After joining the Los Angeles Lakers, Carmelo Anthony now has the best chance of his career to win an NBA championship. While Melo is considered one of the best players of his generation, his lack of accolades in the NBA is something that is held against him when we talk about his legacy.
Anthony entered the league in 2003, part of a historic NBA Draft class with LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. Within a few seasons, Anthony established himself as a superstar and was the centerpiece of a strong Denver Nuggets team.
In 2009, the Nuggets reached the Western Conference Finals, but Melo and the team could not overcome Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers.
In 2011, Anthony made his way to New York to play for the Knicks. Melo brought excitement back to the Knicks, playing some of the best basketball of his career with the orange and blue. But the Knicks’ front office failed to surround him with a strong supporting cast that could help him succeed.
In 2017, the Knicks traded Anthony to OKC, a move that paired him up with Russell Westbrook and Paul George. Anthony didn’t do much with OKC, and they traded him to Houston at the end of the year.
Melo only played a few games in Houston before being traded to the Bulls, who eventually waived him. It seemed as though his time in the league was over.
But a successful stint off the bench next season with the Trail Blazers reinvigorated his career. Playing in this new role, Anthony provided solid scoring and veteran experience to the Blazers squad.
After 2 strong seasons in Portland, Melo finally decided to join up with close friend LeBron James with the Los Angeles Lakers. But how did LeBron reach out to Melo to get him to come?
According to Anthony (2nd slide), the call between the two of them was more about catching up, a real call between friends. And while they had discussed teaming up together in the past, he didn’t expect LeBron to call him to join the Lakers. Melo just felt that this was the right time for the two to team up and that the stars had aligned.
“It was a real call, it wasn’t like no bullsh*t. I wasn’t expecting it from him. I mean, we had talked about it, years before, about getting with each other. I heard it, and that’s my brother, I’ve known him since we was 15. (He said) ’Yo, I need you’. Say less! I already knew what time it is when you hit me. You the GM... It was like ‘Yo, champ. Time is now’. And I felt it, the time is now, just a different vibe, different aura, different energy around.”
Melo isn’t the only veteran in the squad. In fact, the Los Angeles Lakers have one of the oldest squads in NBA history. But Anthony has said that their experience and age works to their advantage compared to other NBA teams.
Anthony will be hoping to win his first NBA championship with the Lakers next season. With LeBron James, Russell Westbrook, and Anthony Davis leading the line, the Lakers are one of the favorites to win the NBA championship next season.