After Joe Vardon of The Athletic reported that James wants to play with Carmelo Anthony on Thursday, Brad Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported that the Lakers have zero interesting in bringing the 16-year veteran on board:
Lakers have no interest in acquiring Carmelo Anthony, per sources. Sources said people want to attach players to Lakers now. Sources said Melo people called Lakers a while back and that LeBron hasn’t talked to Lakers prez Magic Johnson/Rob Pelinka about getting Melo.— Brad Turner (@BA_Turner) December 7, 2018
However, the front office has been made aware of James’ interest in teaming up with Anthony in the event they change their minds, according to Ramona Shelburne of ESPN:
Can confirm this. Bron hasn't asked Lakers to sign Melo, and that he doesn't intend to. But if Rob/Magic decide that'd be good for the Lakers, the banana boat has been floated apparently. https://t.co/wGRWcSdEQk— Ramona Shelburne (@ramonashelburne) December 7, 2018
These reports, along with James’ previous comments about it not being his decision whether or not Anthony plays for the Lakers confirms what many fans were thinking when the news broke on Thursday.
Maybe it’s true that James wants to play alongside his longtime friend, but his desire clearly isn’t strong enough for him to feel the need to make a formal request to the front office. It’s more likely that James just feels bad for Anthony, who has been either traded or waived four times within the last two years alone.
One thing’s for sure: if Anthony ends up on the Lakers within the next few months, it will be because James forced the issue, which might signal a shift of power within the organization. James has yet to put his general manager hat on since he arrived in L.A., but with the trade deadline just around the corner, that could change soon.
In the likely event that the Lakers pass on Anthony completely, there is at least one remaining member of the banana boat crew left for Anthony to call up and, from what I hear, South Beach isn’t so bad.
There might have been a time that it would been exciting to see James and Anthony on the Lakers, but that time has passed. Hopefully Anthony lands on his feet elsewhere sooner rather than later.
You can follow this author on Twitter at @RadRivas.