Ten- time NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony agreed to a deal to join the Los Angeles Lakers this past summer after spending the last two seasons as a member of the Portland Trail Blazers. As a former number three overall pick, Carmelo to the surprise of many has become a journeyman around the league. He has played for three different teams in his last four seasons including stops in Oklahoma City and Houston.
Melo has played for a plethora of teams, but most would agree that the golden era of his career was the time that he spent with the New York Knicks. Carmelo came to the Knicks through a trade with the Denver Nuggets in 2011 and remained there until the 2017 season. Although his departure from New York was not a pretty one, Anthony says that the Knicks were one of the teams he considered joining as a free agent this summer.
Carmelo Anthony Considered Knicks Reunion in Free Agency
“I found myself sitting around and waiting on Portland. … I didn’t want to talk to nobody yet. I’m just going to see what, you know, Portland does see what happens, see what they say. … Do they want to bring me back? Do they want to move on? I made that almost like a home for me within two years, I just felt like I was part of that community,” Anthony said to Chris B. Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
“New York was always there. Coming back to New York was always a story. I’ve always told my son when he goes to high school, I’ll be right there with you. The New York thing made sense.”
Carmelo also told Haynes that there was interest from the New Orleans Pelicans and top contender Philadelphia 76ers who earned the number one seed in the Eastern Conference last season.
“Philly. I was looking at Philly. I didn’t really get a chance to, like, really converse with Philly, but it was interest there. New Orleans had interest,” Anthony continued. “It felt good to see that again and being a part of teams being interested in me when 18-20 months again, it was nobody.”
Carmelo Hope to Finally Capture Title With the Lakers
Now Anthony goes from a team in Portland who was barely contending for a playoff spot, to a team that has championship or bust expectations in the Lakers. Anthony is the only top 5 pick from the 2003 draft to not reach an NBA Finals. But his aspirations are bigger than just reaching the big stage. Carmelo is hoping to capture that ever-elusive first championship ring with the Lakers.
“The only thing I don’t have is a championship,” Anthony continued. “I’ve won at every level. [If I signed somewhere else], I had to really come to grips and say, ‘If I walk away [from the game without a title], I’m cool.’ Now that I’m with the Lakers, it’s a must-have. There’s no question about it. We gotta get it. It’s go time now. I gotta think about it every second of the day.”
Carmelo has been an All-Star, scoring champion, and Olympic gold medalist. If he can capture his first championship with the Lakers this season, it just might cement his status as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.