After more than a year away from the NBA, Carmelo Anthony made his debut for the Portland Trail Blazers in their 115-104 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans.
Anthony scored the Blazers' first points of the night with a 3-pointer, but it was an up-and-down game for the 10-time All-Star. Regardless, the 35-year-old was just happy to be back on an NBA floor.
"I just can say it felt great to be back into the flow of the game, be back on the court, be back to where I think I belong at, just being out there with the guys again," Anthony told reporters post-game.
"I think more so of the routine, team bus, team lunch, being around the guys, locker room, just the routine that I've been used to for 17 years now, so getting back into that. But as far as the game goes, it felt good to be back out there."
🙌 @carmeloanthony makes his @trailblazers debut! #RipCity pic.twitter.com/hoBBmuNDZs- NBA (@NBA) November 20, 2019
Anthony finished with with 10 points and four rebounds on 4-of-14 shooting from the field and 2-of-3 from beyond the arc in 24 minutes on court.
The Blazers signed Anthony to a one-year, non-guaranteed deal amidst their injury crisis and with the roster struggling to find offence outside of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, Anthony finds himself in a situation where he can do what he does best - score.
"The greatest feeling of all was to feel wanted by a group of guys who believe in me and my talent and what I can bring to the game," Anthony added. "It wasn't just the players. It was the coaching staff. They really showed a strong level of belief in me and what I can still do."
Blazers coach Terry Stotts inserted Anthony into the starting lineup at power forward, playing in his first NBA game since November 2018.
"I thought [Anthony] looked good," Stotts said. "For having [only] a morning shootaround, I thought he was pretty good. I thought every shot he had, he was getting a good look at the basket."
The 5-10 Blazers have gotten off to a slow start this season and will look to bounce back on Thursday when they travel to Milwaukee to take on Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
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