Carmelo Anthony has been quiet since revealing his intention to sign with the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony initially posted a caption-less graphic with the Lakers logo interspersed with the words “Melo.” One day later, the new Lakers forward offered his first public thoughts with a heartfelt Instagram message.
“Portland, all I can say is thank you,” Anthony noted. “Thank you for letting me love the game of basketball again. Thank you for welcoming me into your community, and supporting me both on the court and in your city. These two years were some of the most important ones of my career, and for that I’ll always be grateful. #STAYME7O @trailblazers.”
During a 2017 interview with Bleacher Report, LeBron James admitted he would like to team up with Anthony, Chris Paul and Dwyane Wade before called it quits. Paul was briefly mentioned as a possibility for the Lakers earlier this offseason but was never a realistic option with the team lacking salary cap room.
“I really hope that, before our career is over, we can all play together,” James said at the time. “At least one, maybe one or two seasons—me, Melo, D-Wade, CP—we can get a year in. I would actually take a pay cut to do that.”
Melo Was Working out When the Lakers News Broke
Anthony did not take much time to celebrate his move to Los Angeles. The forward’s trainer Chris Brickley posted a video of Anthony working out as the Lakers signing news broke.
“In real time!!! As @carmeloanthony officially becomes a @lakers he getting ready to get a 💍💍💍!!! LETS GO!!! 📸 @alexkoblenz,” Brickley posted on Instagram.
Anthony was later spotted attending a concert in New York City. The 10-time All-Star finally joining the Lakers ends years of speculation linking Anthony to Los Angeles.
Westbrook Was the Lakers’ ‘Plan B’: Report
According to Bleacher Report’s Eric Pincus, the Lakers originally wanted to bring together Team Banana Boat by signing Paul. When adding Paul or trading for Damian Lillard became unlikely, the Lakers turned to “Plan B” which was acquiring Westbrook.
“Per NBA sources, the Lakers went into the offseason with a clear Plan A: unrealistic hopes of landing a Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal,” Pincus detailed. “Plan B was Chris Paul (but then the Phoenix Suns advanced to the NBA Finals) and Westbrook. Hield was always Plan C.
“Over the past few weeks, the Lakers pursued Westbrook and Hield in parallel conversations with the Wizards and Sacramento Kings. As the draft neared, the Wizards seemed content to wait on big decisions with Beal and Westbrook. …Westbrook asserted his voice into the conversation, and per an NBA source, the Wizards pivoted. Just like that, the pieces the Kings liked for Hield were no longer available.”
Westbrook amplifies the Lakers shooting woes as the L.A. point guard is a career 30.5% three-point shooter. Anthony has transformed his game to become a knockdown shooter. Last season, the veteran forward shot over 40% (42.1% in 2020-21) for only the third time in his career as Anthony has transitioned from an All-Star to a role player.