Stephen Jackson Claims Carmelo Anthony Was Almost Pushed out of the NBA for This Reason

Carmelo Anthony has been a powerhouse in the NBA since starting out with the Denver Nuggets in 2003. His time with the Knicks, from 2011 until 2017 is when Anthony really started to shine and gained global recognition for his impressive athleticism. After leaving the Knicks, Anthony went on to play for Oklahoma City Thunder for a year where he was then traded to the Houston Rockets.

During the course of his career, this future Hall-of-Famer has been an NBA All-Star a total of 10 times and has won three gold medals in the Olympics. Because he has an exceptional amount of skill and talent when it comes to basketball, many people were shocked when Anthony had such an upsetting season with the Houston Rockets. At the end of last season, Anthony was traded to the Chicago Bulls who ultimately decided to waive him, making him a free agent.

Once he was a free agent, he had a difficult time finding a team to play for. Fans had many different theories about why Anthony was not getting signed by another team, but former NBA star, Stephen Jackson, says that he knows the real reason why Anthony was having a hard time finding a team to play for. 

Carmelo Anthony warming up for the Portland Trail Blazers
Carmelo Anthony warming up for the Portland Trail Blazers | Sean Gardner/Getty Images

Carmelo Anthony’s season with the Houston Rockets

When Carmelo Anthony was traded to the Rockets, he was coming off of an unimpressive season with Oklahoma. However, fans had high hopes that Melo would be able to once again showcase his talents when he teamed up with James Harden and Chris Paul to form a new Big Three

Unfortunately, his talent was never able to really shine through while playing with Houston. The Rockets only played him in a total of 10 regular-season games. And unfortunately, Paul and Harden were out for half of those games.

According to the Bleacher Report, Anthony had only made 40.5% of his shots with the Rockets and his three-point average went down to an astonishing 32.8%

At the end of last season, the Rockets traded Melo to the Chicago Bulls who had waived him almost immediately. Once he became a free agent, his future suddenly started to look pretty bleak. There were no other teams that were standing in line to grab him up. And the NBA executives had predicted that Anthony would probably never get a chance to play in the NBA again.

Stephen Jackson claims that Carmelo Anthony was pushed out of the NBA

Former NBA star turned commentator, Stephen Jackson, recently went on a podcast called All the Smoke, with Matt Barns, and claimed that Carmelo Anthony is being blackballed by the NBA because of his free spirit.

“They put him in a situation they know he’s not going to succeed, make it look like he can’t play no more, make it look like he’s a cancer and push him out,” Jackson said.

“That’s what happened to A.I. It happened to me. It happened to a lot of guys,” Jackson continued. “And it’s definitely happening to Melo. Melo ain’t a company guy. He’s never been a company guy. He’s going to speak his mind. He’s going to march to the beat of his own drum. And they don’t like that at times.”

For The Win, notes that it is unlikely that Jackson’s assumption is correct. If his theory is true, then that would mean that the Rockets signed a $2.4 million contract with Anthony just so that he would never play in the NBA again. That’s a pretty expensive way to try to get someone out of the NBA.

What the future holds

While many fans were afraid that they had witnessed Carmelo Anthony play his last NBA game ever last season, it was recently announced that Melo will return to the NBA for at least one more season. According to The New York Times, last week, Melo signed a one-year contract with the Portland Trailblazers.

The New York Times had also mentioned that Anthony recently posted a YouTube video where he said how happy he was to be playing for the Trailblazers. “I always kept my eye on Portland, it just didn’t work out at other times,” Anthony had said. “Now it seems like a perfect opportunity.”