Waiting for a turn, and then finally leaning in, anticipating the jump ahead.
That is how 10-time Al-Star, the 2013 NBA scoring champ, and the newest Portland Trail Blazers Carmelo Anthony is feeling about his latest opportunity.
But that’s also a description of a young elementary student waiting in line for his or her turn at double-dutch.
Which is another experience Melo has endured.
Over the last 375 days, Anthony has been waiting for a phone call that he thought may never happen.
He has been waiting in line to get back on the court.
Tuesday night he did just that. Melo finished with 10 points on 4-of-14 shooting to go along with four rebounds and one block in the Blazers losing effort to the Pelicans.
But when the game was over and he stood in front of a large media scrum once more, there was pure joy and emotion on his face.
Double-dutch was something Melo experienced over the past year, but he wasn’t enjoying it.
“It’s just been a rollercoaster ride, Anthony said after Tuesday’s game. “Like double-dutch almost – ‘we’ve got this team, and now we don’t got this team, and this team’s interested now’… There was one point I told my agent, just let me know when it’s first and goal when it’s time to go, don’t call me when it’s first and twenty, I don’t want to hear that,” Melo said.
The Trail Blazers offering Anthony a spot on their roster was the ‘first and goal’ that he had been waiting for and had nearly given up on.
“I think I came to a point where I was willing to accept it either way. If this was going to be it, I was going to accept, and I had to get myself mentally prepared for that, and I did to be honest with you,” Anthony said.
Melo continued, “I stayed with it… there was times that… I wanted to say just ‘forget it,’ move on in my life, spend more time with my family. I started getting more comfortable with that.”
Melo’s lowest point over the last year was a time where he thought he “was going to let go of the love of his life.”
One simple sentence made all the difference for Melo: “I just stayed with it.”
Anthony last played in the league for the Rockets before being cut by Houston. It was on November 8th of last year when he played in his final game.
But yet, it wasn’t his final goodbye.
When Melo got the call from the Blazers, he said Portland was very transparent with him, and they were up-front about his starting role and what they were looking from him from the get-go.
“Who knows. I don’t think anybody knows what’s going to happen this year. Anthony said.
After not playing for an entire year and searching for a team to give him another shot, Anthony now has a new perspective on his life, especially his basketball life.
“I come into this game with a totally different mindset, a totally different motivation,” Anthony said. “The way that I see just the game, the way that I see not just the game of basketball, just overall the way that I see it, the way that I approach it, it’s totally different.”
“Mentally, emotionally, spiritually… I’m able to see things clearly…so I can just go out there, and just play basketball now.”
What’s clear is this: Portland expects Melo to bring them more offense and, in turn, help alleviate some of the pressure on Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.
He’s waited a long time for his turn in line. Now the whole basketball world is waiting to see how he jumps in.