Carmelo Anthony spoke with reporters before the Los Angeles Lakers‘ final game of the season against the Denver Nuggets and the 10-time All-Star was noncommittal about his future with the franchise.
Anthony becomes an unrestricted free agent this summer.
“This was another chapter for me,” Anthony told Dave McMenamin of ESPN. “I can say I’ve experienced it. … I can finally check the box — played with Bron. Played with AD. We had, on paper — we were phenomenal on paper. Me, personally, I had a good year, personally. Just as far as happiness and being able to go out there and compete and being able to do my part, play my part on this team. There were good days, there were bad days, but we got through it, and I got through it.”
Anthony appeared in 69 games for the Lakers this season. He averaged 13.3 points, 4.2 rebounds and 1.0 assists while shooting 44.1% from the field, 37.5% from beyond the arc and 83.0% from the free-throw line.
The Lakers had the second-best odds in the preseason to win the title this year. With LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook leading the way, Los Angeles was projected to make some serious noise.
However, the Lakers were a walking disaster all season and didn’t even qualify for the play-in tournament.
Anthony: ‘Each Individual Has to Look Themselves in the Mirror’
The 11th-leading scorer in NBA history, Anthony says everyone in the Lakers organization has to look themselves in the mirror after this brutal season.
“I think the truth starts with the individual,” Anthony told McMenamin. “Each individual has to look themselves in the mirror and say what happened, what they could’ve done better, what could we have done better. And I think once you start with each individual, I think slowly you’ll get to the answer. … You have to face yourself first. Then everybody just needs to be held accountable. We were all a part of this. It wasn’t just the coaches. It wasn’t just the players. We all were a part of this. And I think as whole, we should all feel and take accountability for things not going our way.”
Anthony signed a one-year, $2.6 million contract with the Lakers last offseason. He’s one of the greatest players in NBA history to never win a championship, and while the future Hall of Famer wants to win a ring, his happiness will always come first.
Anthony Drops Truth Bomb on Chasing Ring
Anthony had a fascinating answer when McMenamin asked him about his future. The one-time scoring champion doesn’t want to chase a ring if he’ll be “unhappy” in the situation.
“I’m blessed,” Anthony told McMenamin. “I’m still able to do this 19 years in and still able to enjoy it and still get motivated by it and love to go to work and love being around the guys. So a lot of times I’ll take that over a championship if I could because that’s my happiness. If I gotta be unhappy to try to go fight and win a championship, I don’t want that. I don’t want that unhappiness.
“So do I want a championship? Hell yeah. I don’t think that’s a question. I don’t even have to answer that, but I think at this point in my career, it’s about just being happy and being able to wake up and come to work every day with a good attitude. Being positive. Bring guys along with you. Teaching, talking, learning. Those are things that I actually look forward to now at this point in my career.”
It will be intriguing to see where Anthony is playing next season. The New York native scored at least 20 points 11 times for the Lakers, so he’s still a capable scorer off the bench.