Carmelo Anthony has been one of the Los Angeles Lakers’ most impactful players in 2021-22, leaving a mark on the team with effort on and off the floor.
The 37-year-old forward has been the leader of L.A.’s second unit, averaging 13.4 points, 4.2 rebounds, and shooting 39.3% from downtown in 38 games for the Lakers. Lately, Anthony has also impressed on the defensive end, recording 0.8 steals and 1.8 blocks per night over the last five games.
In addition to his on-court input, head coach Frank Vogel — praising the 19-year veteran not for the first time this season — emphasized the forward’s “basketball integrity. He claims it helps the Lakers hold themselves accountable.
“He’s done a great job for us all year,” Vogel said. “He’s brought a great deal of basketball integrity to our team – the care factor with everything he’s trying to do.
“He’s very intentional about knowing what his defensive coverages are, making sure the guys are playing the right way offensively and it’s what some of these coaches were just talking about: his basketball integrity. He’s a real positive force this year.”
Vogel explained Anthony’s basketball integrity manifests itself in the form of attention to detail, leadership, and great care in ensuring the Lakers improve as the season goes on.
“Just the care factor of making sure that we’re doing things the right way,” the head coach said.
“Everything, how we’re playing, defensively everybody being locked in, everybody understanding what guys are doing, what they’re supposed to do and leading us when we’re not. And leading by example with asking the right questions and trying to play the right way and recognizing when our group isn’t playing the right way.
“He’s shown great leadership in that regard.”
Anthony responds to Vogel’s comments on his basketball integrity
Asked about Vogel’s compliments, Anthony explained his mindset stems from love for basketball as well as understanding and embracing his role on the team.
The veteran forward added he is “nowhere near close” to depleting his supply of excitement and passion for the game.
“Yeah, Frank be using words [laughs]. You got to ask Frank…,” the forward said of Vogel’s comments. “I just think it’s my commitment to the game, to being better to myself and to my teammates. Understanding that roles is gonna change, my role’s gonna change night in and night out depending on the type of game that we’re playing. I’m still motivated. I still love the game. I still work hard.
“I still come to work excited about being here. I’ve always said that when I don’t feel that no more, it’s my time to go. I’m not nowhere near close to that. I still love getting up. I still love the preparation for the game, getting ready, getting prepared. And I don’t think that’s gonna go anywhere anytime soon.
“So I hope that’s what Frank is talking about.”
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