“I started questioning myself. Like, why? What happened? What did I do? Did I do something wrong? Was it me? Am I good? Can I still play? All of these thoughts started coming in.”
Those are the words of Carmelo Anthony on CJ McCollum’s Pull Up Podcast talking about his year-long exile from the NBA. After his time with the Houston Rockets ended almost as quickly as it began, Carmelo Anthony shared a very open, honest and vulnerable conversation with his teammate about what happened in the days and months after that.
Carmelo Anthony was in the NBA for 16 years. He is in the top-20 of the NBA’s all-time scoring leaders, including the 2013 scoring champion. A 10-time All-Star.
And he was out of a job.
Melo explained how those feelings of self-doubt lived with him for four or five months. He sequestered himself. He was worried about going to his son Kiyan’s AAU tournaments out of fear that he’d be confronted with the reality that he wasn’t in the league. He made excuses for why he wasn’t going.
“One part of me was really embarrassed— I was embarrassed,” Melo said. “You know, kids are really honest. I didn’t want to deal with those questions. ‘What happened, Melo?!’”
“For me to love the game the way that I love the game, and to love something and it don’t love you back the same way, I gotta get away from it. And that’s where my mindset was at.”
But, it was at his son’s AAU tournaments where he actually found his peace.
I had checked out from basketball because I knew that was the only way I could be a peace with walking away from the game. It wasn't until I started incorporating myself into my son's basketball and his life. I started seeing the love that the kids have for me. From that standpoint, I'm just like, you know what? Let me start using that as a step into a stepping stone to get back. Like to get me back mentally. And the more I was in those tournaments with my son and his teams and his teammates, those are the kids that really inspired me to…not give up.
The relationship between father and son is an unbreakable bond. Carmelo supports Kiyan, and Kiyan supports his dad, Carmelo.
Lest we forget this heartwarming moment.
❤️️All the feels ❤️️ pic.twitter.com/BDzliawrJl— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) November 26, 2019
You can listen to Carmelo Anthony’s entire conversation with CJ McCollum on the Pull Up Podcast here.