Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James’ relationship is well documented, and when LeBron wants a guy on his team, he’s going to make sure his team gets him.
However, before Anthony ultimately signed with the Los Angeles Lakers, he actually sought a return to the Portland Trail Blazers for a third consecutive season.
“No, not the way I thought. But honestly, I wasn’t expecting it,” Anthony said. “… Not to say Portland did anything wrong, but I was sitting around because I’m a loyal person. I didn’t want to leave (Damian Lillard) and CJ (McCollum) and those guys. But I know the business.”
While the Trail Blazers didn’t express interest in keeping the 10-time All-Star, other teams did, including one of his former ones.
“New York was always there, always a story,” Anthony said. “I told my son when he made it to high school, I’d be there. Philly, I didn’t get a chance to converse with Philly, but there was interest. New Orleans had interest. It felt good to see that again and being a part of teams being interested in me when 18-20 months again, it was nobody.”
Anthony was on record saying recently that loyalty doesn’t exist in sports, and he’s absolutely right about that. However, he may have felt a little bit more loyalty towards the Trail Blazers’ organization due to the fact that they were the team to bring him on board after he was left out to dry for a year in free agency.
Teams around the league worried that he might only seek to get his own shot and not work within the flow of the offense for the betterment of the team.
Prior to his stint in Portland, Anthony was with the Houston Rockets, as he was expected to provide an extra scoring boost next to James Harden while Chris Paul would be focused on running the show as their main floor general.
However, the fit just never worked out the way both parties were hoping, so after an even 10 games, they parted ways.
In Portland, though, Melo proved that he could fit in seamlessly next to two elite scorers and get his offense within the confines of the system, and in turn, his points per game and field goal percent averages increased, especially his 3-point shooting.
It was a redemption story of some sorts, but in reality, Melo should’ve never been out of the league for as long as he was.
Melo is one of the smoothest scorers the game has ever seen, as he can post you up, pull-up off the dribble, drive to the rim for some crafty finishes and stretch the floor out as a modern day power forward.
Say what you want about his tendencies of being a shoot first player, but scorers with that natural of a tendency don’t grow on trees.
In addition to LeBron, Melo is now joining forces with Russell Westbrook for the second time as well as Anthony Davis. The Lakers also have a host of other former All-Stars to round out their team in the names of Dwight Howard, DeAndre Jordan and Rajon Rondo, as they’ve been getting a lot of jokes thrown their way about being an old roster. Melo had the perfect response to that.
“We’re getting older, we’re getting wiser,” Anthony said. “We know how to move differently, we know how to think differently. We know how to pick our spots and we know what we need to do when we need to do it and how we need to do it. It’s like .. you go to an Italian restaurant, you got the grandmother in there who’s 900 years old cooking the food. The food comes out amazing, though. You’re not gonna say she’s too old to be cooking. You’re gonna taste and enjoy that food. It’s the same situation with us. We’re the cooks in the kitchen. When you taste the food, you’re gonna love the food. That’s how I look at it.”
The question now becomes, can Melo score just as well as the 900-year-old Italian grandma can cook up her signature Chicken Parm dish on a nightly basis? We will see.
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