The Houston Rockets no longer want Carmelo Anthony. And as we know, he’s not going to be re-joining the team. But there is one team out there who hopes to land him in the near future. Though, this may come off as a little odd. Per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Puerto Rico’s national basketball team wants Carmelo to join them.
“With his connection to Puerto Rico, his NBA stardom and his experiences, our fans would love it,” Mavs guard J.J. Barea told reporters.
Barea, 34, has been a face of not only the national team but Puerto Rico as a whole. And he’s been extensively advocating for relief efforts in the wake of Hurricane Maria’s destruction.
“We tried a bunch to get him in the past, but of course nobody blamed him for playing for Team USA. But if he ever wants a chance to represent us, it would be awesome to have him.”
Anthony was born in Brooklyn, but to a father of Puerto Rican descent. He’s been part of multiple charities there as well. Sure he would need a waiver from the United States to play for Puerto Rico, but that shouldn’t be difficult to get. After all, Anthony retired from the national team in 2016. He’s 34 years old now; they’re not going to use him. So why not?
Federation president Yum Ramos certainly hopes he gives it some thought.
“I’m a big fan of Carmelo not only as a basketball player, but more importantly as one of our Puerto Rican heroes,” Ramos told reporters. “He and his foundation have done a lot for Puerto Rico. I think along with J.J. Barea, Carmelo could make a huge impact on the team and help lift the spirits of our country.”
This season, Anthony put up just 13.4 points per game for the Houston Rockets…in just 10 appearances. Last season with OKC, he put up just 16.2. That would be the first season in his NBA career in which he’d average fewer than 20 points per game. So after a tumultuous couple of seasons in the NBA, it would be quite the sight to see him play for Puerto Rico. Maybe it’s what he needs.
Time will tell if there’s any chance of it happening.