Rockets GM denies report that Anthony will be waived, calls speculation unfair
From NBA media reports
HOUSTON — Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey denied a report Sunday that said Carmelo Anthony’s time with the team will soon come to an end.
Anthony, who was out for the second straight game Sunday night with an illness, is in his first season with the Rockets after one year in Oklahoma City.
The New York Times had a sourced report Sunday saying Anthony has been notified that he will soon be waived. When asked about that report before Sunday’s victory over the Pacers, Morey said: “That’s inaccurate.”
Citing sources of its own, ESPN followed with a report after the game that Anthony’s teammates and coaches believe he has played his last game with the team.
The Rockets, who reached the Western Conference finals last season, are off to a disappointing 5-7 start after beating Indiana on Sunday. Many outsiders are blaming Anthony for the team’s struggles.
Morey went on to say that he wanted to speak to reporters in large part to defend Anthony.
“It’s unfair that there’s all this speculation on just one person,” Morey said. “I understand it he’s obviously a Hall of Famer. But it’s unfair.”
Anthony, who is in his 16th season, has averaged 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds in 10 games with two starts this season.
When asked if he’s evaluating Anthony’s role on the team, Morey said they’re evaluating everyone as they try to get the team on track.
“I know that we’re talking about everything,” he said. “We’re a team trying to win the championship and we’re 4-7 and we’re not in a good place so we’re looking at everything. We’re looking at all aspects right now.”
He added that he “would expect” Anthony to play when he’s healthy.
Anthony joined the Rockets after a tumultuous season with the Thunder where he averaged a career-low 16.2 points in 78 starts. Coach Mike D’Antoni laughed off the supposition that the rumors about Anthony are a distraction to his team.
“Our problem is we can’t shoot the basketball,” he said. “That’s a hindrance … and we’ve got to fix that.”
D’Antoni said Houston’s problems are definitely not Anthony’s fault and agreed with Morey that the outside criticism of him has been unfair.
“Melo’s been great and he’s done everything we’ve asked,” D’Antoni said.
Morey said that it’s “his job” to figure out how to get the team going, but that he’s seen signs recently that things will soon turn around.
“I feel like we have been playing better … but the reality is we’re nowhere near where we expect to be and we have high expectations and we’re going to stick with those,” Morey said.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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