James Harden pulling for Carmelo Anthony, wants to see him ‘happy’
The Houston Rockets’ trade of Carmelo Anthony to the Chicago Bulls was made official Tuesday, meaning the 34-year-old’s attempt to resurrect his NBA career can begin in earnest.
Despite how Anthony failed to click with the Rockets in his short stint with the team, James Harden hopes his former teammate can find a team that fits. Most of all, though, Harden just wants Anthony to be happy.
“I just want to see him hoop, see him happy, and I mean, he deserves it, honestly,” Harden said Tuesday, via ESPN’s Ian Begley. “Like, he’s put so much time and effort into this game that he should be able to hoop and still have fun playing the game of basketball.”
Anthony appeared in 10 games before the Rockets pulled the plug on the Carmelo experiment. The veteran averaged a career-low 13.4 points per game.
Harden was asked about his impressions of Anthony’s time in Houston and whether he was disappointed with how things played out.
“Yeah, man. Melo is one of the best to ever hoop. He loves the game of basketball,” Harden said. “Some guys just do it just because they’re gifted or they’re athletic or they can shoot the basketball. There’s not that many players that like, love to hoop. … It kind of sucks that it didn’t work out. It is what it is. I just hope he finds somewhere where they can embrace him and he can still hoop. So he [gets to] make that decision that he’s done [playing].”
Anthony’s trade to Chicago is a formality, as the Bulls are expected to waive the forward if the team cannot deal him ahead of the Feb. 7 trade deadline.
Among the presumed frontrunners for Anthony’s services are the Los Angeles Lakers. Helping this along is how his longtime pal LeBron James is said to have previously mused about the two potentially teaming up.
The level of interest Lakers’ brass has in Anthony is uncertain. Perhaps James can convince the team to take a flier on his friend. One former Laker has already stated Anthony would be a good fit on the squad.