Carmelo Anthony has finally—if grudgingly—accepted a diminished role in Oklahoma City, as the third option behind Russell Westbrook and Paul George, and says the game of basketball is now “fun again” for him.
The perennial All-Star, averaging a career-low 17.4 points per game, has grown comfortable with what the Thunder are asking him to do.
Melo led OKC past the visiting Los Angeles Lakers 114-90 Wednesday night, pouring in a game-high 27 points on 10 of 15 shooting.
“Once you accept something, regardless of what it is, I think you become comfortable with it,” he said. “You start putting your all into it, you start working on that role and on that acceptance, and it becomes fun. I think right now, after accepting that role, I think early in December, the game is starting to become fun again for me, fun for us as a team. Any time you get to making shots and winning basketball games, it makes it that much more fun.”
As Anthony heated up, especially in the third quarter, both Westbrook and George deferred to him, trying to find shots to keep Anthony cooking.
“I think any time you’re making shots you feel good about yourself and what you’re doing, what the team is doing,” Anthony said. “Tonight was just one of those nights where the shot was falling and the game was fun. And we took advantage of that.”