Thunder's Carmelo Anthony has 'so much left in the tank'

Sporting News
After Carmelo Anthony signed with Houston on Monday, he penned a letter to Oklahoma City and its fans thanking them for their support.
After Carmelo Anthony signed with Houston on Monday, he penned a letter to Oklahoma City and its fans thanking them for their support.

Carmelo Anthony is sticking to his guns.

The Thunder forward reiterated that he will not take on a bench role with the team next season if he opts to return to Oklahoma City.

"Yeah, I'm not sacrificing no bench role," Anthony said, via ESPN. "That's out of the question."

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During his exit interview, Anthony said, "It wasn't no strategy to me being here, me being a part of the actual system and what type of player and things like that ... I don't think I can be effective as that type of player. "

Although Anthony wants to expand his role after it was diminished this past season, he isn't looking to steal the spotlight from his star teammates.

"I became who I am by playing the way that I've played and establishing a style of play and a type of play throughout my career," Anthony said. "So now it's about figuring out what is the best way to implement that game into something that we're trying to create, and it's not taking away nothing from Russell [Westbrook] or Paul or anybody else, or myself per se.

"I think we just all have to figure out how we're going to play and what's the style of play and what's most effective in the way that we're going to play. I think that's something that we have to figure out."

While he is owed $28 million on the final year of his contract, Anthony can opt out with an early termination clause and join another team or potentially just call it a career. Now that the Thunder have been eliminated in the playoffs by the Jazz, he will take the time to weigh his options before deciding his next move.

"I think for me, my focus would be on kind of figuring out what I want out of the rest of my career, what I want in my future, what am I willing to accept, if I'm willing to accept that at all," Anthony said. "I think everybody knows that I've sacrificed kind of damned near everything, 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.

MORE: Carmelo Anthony on coming off the bench next season: 'That's out of the question'

"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, who turns 34 next month, is coming off his worst season statistically in which he averaged 16.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game over 78 contests. Still, he has started all 1,054 games in his 15-year NBA career.

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