After a rather disappointing road trip, LeBron James was asked (once again) about the possibility of pairing up with Carmelo Anthony on the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony can now be traded by the Houston Rockets, though it seems pretty unlikely that another team out there would willingly give anything up for him given how bad he’s been for a couple seasons now.
It’s also worth noting that the Lakers have rebuffed the idea of acquiring Anthony on multiple occasions, but James’ interest is another matter altogether. Here’s what he had to say after the team’s loss against the Brooklyn Nets:
LeBron says he wants to play with Carmelo Anthony: "We’ll see. I don’t run the team. There are obviously things that need to be worked out on both sides. But I’ve always wanted to play with Melo, and if the opportunity presents itself, it’ll be great. So we’ll see what happens."— Stefan Bondy (@SBondyNYDN) December 19, 2018
It’d be one thing if this was an isolated incident, but there was that whole random report that James still believes Anthony can help a team that still cares about winning. It’s wild that one of the most efficient players the NBA has ever seen can be so wrong, but here we are.
At the time, the silver lining was that James wasn’t applying public pressure to the front office to acquire Anthony. He is still saying adding Anthony isn’t his decision and he can’t control being asked about Anthony, and James also shouldn’t be expected to go out of his way to badmouth his friend.
That noted, Anthony still makes no sense for the Lakers not only because both teams he’s recently left pretty immediately got better without him, but because he lacks the self-awareness to adjust to this stage of his career. If he agrees to play sporadically and even on occasion miss games altogether, great, but so long as he expects consistent playing time and anything near his career usage rate, he would risk an already iffy rotation.
Apparently, Los Angeles Lakers games are just opportunities to ask LeBron about potential teammates. Looking forward to James being asked about what it’d be like to play with J.R. Smith again, or the Isaiah Thomas reunion we all never knew we needed.
Carmelo Anthony doesn’t make sense for even the most stable teams. For a Lakers team still trying to figure out who fits alongside whom, he could legitimately derail the season. LeBron needs to let this go, if it is actually something he wants and not just him trying to avoid publicly embarrassing his friend.