The Carmelo Anthony Experiment is over in Houston after just 10 appearances.
Anthony will not rejoin the team although the Rockets do not plan to place him on waivers yet.
“After much internal discussion, the Rockets will be parting ways with Carmelo Anthony and we are working toward a resolution,” Rockets general manager Daryl Morey said in a statement Thursday.
“Carmelo had a tremendous approach during his time with the Rockets and accepted every role head coach Mike D’Antoni gave him. The fit we envisioned when Carmelo chose to sign with the Rockets has not materialized, therefore we thought it was best to move on as any other outcome would have been unfair to him.”
Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds but shot 40.5 percent from the field and 32.8 percent on 3-pointers in his 10 games — eight of them as a reserve, a role that he wasn't familiar with.
His struggles with Houston were illuminated in his final game with the team Nov. 8 against Oklahoma City, the team he played for last season – another situation that didn’t work out for the 10-time All-Star and three-time Olympic gold medalist. Against the Thunder, he was 1-for-11 from the field and 0-for-6 on 3-pointers.
Houston’s early struggles combined with Anthony’s inability to find his place expedited the split.
Don’t let 7-7 Houston pin its struggles on Anthony. Trevor Ariza and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute departed in free agency, and Houston isn't the same this season. The Rockets have the 21st-ranked defense, allowing 109.3 points per 100 possessions, and their high-power offense from last season is MIA, ranking 22nd in a season when scoring is up. That’s not Anthony’s fault.
What's next for Anthony?
That’s a great question for the 34-year-old veteran in his 16th NBA season. Once one of the game’s best scorers — he led the league in scoring in 2012-13 and is 19th on the all-time scoring list with 25,551 points — Anthony's game doesn’t mesh with today’s NBA, especially if he can’t shoot and score like he once did. And that scoring isn’t returning, not at this stage of his career.
Father Time and a changing NBA have caught up with Anthony — someone who wants to play 30 minutes a game.
If Anthony is willing to play a smaller role off the bench, it’s feasible to see him carving out a place in the final seasons of his career. But is he willing to do that? He didn’t want that role with the Thunder, and it didn’t work out with Houston.
There’s always been talk that if Anthony was willing to play the role he had with the U.S. Olympic team, he could find a comfortable fit. There, he didn’t require lots of playing time, shots or points, wasn’t ball dominant and played physical defense.
But Olympic Carmelo has never surfaced in the NBA. Maybe Olympic Carmelo isn’t made for the NBA.
Will another team take a chance on him? Probably. But unless there’s a change in his mindset and his game, the outcome will be the same.
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