Carmelo Anthony on joining the Lakers: “I doubt it.”

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Ahh, the TMZ ambush interview. Not exactly the zenith of American journalism, but you do catch people without their publicist having scripted the response.

TMZ ambushed Carmelo Anthony in Los Angeles and asked him about maybe joining the Lakers next season and he didn’t make it sound likely.

Anthony was leaving Craig’s in Hollywood this week when we asked straight up if he could see himself in purple and gold after his contract with the Knicks runs out.

CA’s response? “Ummmmm, I doubt it….”

Anthony also told TMZ … he’s NOT secretly plotting with LeBron James to join the same NBA squad … though he admits, they’re pretty damn good when they play together.

First the disclaimer — anything said right now about next summer’s free agency is subject to change. This goes for every player and team.

Anthony joked around with TMZ’s guy but apparently didn’t sound like he was thinking Lakers. When TMZ said “I’m reading between the lines” and he expects to see ‘Melo in Lakers colors the response was:

“I don’t think you should read between the lines. I don’t think you should do that. It’s not good to read between the lines.”

I’ve thought it unlikely ‘Melo bolts the bright lights of New York. He was born there and lived there until he was 8, he fought to get back there, he wants to be part of the Knicks return to glory. (Whether they can do it with him at the heart of the roster is another question, but he wants to be there.)

The feeling when talking to executives and scouts around Summer League is that the Lakers will bounce back sooner rather than later by luring in free agents. That said, the two guys reportedly at the top of their list — Anthony and LeBron — are going to be very hard to pry out of their current situations. Also, Paul George is not likely to happen, either.