August 02, 2019
NBA free agent Carmelo Anthony was crestfallen after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey told him the team was "parting ways" last fall and compared the rejection to what millions of Americans go through in society.
NBA star Carmelo Anthony planning return: I know I can still play
"I honestly felt that I was fired," Anthony said on ESPN's First Take on Friday morning. "I felt like (what) other people go through on a day-to-day basis. People get fired."
Now, Anthony said he's rekindled his inner fire, and noted he's been in the gym "every single day."
"Silence is not my surrender," the 35-year-old said, dejecting the idea of retirement. "I know I can still play."
Anthony recalled the conversation with Morey back in November, which he said he "didn't like how that went down." The 10-time All-Star forward was recruited to play alongside James Harden and Chris Paul that offseason but only played 10 games with the team. Morey called Anthony a future Hall of Famer after the break-up.
"He came in and basically said, 'Look, your services are no longer needed,'" Anthony recalled. "I was like, 'What? Hold up. What the hell are you talking about?' ... You telling me I can't make a 9-, 10-man rotation on this team?' That was an ego hit. That was a pride hit."
Afterwards, Anthony slipped into a depressive state. "I felt like the game didn't want me back at that point in time," he said.
Anthony, the NBA's scoring champ in 2012-13 and Team USA's all-time leading scorer, has averaged 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds over the course of his 17-year pro career.
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