For most basketball fans, if they had to choose which two teams will meet in the 2022 NBA Finals it would likely be the Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers. Each team has the best roster on paper in their respective conference and is looking to redeem themselves from disappointing playoffs exits in 2021.
For the Nets, they will finally have a full training camp to prepare with this roster. After being bitten by the injury bug all season in 2021 including the playoffs, they will be returning to action with a fully healthy roster. The Nets will be looking to avenge themselves from a Game 7 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
The Lakers were eliminated by the Phoenix Suns in the first round of the 2021 playoffs. As a result Los Angeles, made some key All-Star additions to their roster hoping that they will move the needle to aid in a deep playoff run in 2022.
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Kyrie Irving and Carmelo Anthony Trade Baskets in Pick-up Game
The Lakers already had an All-Star frontcourt with LeBron James and Anthony Davis, but they bolstered that roster even further by adding Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony.
Carmelo and former Nets forward Caris LeVert were recently seen participating in a scrimmage with Kyrie Irving at the Nets star’s basketball camp. Carmelo and Kyrie went head-to-head and were trading tough buckets during the hoop session. Will there be more of this to come in the 2022 NBA Finals?
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Carmelo Talks About His Motivation to Not Give up Basketball
Since parting ways with the New York Knicks, Carmelo has become sort of a journeyman with stops in Oklahoma City, Portland, and Houston. After being cut by the Rockets just 10 games into the 2018 season, Carmelo went quite a while before a team would consider signing him.
‘Melo’ was finally signed by the Portland Trail Blazers more than halfway through the 2019 season. While he is grateful to be back in the league Carmelo remembers the months he was out of the league as one of the most difficult periods he has faced. But in his darkest moment, his motivation came from an unlikely source.
“But also, being around my son, and being around his teammates, and going to the tournament and them giving me that love. That was a different kind of love. Like, forget the media. When you get the love from kids like that. It’s like oh… I gotta be there, I gotta do what I gotta do,” Carmelo said during an appearance on HBO’s The Shop.
“They telling me: “Man you ain’t done. Keep doing what you doing.” It’s a beautiful feeling. It’s embarrassing! Listen, the year that I was away from the game. The hardest thing was to go from here to here. Right? And not knowing why. So, I walk in the house, I’m talking to my son, watching the game. He’s just like, Dad.. yo him?! He playing?! But dad now he trash. Like I don’t see him in the league and you ain’t in the league. Like… what’s going on?”
Carmelo is still looking to capture that elusive first NBA title. Playing with the Lakers this year may be his best opportunity yet.