Carmelo had to apologize during enlightening Rockets debut

Carmelo Anthony apologized for not taking a shot.

Well, sort of.

The former Knicks star made his debut for the Rockets in Tuesday’s preseason clash against the Grizzlies, proving he can be a useful piece in Mike D’Antoni’s offense with just a little bit of time to understand Houston’s game plan.

The 34-year-old apologized to teammates for passing up on a 3-point shot for his patented mid-range jumper during the game. As he ran past the Rockets bench, Anthony told them “my bad” before a wide smile broke out on his face.

“I looked at the bench and told them I apologize for doing that,” Anthony said after the game. “But that’s just who I am. If I got it, I’m gonna shoot that. I’ve been doing it my whole career. But like I said, man, it’s good. You gotta take the open shot. You can’t always just settle for the 3.”

Anthony shot a league-average 36 percent from the 3-point stripe last year with the Thunder. He attempted 6.7 3s per game last season, the highest in his career, but Anthony lives in the mid-range game, which could prove to be problematic with the Rockets, who led the NBA in both 3-point attempts and made buckets over the last two seasons.

In 23 minutes Tuesday, Anthony started the game and finished with 13 points on 4-of-8 shooting with four rebounds and two steals. His strong performance was capped by going 3-of-6 from three point range.

“It was just a natural fit,” Anthony said about the Rockets offense, via the Houston Chronicle. “Sometimes you can try too hard to fit in and get things done. It was just a natural fit. That comes from training camp and the time we put in and everybody feeling comfortable out there with what we have to do.”

Rockets star James Harden, who missed Anthony on a now-viral clip during the game, previously said he feels confident Anthony will figure out his role in Houston, where it looks like he’ll contribute from the bench.

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