Lakers Video: Carmelo Anthony & Kyrie Irving Trade Baskets In Open Runs
Carmelo Anthony, Lakers
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

With the Los Angeles Lakers roster mostly complete, the team can begin its focus toward preparing for the upcoming 2021-22 season.

The Lakers are going into the upcoming season with the most seasoned and veteran roster, with most of the players past their prime. The elder statesman of the team is Carmelo Anthony, who finally decided it was the right time to team up with close friend LeBron James.

Anthony is going to be asked to resume the same role he held last year with the Portland Trail Blazers, meaning he will have to come off the bench and be a spot-up shooter for James, Russell Westbrook and Anthony Davis. At this stage of his career, Anthony is no longer the same isolation scoring threat, but he possesses enough gravity as a shooter to still play an important part in the Lakers’ offense.

Before training camps officially begin in September, players have been keeping themselves in shape by playing in pick-up runs across the country. Anthony was spotted recently in an open run featuring Trae Young, Bradley Beal and 2 Chainz, but was later captured on film trading baskets with Kyrie Irving, via Overtime:

In the clip, Irving puts on his usual display of dazzling ballhandling and shotmaking, while Anthony matches him by knocking down several difficult contested jumpers from range. Even though the runs look more casual in nature, it is a reminder of just how good NBA talent is, especially when viewing stars of Irving and Anthony’s caliber.

Showings like this are always fun and impressive to watch in the offseason, but they normally do not amount to match when taking the competition level and stakes into account. Despite that, it is encouraging to see Anthony put in the work to maintain his body and he should be well-prepared when the Lakers come together for camp in the next month.

Carmelo Anthony emphasizes love for basketball

Entering Year 19, Anthony still has what it takes to play in the league and he proved that after a stretch where he was out of it. Because of that development, Anthony emphasized how much he loves playing basketball and how he grew to enjoy it again.

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