On Thursday night, the Portland Trail Blazers agreed to a deal with Carmelo Anthony, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. Anthony last played for the Houston Rockets on Nov. 8, 2018 before parting ways.
The No. 3 pick of the 2003 NBA draft and Most Outstanding Player of the 2003 Final Four, Anthony has worn both 15 (Syracuse, Denver Nuggets) and 7 (New York Knicks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Houston Rockets) during his 16-year career, but probably will don a new number in Portland as 15 is retired (Larry Steele) and 7 is being held out of circulation (Brandon Roy).
Trail Blazers' star Damian Lillard has long had a public desire to play alongside Anthony in Portland but was not optimistic it would happen.
In 2017, Lillard told The Undefeated's Marc Spears that Anthony "didn't seem opposed" to the idea of playing for the Blazers.
"I didn't want to press him. I ain't a big fan of doing all the extra recruiting and all that stuff... I'm not giving up on anything. I just think I've done what I can do."Lillard on Anthony in 2017
And once the 2019 free-agency period waned, Lillard advocated for Anthony's place in the NBA yet again.
We don't have money. But Melo should be playin https://t.co/E1chjpBlkn— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 29, 2019
I'm just tellin the truth 🤷🏽♂️ gotta pay to play and we can't pay https://t.co/CyLCEyM3aX— Damian Lillard (@Dame_Lillard) July 29, 2019
Even as recently as two months ago, Lillard did not hold out hope that the Trail Blazers could bring in the 2012-13 scoring champion.
Well, now he's coming, Dame. And NBA players, current and former, rejoiced in the return of Melo.
It's about damn time‼️ https://t.co/6A3wDbbrQ2— DWade (@DwyaneWade) November 15, 2019
RIGHT!!!! 🙌🏾 https://t.co/7wCnzozgNV— LeBron James (@KingJames) November 15, 2019
Hell yeah https://t.co/735XfEFYBK— Isaiah Thomas (@isaiahthomas) November 15, 2019
Congrats Melo!!!!!!!!!!— 🏁 Jamal Crawford (@JCrossover) November 15, 2019