Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard says 10-time NBA All Star forward Carmelo Anthony has been nothing but a great teammate since arriving to the team. Following an ugly split with the Houston Rockets, Anthony was struggling to find a new team but it all ended in November 2019 when the Trail Blazers decided to give him a shot.
On Tuesday, Anthony made several clutch plays in the final three minutes against the Rockets and the Trail Blazers won 110-102 to keep their playoff hopes alive. "When we got him, everybody had something to say about him: what he's going to do defensively, he's getting older, he's done, where's he going to fit in," Lillard said of Anthony, per ESPN.
"Everybody just had something to say: how he is in the locker room and all these things, why it didn't work out with these other teams. But he came to us, and he was just, like, laid back, good teammate, good for our younger players.
On the floor, he's talking whether he's having a good or bad game. Just all about the team." Anthony has faced a lot of disrespect over the last year and Lillard isn't a fan of that. "He understands what we need from him in certain situations, depending on how the game is going," Lillard said.
"It's obvious to somebody like me that pays attention to everything. I find it real funny and disrespectful how people speak on him. He's a Hall of Famer."
Lillard says the team benefits from Anthony's presence
"He's just not shy about it," Lillard said.
"He finds the spots that we need him in. He's not out there trying to play it like he's still in New York or Denver. He knows we need him sometimes to be on the weak side. He knows when it's time to do an isolation on the block.
He respects coach when he might take him out before he's ready to come out. I just think when you see those type of things from a guy of his stature, I think it says everything to our team." Reflecting on his clutch performance against the Rockets, Anthony said: "Honestly, I don't think you lose that.
If you have it, you have it. It's something that you have to want to, you have to be willing to put yourself in those situations and enjoy those moments, take those shots and believe that you can make those shots."