Carmelo Anthony has experienced a lot over his 18-year career. As a multiple-time All-Star who played on basketball's biggest stage (Madison Square Garden), he knows more than most what it's like to play under pressure, in the spotlight, for one of the biggest teams in the league.
Heading into his 19th season, he's finding himself under similar circumstances with the Lakers. Only, this time, he has a real chance to going all the way.
Instead of cracking under the pressure, or choosing to live in ignorance of the moment, Anthony has accepted the path before him and seems excited about this new and exciting opportunity.
“I think it’ll be fun,” Melo said to Adam Caparell of Complex. “I’m really going to enjoy it. I sat and talked about the loyalty and learning the business of basketball so now being in this part of my life and my career it’s like I understand it. So I’m going into it with a different mindset and type of understanding with what’s at stake. What do we have to do, what do I have to do in order to make this work? I’m looking forward to it, to be honest with you.”
With the chance to earn a Ring, and play alongside one of his best friends in the process, this upcoming season could include some of the best moments of his entire career.
Still, you should make no mistake: it's Championship-or-bust.
“If I was just to walk away from the game before, then I would have been at peace with [not getting a ring],” Anthony said. “… But now that perspective is totally different. Now I HAVE to win.
“It gotta be [Championship or bust]. I mean it has to be. There’s no playing around with that.”
Only time will tell how it will all end for Melo and his new team this season. With so many variables, there's no way to guarantee they're headed down the path to success.
At the very least, though, it's a good sign that Anthony has approached the situation with the right mentality. Let's hope the same can be said for everyone else.