offense as well.

Thunder head coach Billy Donovan praised Anthony for his “unselfishness” since joining the team, saying, “He’s really, really open-minded about everything.”

Anthony, meanwhile, seems comfortable — and happy — with his new, somewhat understated role.

“It was something I had to accept. I’ve accepted that role on this team,” Anthony said. “That’s the role that we need from me in order for us to be successful.”

After struggling a bit to find their way early on this season, the Thunder (27-20) seem to be getting on the right track. The team now sits comfortably as the No. 4 seed in the loaded Western Conference. And it would is enjoying things, saying a few weeks ago that thegame is starting to become fun again for me,” lack of All-Star Game appearance not withstanding.