ESPN’s First Take’s Stephen A. Smith is good at what he does. But, he didn’t get to the top of his game with ruffling some feathers too.
Apparently, he once got Carmelo Anthony pretty upset.
“I wrote something about him with the Knicks and he was pissed off,” Stephen A. Smith told Power 105’s The Breakfast Club on Thursday.
“He was mad as hell with me and he called me from Brazil. I said: ‘What’s the problem? It ain’t wrong.’
He said: ‘Yeah but there’s more to the story.
I said: ‘Damnit you’re in Brazil.’
He said: ‘When did that stop me? You got my number.
And I said: ‘Damn.’ And I went on the air and I apologized and everybody was like: ‘Well what did you apologize for?’
I said: ‘Because he’s right. I have his number. When I call, he picks up the phone. There’s no excuse why I went on SportsCenter and said ‘this’ without getting his perspective first when I knew that I had access to him.’
Carmelo Anthony hasn’t played NBA basketball since November 8, 2018, in a game against his former team, the Oklahoma City Thunder.
A 10-time NBA All-Star, Anthony signed with the Houston Rockets this summer after clearing waivers in a trade that shipped him from the Thunder to the Atlanta Hawks.
Anthony has averaged 24.0 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in his 16-year career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, New York Knicks, Denver Nuggets and Houston Rockets.
No team has signed him to a deal with training camp about three weeks away.
In an interview with Taryn Finley of the Huffington Post, Melo suggested that he is at peace with the fact he may not play much longer. “I’m sure [retirement is] coming soon,” he said.
“I’d be sitting lying to you if I said it’s not coming soon. I think I want it to come soon. I don’t think I want to do this forever, but because you love it so much, it’s hard to give it up. At the end of the day, at anything you do, when it’s your time to go, it’s your time to go. But as long as you feel good with that.”
Million Dollar Question: Where should Melo go?
“The place that wants him,” newly retired NBA legend, Dwyane Wade tells me.
“The place that’s going to allow him to be Melo and understand that he still can play the game of basketball.”
The Los Angeles Lakers and Anthony had mutual interests toward the end of last season — until a mound of LA losses occurred. The team has had quite a busy offseason thus far, and six players returned from last season.
That list includes: LeBron James, Kyle Kuzma, JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Alex Caruso.
Lakers newcomers include: Anthony Davis, DeMarcus Cousins, Dwight Howard, Danny Green, Avery Bradley, Jared Dudley, Quinn Cook, Troy Daniels and rookie Talen Horton-Tucker.
The Lakers also have a new head coach in Frank Vogel and assistant coach in Jason Kidd.
Carmelo Anthony has been working out with members of the Brooklyn Nets in Los Angeles this summer.
The Lakers do have one final roster spot and many believe that Carmelo Anthony still has some game left in the tank to compete against many of the NBA’s elite.
“His first year in the league, he took a 17-win Nuggets team to the playoffs in the West as a rookie,” said Fox Sports’ Chris Broussard.
“He is one of the best 300 players in the world that’s not playing,” TNT’s Kenny Smith told me in April. “You can’t say he’s not one of the best 300 players.”
Melo to Brooklyn from a basketball standpoint also does make sense.
The Nets have a potent roster with names like Caris LeVert, Joe Harris and Spencer Dinwiddie complimenting Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant.
The Nets will likely be without Durant this season as he recovers from a ruptured Achilles tendon.
“Definitely want to see him get back into the league,” Dwyane Wade tells me of Carmelo Anthony.
“But you also want to see him to get back to a place where they can allow Melo to play the game he loves the way that Melo can.”