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'I can still play' says free agent Anthony

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Carmelo Anthony insisted Friday he is determined to resurrect his NBA career after the disappointment of being released by the Houston Rockets.

In an interview with ESPN's First Take show on Friday, the 35-year-old future Hall of Famer said he hopes to land a place on a roster for the upcoming season after a period of "re-evaluating" his commitment to the sport.

"Silence is not my surrender," Anthony said, adamant that he can still contribute at the highest level. "I know I can still play."

Anthony, a 10-time All-Star, was let go by the Rockets in January in a trade to the Chicago Bulls. He was then waived by the Bulls on February 1.

Anthony said being let go by Houston, where had been recruited to provide support for James Harden and Chris Paul, had left him "emotionally vulnerable" and teetering close to depression.

"I honestly felt that I was fired," Anthony said. "I felt like (what) other people go through on a day-to-day basis. People get fired."

"I felt like the game didn't want me back at that point in time," he added.

Anthony added that the news of his release by Rockets general manager Daryl Morey had also come as a surprise.

"He came in and basically said, 'Look, your services are no longer needed,'" Anthony said. "I was like, 'What? Hold up. What the hell are you talking about?' ... You telling me I can't make a nine, ten-man rotation on this team?' That was an ego hit. That was a pride hit."

Anthony joined the Rockets last year after spending the 2017-2018 season with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Prior to that, he spent six years with the New York Knicks after playing for the Denver Nuggets from 2003-2011.

Anthony, the all-time leading scorer of the US national basketball team and a member of three Olympic gold medal-winning line-ups, has averaged 24.0 points and 6.5 rebounds over his career.

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