From high school to what’s now their respective 16th seasons, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will forever be linked as two of the greatest players from the 2003 NBA Draft.
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As James remains the best player in the game today for the Los Angeles Lakers, Anthony came off the bench for the first time in his career (1,054 consecutive starts) for the Houston Rockets.
With the Lakers preparing for their home opener against the Rockets, James detailed the extent of his relationship with Anthony. “We’ve known each other for quite a while now,” Jame said.
“We’ve always just talked about our journey, no matter what cities we’ve been in. Just always been that brotherhood between us, D-Wade, CP. I think one of my first home games in my career was against Melo as well; when he was in Denver and I was in Cleveland. So we’ve always had that direct correlation in our careers.”
When Anthony was traded to the Atlanta Hawks and later waived during the offseason, there were multiple reports linking him to the Lakers. However, James would not say if he tried to recruit his close friend.
“There was a lot of conversations between basketball, between life,” Jame said. “Everything. We had a lot of conversations. That’s just who we are. We talk all the time.”
As the two players are at different stages of their careers, James did not put too much into Anthony coming off the bench. “It won’t be strange,” he said.
“I mean, listen, once he gets in the game, whenever that may be, he’s going to be the same as always. It was strange the first I played against him and I was in a Heat uniform and he was in a Knick uniform. That was kind of strange.”
With the Lakers and Rockets looking to dethrone the Golden State Warriors, there will be many storylines if they ultimately meet in the playoffs. As James decided not to sign with the Rockets, Anthony is attempting to win his first championship with their mutual friend, Chris Paul.
However, all of the focus is on the first regular season matchup since it will serve as a measuring stick game for the new-looked Lakers.