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Rockets players, members of organization knew Carmelo Anthony needed to ‘get with it or get lost’

Carmelo Anthony, Rockets

The Houston Rockets darted their best shot at Carmelo Anthony after lobbying to trade for him and missing out on bringing him aboard during the summer of 2017, but players and members of the organization were keenly aware that the Melo experiment was one that had to function quickly before decisions had to be made.

According to Kelly Iko of The Athletic, the adjustment period was meant to be a brief one, as Melo had to be the one adjusting to Mike D’Antoni’s coaching methods this time around, with the Rockets unwilling to change their offensive strategy to make him more comfortable.

“Before his signing, there were some players and members in the organization who were wary of what his arrival would bring, league sources said. Not because he’s distracting or a bad teammate, Anthony has been a professional since Day 1 in Houston. It was more from a rhythm standpoint, the Rockets looked disjointed from tipoff of the season opener. Anthony was caught in the limbo of expressing his skill set with the second unit, and waiting on Paul or Harden to create something. On some occasions, he was allowed to operate in the post, something that brought him success. But coach Mike D’Antoni doesn’t operate that way. Some were willing to exercise patience and give Anthony time to fully incorporate himself, as he asked for on a number of occasions. Others weren’t so willing — as one source put it, “Get with it or get lost.”

General manager Daryl Morey is a true believer in stacking as much talent as possible and making it work, no matter how difficult the fit could be — but this is one experiment that has clearly blown up in his face after only 10 games with Anthony on the roster.

D’Antoni knew he was getting a mid-range artist that would defy all the angles of his offensive philosophy, while also getting a 15-year veteran not known for his defense — two obvious traits that defy the Rockets’ three-and-D mantra.

Unfortunately for Anthony, this is just another case of a poor fit in an evolving NBA that has grown to a different play style to what made him a perennial scorer through the first 14 seasons of his career.