After news emerged last weekend that the Houston Rockets were preparing to part ways with Carmelo Anthony just 12 games into the season, there’s still a million-dollar question that remains: where does Melo go from here? The former All-Star forward and future Hall of Fame inductee hasn’t aged particularly gracefully, which could be a major hurdle to his NBA prospects.
Melo started a steep decline last season in OKC, which has bled over into his brief time in Houston. Though there are teams out there still willing to take a chance on him, it will certainly be in a reduced role and not in the role that a player like Anthony may command. Therein lies the quagmire.
With how odd this situation is on the whole, at least one former NBA superstar believes retirement might be not be a bad route at this point in Anthony’s career. Here’s what Tracy McGrady had to say on The Jump on Tuesday.
“You know what? I honestly think Melo should retire,” McGrady said. “I really do. I don’t want him to go through another situation like this where people are just pouring negativity on his legacy. And I really think because it hasn’t worked out the last two years, you have a Hall of Fame career, just go ahead and let it go.”
McGrady is at least partially speaking from personal experience. He himself struggled with accepting a reduced role as age and injuries stripped him of his elite repertoire in the twilight of his career, and McGrady officially retired from basketball after stints in China and a bench role on the San Antonio Spurs team that lost to the Heat in the 2013 NBA Finals. Allen Iverson is another high-profile example.
On the other hand, there are aging vets like McGrady’s cousin, Vince Carter, who are simply content to keep playing as long as they are healthy and in whatever role may be available to them. That course, however, it’s not for everybody. Melo will have plenty to weigh as the situation in Houston comes to a conclusion in the coming days and a major decision about his future hangs in the balance.