Marcus Camby Could Retire After Next Season; Hopes Carmelo Stays in Denver
The Portland center, who turns 37 in March, is under contract through next season. But that could be it for him.
"I'll finish out my contract. I don't know (after that),'' Camby, making $8.45 million this season and $9.26 million in 2011-12, said in an interview with FanHouse about uncertainty beyond then. "It depends on how my body feels. It depends on the situation that I'm in. If I'm in the rotation, then I'm fine with that. I think I've got too much pride to be the 11th or 12th man.''
Camby, entering his 15th season, is now a Trail Blazers starter. But it remains to be seen what his role will be with them down the road, especially if Greg Oden, Portland's center of the future, can return effectively after undergoing surgery for a serious knee injury sustained last December.
With big men always needed, the four-time leader in blocked shots might be able to continue to find NBA work into his 40s. But he won't be looking just to have a job.
"I could,'' Camby said of being able to play in the NBA for several years after his contract expires. "But I don't know. I've got to get reacquainted with my kids.''
For now, the Trail Blazers, who have another center still not back from knee surgery in Joel Przybilla, are being very cautious with Camby's preseason time. He's logged just 20 minutes in three games.
The well-traveled Camby is with his fifth NBA team. He spent the longest tenure with Denver, having returned there Friday and playing just two minutes against the Nuggets
Camby, a Nugget from 2002-08, still has plenty of ties in the Denver area. He's hoping forward Carmelo Anthony remains with the Nuggets even though Anthony, who has yet to sign a three-year, $64.47 million contract extension that is on table, can opt out of his contract and become a free agent next summer.
"He's going to make the best decision that's best for him,'' said Camby, Anthony's teammate from 2003-08. "I would like to see him finish his career in Denver. Me playing with him for so many years, I know how much he likes it (in Denver) and how much the city loves him. A lot of the stuff that's been going on since I've left, I've been out of the loop.''
Camby, who keeps in regular touch with Anthony, did speculate on reasons Anthony might want to leave. He mentioned Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin, a free agent next summer who recently talked about not being in a hurry to return from a knee injury due to being in a contract year and not being happy that he didn't get a contract extension. Camby brought up the departure of assistant coach Tim Grgurich, who was very close with Anthony, after five seasons in Denver.
"Maybe (Anthony) wants to see what else is going on around the team,''Camby said. "A lot of other stuff is going on. K-Mart and all the other stuff that's been going around. I know that Grg not being (in Denver) this year is tough. Everybody loves Grg.''
Grgurich is currently helping out in training camp in Dallas. He says it's just for a few weeks, although Mavericks officials are trying to convince him to stay long-term.
"I would love to see (Anthony return to Denver),'' Camby said. "Me playing (with the Nuggets) for six years, I know how much he means to the city. But he obviously has to do what's best for himself.''
So will Camby when he's a free agent.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @christomasson