Carmelo Anthony has finally found a team to resume his NBA career with in the Portland Trail Blazers. He’s also actually been pretty good for a team that was desperate for any help they could get, but apparently also had his sights set on the Los Angeles Lakers while he was still a free agent.
According to Anthony, he even went so far as to ask LeBron James for a little help (via Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN):
“There were a lot of teams that I thought I was going to be on,” Anthony said. “As far as LeBron goes, it’s something we’ve talked about since we were in high school. It wasn’t in his power. Some people might say it was in his power. But it’s something that I was calling him and talking to him about, asking him, ‘Can you do this for me?’ [But] I would’ve never put him in that position because a lot of times it’s deeper than that and I started understanding the business of basketball.”
James kind of alluded to this back-and-forth with Anthony earlier this season, offering up this quote when asked about his good friend’s return to the NBA with the Blazers, and whether he ever doubted it would happen:
“I think everyone had doubt. Including himself, probably,” James said after shootaround on Friday. “I always hoped that he would get an opportunity. When his name was brought up with us I hoped that opportunity presented itself as well. When we had our injuries I was hoping he could come be a part of here, and it didn’t happen for whatever reason. But I’m happy that he has the opportunity to go back and play the game that he loves to play.”
The “for whatever reason” in that quote is pretty glorious, I have to say.
Look, of course James wanted Anthony on the team. They’re as close as NBA players can possibly get and he probably really believed Anthony could help, especially given how ravaged by injuries the Lakers were last season.
As evidenced by Dwight Howard’s stellar play this season, and even how Anthony has looked this year, maybe there was something to that line of redemption-minded thinking — though both Howard and Anthony have had to take serious looks in the mirror to wind up at their current approaches to the game.
All that matters now is that Anthony might have figured some of this out, and the Lakers are continuing their championship efforts without him. Maybe Anthony will once again be a free agent this season and, if he fits a need on the Lakers, perhaps they can look in that direction, but such a scenario seems pretty far off at this point.