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Mike D’Antoni says Carmelo Anthony open to coming off bench

Mike D'Antoni, Carmelo Anthony, Rockets

The incertitude regarding Carmelo Anthony’s fit with the Houston Rockets has become even more of a pressing issue now that he has officially signed with the team.

While ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski initially speculated that Anthony is likely heading for a bench role, Woj then said the future Hall of Famer will still get a shot at a starting job.

Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni weighed in after the team announced Anthony’s signing, saying the 10-time All-Star and perennial starter is open to coming off the bench if that is what is required of him, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle.

Anthony and D’Antoni discussed the matter even before he became a free agent, as the Oklahoma City Thunder allowed him to survey his options with the Rockets and Miami Heat.

D’Antoni recently said he wasn’t sure if Melo would start or play off the bench, but noted the team would need to make the most of his skill set, kind of like what Team USA did with him throughout the years.

The 67-year-old was an assistant with USA Basketball as recently as 2016, when Anthony captained Team USA to a gold medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Anthony has career averages of 24.1 points, 6.5 rebounds, and 3.0 assists per game. He had scored 20 points per game or more during every one of his first 14 seasons before taking on a third-option role with the Thunder, which saw his average drop below the 20-point mark for the first time in his 15-year career.