Source: Carmelo Anthony used as ‘scapegoat’ by Rockets
The Houston Rockets stumbled out of the gate to start the 2018-19 season, and a source close to the team claims Carmelo Anthony served as the “scapegoat” for the early-season struggles.
Anthony’s tenure with the Rockets was a short-lived one, consisting of only 10 games, two in which he was a starter. Houston struggled to a 4-6 start in those games.
An anonymous source recently told Shams Charania of The Athletic that Anthony shouldered far too much of the blame for the Rockets’ woeful start to the season, which ought to have been attributed to injuries to James Harden and PJ Tucker, among others.
“A lot of the blame was put on Carmelo, but he really should have thrived with the offense and system if the season started properly health-wise,” the source said. “Melo was the scapegoat.”
Anthony averaged a career-low 13.4 points during his brief stint in Houston, shooting 40.5% from the field and 32.8% from the three-point line. While his output on offense was underwhelming, Anthony by all accounts was a positive presence, according to another Rockets source.
“He was amazing here, a real teammate and great with the coaches,” the source said. “It’s unfortunate what happened.”
Anthony of course failed to latch on with another NBA team during the 2018-19 campaign, but reports as recent as earlier this week suggest the 35-year-old still desires the opportunity to close out his career on a positive note.
Should that chance present itself remains to be seen, but Anthony reportedly is hoping for a Dwyane Wade-like farewell tour in 2019-20. The case can be made Anthony can still make a positive contribution with the right team, albeit in a lesser role. It’s simply a matter of an organization showing a willingness to give Anthony a shot.