Carmelo Anthony to Australia is just 'rumours,' CEO of NBL says | Zagsblog
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Monday / September 23.
  • Carmelo Anthony to Australia is just ‘rumours,’ CEO of NBL says

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    By ADAM ZAGORIA

    Despite reports that Carmelo Anthony could sign with the New Zealand Breakers of Australia’s NBL, the league’s CEO says it’s not happening.

    “Carmelo is a little beyond the Next Stars programme sadly,” Jeremy Loeliger said by email. “Not sure where those rumours started but as far as I’m aware, they’re just that, rumours.”

    Top American college prospect R.J. Hampton did sign with the Breakers, while the league is working on adding a different kind of “Melo,” LaMelo Ball, the youngest brother of Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball.

    As for Anthony, his career is up in the air. When I asked him last month if he’d consider re-joining the Knicks if they sign Kevin Durant in free agency, he said: “I have to see what’s going on.”

    If the Knicks end up signing two max-free agents like Durant and Kyrie Irving (or someone else), Anthony might be a good veteran player to have come off the bench on a low-end contract, if he’s willing to accept such a role.

    He also could serve as a mentor on life in New York and with the Knicks for younger players like Mitchell Robinson, Kevin Knox and Allonzo Trier — and whoever the Knicks land in the Draft, whether that’s R.J. Barrettor someone else.

    Jalen Rose said he hopes Anthony plays again.

    “He can still contribute, it’s just finding the right opportunity is tough because unless there’s a major injury, a contending team probably wouldn’t add him,” Rose told TMZSports in January. “Then a lottery team’s probably looking to ‘Stop Tryin’ for Zion’ so they’re tanking in a lot of ways.

    “Maybe an injury happens and he gets back in the league. But I hope so, I hope so. I don’t want him to end after 10 games in Houston. He deserves better for somebody going to the Hall of Fame.”

    The Rockets parted ways with Anthony in November and he played his final game with them on Nov. 8. Anthony played just 10 games for the Rockets after signing a one-year, $2.4 million deal during the offseason. He was waived by the Chicago Bulls on Feb. 1.

    The 34-year-old Anthony is a 10-time All-Star who has had a tough time over the last two seasons. He averaged a career-low 16.2 points in 78 starts in a tumultuous season for the Thunder two seasons before coming to Houston — and accepting a reserve role for the first time in his 16-year career.

    Eight of Anthony’s 10 appearances for the Rockets came off the bench after he had started all 1,054 games he’d played in his first 15 NBA seasons.

    The third overall pick in the 2003 draft has averaged 24 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3 assists in a career that also included stints with the Denver Nuggets and the New York Knicks.

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    Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle. A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.