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Carmelo Anthony Says Damian Lillard Is The Greatest Player He's Ever Played With

(via Willamette Week)

(via Willamette Week)

If you count Allen Iverson, Amar'e Stoudemire, Paul George, Russell Westbrook, James Harden, and Chris Paul (among others), it's fair to say Carmelo Anthony has played with some really exceptional talent over the course of his 17-year career.

According to the 10x All-Star himself, however, none are greater than his current teammate, star point guard Damian Lillard.

In a chat with Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Melo explained why Dame has become his favorite running mate after just a single season together.

"Dame's at the top for me," Anthony said. "I've never played with someone who lifted his team on the court with his play and as a leader. He genuinely cares for his teammates. What he's been able to do is amazing. He's the top guy I've played with. ... I've played with some great players, but the way Dame elevates his game and others, he's at the top."

In 58 games with the Blazers last season, Anthony performed admirably -- putting up 15.4 points per game on 43% shooting. He provided the spark that the team needed to squeeze into the playoffs and it was the first time in years he looked truly comfortable.

As for Dame, the 2019-20 campaign was not only the best of his career, it may have been the best by any player in Blazer history. He averaged 30 points, 8 assists, and 4.3 rebounds on 46.3% shooting as he carried his injury-riddled squad to the Orlando bubble, where he was able to win MVP for his insane scoring display.

What he gets the most credit for, though, is his attitude both on and off the court. With a great display of loyalty and a seemingly relentless drive to win, there is no question he's a motivation to his teammates and the organization as a whole. The bond and trust he has formed with his teammates have obviously created a culture that Carmelo, and others, have thrived in.

For now, Lillard's place among other NBA stars is a topic still up for debate. Until he wins a ring, it seems the Portland superstar will always be below some of the other great point guards we've seen in this modern era of basketball.

Nevertheless, it only took Carmelo Anthony 58 games to call him his greatest teammate ever -- and that's got to count for something.