Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony has come a long way since dispensing Mike D'Antoni's ticket out of New York during their time together with the Knicks, now coming into D'Antoni's house as a sixth-man-in-the-works.
The longtime veteran admitted to ESPN's Rachel Nichols the two have mended fences since their ugly breakup in The Big Apple, which has allowed them to get past the uncomfortable stage of being reunited and move forward with one common goal in mind.
“Yeah, but you know, in that situation in New York was, like, it happened so fast. And the media blew that situation up. And nobody really know exactly what happened, if anything, between me and Mike D'Antoni,” said Anthony looking back from their well-chronicled fallout during the 2011-12 season. “At the time, he was at a different point in his life, dealing with what he was dealing with, dealing with New York organization, that team.
I was at a different point in my career. So, I think now we got opportunity to just lay it all out on the table. You know, we talk a long time about kinda where we was as people — as a player, as a coach, at that point in time — the journey from then till now, where we at now and how we're able to just kinda put that behind us.
And you know, he said something to me like, “You know, everybody deserves a second chance. I hope you give me a second chance.” And it was just good to hear kinda how energetic he was about having me here and being a part of this.”
The NBA is the home of second chances, and now Anthony has one alongside D'Antoni. This time it's in a different role, one that will require a mental adjustment above any others to make it work as the coach has envisioned.
Anthony has started in all 1,054 of his games in the NBA, a streak that will be broken Wednesday when the Rockets face the New Orleans Pelicans to start the season. Many in Houston have crossed their fingers, but this will be an adaptation that will take time.