Carmelo Anthony is officially part of the Houston Rockets now. He’s reuniting with head coach Mike D’Antoni. Not only that, but Anthony joins a team coming off one of the best regular seasons in the league history. As we know, the Rockets would fall just a bit short of reaching the NBA Finals. However, league MVP James Harden believe Carmelo will make a smooth transition to Houston.
In an interview with The Players’ Tribune on Thursday, he made that very clear.
“Coming off an MVP season, now you got to add Carmelo Anthony, it’s going to be easy,” Harden said. “The transition is easy. When you got that many talented, high-IQ guys around who love to communicate and love to figure things out, the job is easy.”
Anthony, of course, joins the Rockets on a one-year deal worth $2.4 million. But it comes after the least productive season of his career. He couldn’t quite adjust to his new role in Oklahoma City, putting up just 16.2 points per game. Not only does that currently stand as a career-low, but it’s the first time in his career that he never eclipsed 20 points per game over a full season.
That doesn’t change Harden’s feelings in the slightest, though. He’s been very vocal about this ever since the rumors began.
“Everybody in the world knows what Carmelo brings, how gifted and talented he is. He still has a lot more to go. If he comes to the Rockets, we’ll get the best out of him,” Harden adds.
Time will obviously tell, but Harden has some pretty recent experience in this regard. When the Rockets acquired Chris Paul from the Clippers last offseason, many people said thing then that they’re saying now about Anthony. And ‘The Beard’ isn’t having any of it.
“When you got two high-IQ guys who are unselfish and know the game of basketball, it’s easy. … The job gets hard when you don’t communicate. That’s what it’s about. That’s where it’s misconstrued. … As long as we’re on the court and we communicate, things will be a breeze.”
Based on how the Rockets played last season, it’s difficult to disagree with Harden. One thing we will say, though, is this:
Carmelo Anthony is no Chris Paul.