The NBA Pre-Season has begun and with it comes a bunch of intriguing stories that surely will carry us – fans and basketball enthusiasts alike – into the regular season. One of those stories happens to be the addition of a certain number seven wearing forward that has been known to be an offensive juggernaut – Carmelo Anthony – and just how he adjusts to his new role with the Houston Rockets. In the pre-season opener, Carmelo Anthony made one thing clear: he wants to make things work in Houston, so much so that even after making a shot, the all-star forward turned to the Rockets’ bench and apologized.
At the root of his apology is a Carmelo Anthony that hasn’t completely adjusted to how the Rockets do things – they are a three-point shooting team under coach Mike D’Antoni, leading the league last season and the year before in the most made three-point shots. However, on this particular play, Anthony is standing beyond the three-point line only to give his patented pump fake and one step, subsequently stepping in front of the three-point line before raising-up to take the shot. The result was a long two-point shot instead of a three. In turn, Anthony immediately recognized what he’d done and offered the bench a mouthed “my bad.”
"My bad!"— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) October 3, 2018
–Melo apologizing to the Rockets bench after making a long two 😅 pic.twitter.com/BNhKYbA2zI
That says a lot. Carmelo Anthony has had his fair share of successes during his fifteen year NBA career but also he’s been tagged not-a-winner as of late, especially with his lackluster showing with the Oklahoma City Thunder last year and a less than peak performance his last year in New York. But notwithstanding, Anthony has always been regarded as a virile offensive player, a substantial shooter and scorer who could fill up the bucket on any given night despite his sometimes non-committal to being a defensive cog within a team structure. But joining forces with James Harden and Chris Paul and the seemingly clandestine Rockets, the team that took the fabled Golden State Warriors to seven games last year in the Western Conference Finals, seems to have put Anthony on a path of wanting to be a better teammate, or at least one that adheres to the schematics already set forth and the plan in play.
Ultimately, only time will tell how Carmelo Anthony truly fares with the Houston Rockets, but if his apologetic long-range two in their 131-115 pre-season win is an indicator of anything, it’s that Anthony wants to be a part of something that larger than himself and even better than his offensive prowess.