Carmelo Anthony had an important question for LeBron James before they could officially become teammates with the Los Angeles Lakers. During an interview with Barstool Sports’ Million Dollaz Worth of Game podcast, Anthony confirmed he received a call from James during free agency.
This part of the story has been well-documented, but Anthony revealed a new detail admitting he had an important question for James. Anthony asked James if, “you need me or you want me.” The ten-time All-Star did not want to be a tag-along in the Lakers’ quest for a championship, but if James thought the team needed Anthony then he was ready to finally team-up.
“It was like, ‘Yo, I need you.’ And then my rebuttal was like you need me or you want me?” Anthony recalled. “It’s a difference, because if you want me, I’ve done been through that situation before, but [if] you tellin’ me you need me, your brother going to be there.”
Here is a clip of Anthony detailing his conversation with James.
Melo Jokingly Referred to LeBron as the Lakers GM
Anthony revealed other details about their conversation regarding his future. The fact that James called Anthony directly to make a free-agent pitch showed the forward that he was serious about the Lakers adding him to the roster.
“It was a real call, though,” Anthony explained. “It wasn’t like, no bulls***, it was a real call. I wasn’t expecting it from him. I mean, we talked about it years before about getting with each other, but I heard it, and that’s my brother. I knew him since we were like 15 or 16 years old. I hear him like ‘Yo, I need you.’ Say less, you ain’t gotta say nothin’, I already know what time it is. You hit me direct. The GM ain’t hit me, you the GM, [expletive]. He hit me, he was like, ‘Yo, champ, the time is now.'”
Anthony on Winning a Title With the Lakers: ‘It’s a Must-Have’
Anthony signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Lakers over the offseason. One of the big questions heading into the season is how Lakers head coach Frank Vogel will utilize Anthony and some of the other newly-added veterans in the team’s rotation.
Anthony averaged 24.5 minutes per game during the 2020-21 season for the Blazers, a sizable amount of playing time for a player in his 18th season. The forward posted 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists while shooting 40.9% from long range.
Anthony has been vocal throughout the offseason about his burning desire to add a championship ring to his resume. During an interview on Posted Up With Chris Haynes, Anthony revealed his own shift in belief about winning a title once he signed with the Lakers.
“If I’d have went back to New York, cool, alright we’re going to try to play for a championship,” Anthony noted. “Are we championship-ready, yet? No, maybe not. So that’s something that I was at peace with. Now that I’m with the Lakers, it’s a must-have, there’s no questions about it. We gotta get it. We gotta go get it, by any means, we have to go get it.
“So, that’s my mindset. If it wasn’t the Lakers, then cool, I’d have been at peace walking away from the game, tipping my hat, and smiling, being happy. I wouldn’t have been sad. Everybody else probably would’ve been throwing shots at me, but that ain’t nothing to me. But now, I know the situation that I’m in, what’s at stake. It’s go time now. I gotta think about it. I gotta think about it every second of every day.”