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Carmelo Anthony not interested in bench role after Oklahoma City Thunder's first-round exit

From NBA media reports

Apr 28, 2018 9:20 PM ET

Carmelo Anthony's team-up with Russell Westbrook and Paul George did not work out as planned.

Carmelo Anthony sat on the bench for much of Oklahoma City's first-round loss to Utah.

He has no intention of seeing that role become permanent.

After producing career lows in minutes, points and shooting percentage this season, the 10-time All-Star was asked if he would consider accepting a reserve role for the 2018-19 campaign. Anthony emphatically responded he would not.

"Yeah, I'm not sacrificing no bench role," Anthony told reporters during team exit interviews on Saturday. "So, that's out of the question."

He went on to emphasize that he had already given up much in an effort to mesh with reigning Kia MVP Russell Westbrook and All-Star swingman Paul George in his first year with the Thunder. Despite those efforts yielding his first playoff appearance since 2012, Anthony did not seem pleased with the current arrangement continuing.

"I think everybody knows that I've sacrificed kind of damn near everything," Anthony said. "Family, moving here by myself, sacrificed my game for the sake of the team, and was willing to sacrifice anything and everything in order for this situation to work out. So it's something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball."

Anthony holds a 2018-19 player option for nearly $28 million, the last year of a deal he signed with New York in 2014. Anthony will be 34 before next season starts, but he still feels he can play at a high level. He became more of a catch-and-shoot scorer this season instead of the isolation specialist he had been. He said prefers to play his old way and said he has no interest in coming off the bench. Though he is due $28 million next season, he seemed unsure of his future.

''It's something I really have to think about, if I really want to be this type of player, finish out my career as this type of player, knowing that I have so much left in the tank and I bring so much to the game of basketball,'' he said. ''And how long I want to continue to do this, I think that's also a thought process as well.''

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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