Of all the Los Angeles Lakers free-agent additions this year, the biggest name among them was undoubtedly future Hall of Fame forward Carmelo Anthony. The legendary scorer completely rebuilt his reputation with the Portland Trail Blazers over the last two seasons and has become one of the better role players in the league.
The Lakers bringing him in this season is somewhat of a culmination of the last few years when the two sides had been linked time and time again, but never came together. Now Anthony has his sights set on winning his first NBA Championship in Los Angeles, but had things been a little different from Portland’s side the move may have never happened.
In an appearance on the Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast, Anthony admitted that he sat and waited to see if Portland was interested in him returning and that he didn’t want to leave, but understood the business side of the NBA:
“To be honest, I found myself sitting around and waiting on Portland […] I was just waiting to see if they were interested,” Anthony said. “… There were a lot of things happening that was just not clear. I made [Portland] almost like a home for me. Within two years, I felt like I was a part of that community.”
When asked if management ever contacted the future Hall of Famer, he replied, “No, not the way I thought. But honestly, I wasn’t expecting it. And that’s the main message in my book: having perspective when losing things, losing people. … The connection you lose a lot in sports because there’s no communication. There’s no loyalty. Not to say Portland did anything wrong, but I was sitting around because I’m a loyal person. I didn’t want to leave Dame and CJ [McCollum] and those guys. But I know the business.”
Anthony also revealed that in addition to the Lakers, he had interest from the New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers and New Orleans Pelicans:
“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, of course, famously wasn’t on a roster to start the 2019-20 season before the Blazers signed him, so it makes sense that he would be loyal to them. But now his journey with the Lakers has begun and all eyes will be watching closely.
The only thing Anthony hasn’t done in the NBA is win a championship and amongst all the interested teams, the Lakers undoubtedly give him the best chance at doing just that.
CAnthony never expected the Lakers to have interest
While it seems obvious that the Lakers would want to bring Anthony in this season, that was not something that Carmelo himself had thought about. Anthony admitted that the idea of the Lakers calling to bring him into the fold was far-fetched to him, but it ultimately wound up happening.
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