One of the biggest additions made by the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason was that of veteran forward Carmelo Anthony. Long one of the NBA’s best scorers, Anthony has adjusted well to being more of a role player over the last couple of seasons.
This will certainly need to be the case with the Lakers as he is one of many veterans surrounding stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook. For his part, Anthony has spoken on his desire to do whatever is necessary to win his first NBA Championship, but his old coach is a bit dubious about this.
George Karl, Anthony’s coach with the Denver Nuggets, took to Twitter and didn’t have the kindest thing to say, calling out Carmelo’s lack of desire to focus on defense or team ball:
And it kept our coaching staff up at night a decade ago when we were stressing the importance of team play and defense! ???? https://t.co/riomQd667N
— George Karl (@CoachKarl22) August 10, 2021
There is no doubt that the criticism on Anthony during those years focused on his ability to thrive in areas other than scoring. That being said, Karl taking a shot like this, so far removed from their time together, seems rather unnecessary.
Obviously, there are still some lingering resentment on Karl’s side, as there really was no reason for the comment. Anthony and Karl parted ways a decade ago, making this even more of a surprise, but perhaps how Anthony forced his way out of Denver still doesn’t sit well.
The days of questioning Anthony’s willingness to thrive as a role player are long gone after his stint in Portland, and now the Lakers will be looking for him to replicate that success. All the team will be expecting of him is to hit open shots, create when necessary, and compete defensively, which he is more than capable of.
Karm may be right in that Anthony caused some issues for the Denver coaching staff back in those days. But to still hold on to that 10 years later is petty, to say the least.
Carmelo Anthony believes ‘time is now’ for Lakers partnership
It wasn’t too long ago that the Lakers unsuccessfully tried to recruit Anthony to join the Lakers, but things have changed in 2021. Carmelo believed the time was right on both sides.
“So it wasn’t really no pitch this time, I think it was just more of an understanding like Ok, the time is now,” Anthony said. “The time is now for both parties to emerge and both parties to come together and let’s put this thing together.”
“There’s a lot of understanding on my behalf, there’s a lot of understanding on the Lakers’ behalf and the organization, transparency is key for me, honesty, communication is major for me.”