Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony hasn’t missed a beat in his time away from the game. The 35-year-old Anthony celebrated his return to the NBA by taking home the Western Conference Player of the Week award just six games into his return.
The award comes as a major surprise considering Anthony had trouble finding work in the offseason. He played just 10 games with the Houston Rockets last season before the team “parted ways” with Anthony. The Rockets were able to trade Anthony to the Chicago Bulls in January, but the Bulls didn’t want Anthony around either.
Once the season was over, Anthony expressed a desire to return to the NBA. It took until November for the Trail Blazers to finally give Anthony a contract.
Though it’s only been six games, Anthony has performed well in Portland. Anthony is averaging 17.7 points and 6 rebounds per contest. He’s come on strong in his last three games, averaging 22.3 points 7.7 rebounds.
Did Anthony actually deserve the award? Fans have pointed out that both Luka Doncic and James Harden have put up better numbers over the same time period.
They aren’t having that debate in the Eastern Conference, where Milwaukee Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo won the award.
Even if there have been better performances in the West, Anthony’s story likely gave him an edge. His performance after months away from basketball has been impressive, and that’s worth celebrating.
Doncic and Harden will have plenty of chances to win the award moving forward. This could be the last time Anthony is up for something like this, though it would be foolish to doubt him considering everything he’s accomplished just six games into his return.
More from Yahoo Sports: