Los Angeles Lakers All-Star LeBron James did not hide his excitement over facing longtime friend Carmelo Anthony in the first-round series with the Portland Trail Blazers. The two future Hall-of-Famers spend time together off the court and were part of the fabled “Banana Boat” crew vacationing together in the Bahamas a few years ago.
Anthony recently provided a glimpse into their strong relationship and revealed James saved his life during that trip. In an Instagram live session with Dwayne Wade, the other member of the crew, Anthony said they had all jumped out of a boat to swim to a nearby cave.
But the 10-time All-Star stayed behind to enjoy snorkeling and watch barracudas. However, he soon started drifting away into the open ocean with a strong current. Luckily, James realized his friend was missing and went on to find him.
“I just knew he was not back at the boat with the rest of us, so I went out looking for him,” James began to recall during the first round.
“Through the graces of God, through strength, not being afraid of the water, I was able to help him back to the boat. That was the only thing that was on my mind in that point in time, was getting my brother back to the boat.
“I saw the current, it was a little bit stronger than what it first started at. It’s a blessing, honestly. We all talked about it and he told me he felt like I saved his life. I don’t really know what to say, to be honest. I’m just happy he’s still here, obviously.”
As luck would have it, James and Anthony shared the court during the playoffs after the embattled forward turned his career around this season. Portland offered Anthony a career lifeline last November, nine months after he was waived by the Houston Rockets and struggled to find his spot in the NBA.
And the 36-year-old veteran made the most of the chance, establishing himself as a Blazers starter and helping them reach the playoffs in Orlando.
With the Portland shorthanded in their Game 5 loss, Anthony shouldered more of a scoring load and enjoyed a stretch where he traded baskets with James.
LeBron at peace Lakers didn’t sign Carmelo
Prior to Anthony latching on with the Trail Blazers, there was rampant speculation he would wind up with the Lakers. James obviously would have supported the signing, but he also doesn’t fault the organization or harbor any resentment it never came to be.
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