The stars have aligned once again for the Los Angeles Lakers after adding Carmelo Anthony to the mix in free agency this offseason.
Although there is no shortage of big names on the roster, there is plenty of speculation regarding how the experiment will play out. One thing that appears to be certain is that Anthony will be among those tasked with providing a much-needed spark off the bench.
The 10-time All-Star once infamously scoffed at the notion of playing a reserve role after forming a big 3 alongside Russell Westbrook and Paul George with the Oklahoma City Thunder. However, it appears his time with the Portland Trail Blazers made him more open to the idea.
Anthony revealed that he fully committed to coming off the bench last year once the Trail Blazers made it clear that is what they wanted from him.
“I actually committed to it for the first time this year,” Anthony said. “This past season with Portland because when I first got to Portland, I came in playing right away. My role was explained to me from the door. You’re coming in you’re playing you’re starting. That role was explained to me. So I knew that role.
“The following year, this past season coming into the season, they said look, ‘This is what we think is best for the team.’ Listen, I’m cool. Just be transparent with me. I was cool with that decision. I’ve never done it before. I’ve done it with USA before. I’ve done it briefly in Houston for a couple games, but I had to figure out a way to motivate myself and keep going in a different position in a different role.
“So you are going 16-17 years and you’re the guy on the team and you’re the star and then all of sudden, somebody is like come off the bench. I had to swallow that ego, swallow that pride, but I also had to use that ego and that pride to keep me on edge and keep me motivated. I’ve accepted that. It played out well in Portland. That was my first time doing that and experiencing that at that level. I enjoyed it. It was fun, it was basketball. I was still able to do my thing and play ball and have fun and have the love for the game again.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen. I just know I’m prepared. I’m ready. I’m ready to go play basketball. I know what’s at stake here and I’m totally locked in.”
Anthony’s resurgence in Portland made it clear that he still had plenty left in the tank after almost being written off from the league. He will now have an opportunity to play an integral role in securing his very first ring with the Purple and Gold.
Anthony and James believed it was finally time to team up
Anthony has long been linked to the Lakers as a potential star addition through the years, but nothing ever came to fruition. While his arrival may have come later than most expected, the timing could not be better with the formation of their new big 3.
Anthony admits that even though joining the Lakers had always been a topic of conversation between him and LeBron James, the opportunity never presented itself quite like it did this offseason.
“I think timing is everything,” Anthony explained. “For years, we’ve always laughed about it and spoke about it. What it would be like. We had a little bit of experience with USA basketball and playing together, but that’s totally different in a situation like this.
“We’ve always talked about it, laughed and joked about it. I thought and he thought at this moment now everything comes back full circle for us. I think the time is now for us to be on the same team. It couldn’t have come at a better time.”