Lillard objects to Melo's critics: 'He's a Hall of Famer'

Jesse D. Garrabrant / National Basketball Association / Getty

When the Portland Trail Blazers signed Carmelo Anthony last November, much of the narrative centered around how the NBA veteran would fit in as a role player after years of being an alpha star.

For the most part, it's turned out positively. An example came in Tuesday's win over the Houston Rockets when Anthony hit the game-winning dagger with under a minute remaining.

Blazers point guard Damian Lillard said afterward Melo has been a tremendous addition.

"When we got him, everybody had something to say about him - what he's going to do defensively, he's getting older, he's done, where's he going to fit in," Lillard said, according to ESPN's Royce Young. "But he came to us, and he was just, like, laid back, good teammate, good for our younger players. On the floor, he's talking whether he's having a good or bad game. Just all about the team."

Lillard added, "He understands what we need from him in certain situations, depending on how the game is going. It's obvious to somebody like me that pays attention to everything. I find it real funny and disrespectful how people speak on him. He's a Hall of Famer."

After 17 NBA seasons, Anthony ranks 17th all-time in points and holds a 98.2% Hall of Fame probability, per Basketball Reference. Anthony said his clutch shot against the Rockets goes back to his ability to get buckets when his team needs them, regardless of his role.

"Honestly, I don't think you lose that," he said. "If you have it, you have it."

Lillard objects to Melo's critics: 'He's a Hall of Famer'
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