During the courtship of Carmelo Anthony this summer, a race always led by the New York Knicks for 124 million reasons, there was a moment where the Lakers seemed to get serious consideration from Anthony.
He met with the team and got a Hollywood proposal, one where not only GM Mitch Kupchak was involved but also owner Jeanie Buss, and by all accounts the pitch caught his eye. The Laker brand and being in Los Angeles had appeal.
But Anthony didn’t linger on the Lakers too long and moved on. Why? Well, he and Kobe Bryant talked and decided they may not work well together. Which was the right call. With the Lakers coming to New York Sunday, Marc Berman of the New York Post got Anthony to talk about the Lakers recruitment.
“They came in at the 25th hour, they swooped in there,’’ said Anthony, who owns an apartment in Los Angeles. “It was a great visit. The conversations I had with Kobe was just man to man. We both had to come to reality and say, ‘Is this what we really want?’ And it didn’t happen.
“We’ve been talking for a long time, man, especially this summer, just me and him communicating, and talking and being honest with one another as friends and brothers should be. It was a lot going on there on his behalf and my behalf trying to figure everything out.’’
Carmelo and Kobe together are a bad combination, at least at this stage of their careers. They are two guys who can certainly still score, but both tend to be ball stoppers (particularly Anthony, Kobe will pass once he trusts his teammates) and that makes them defendable. There would not have been enough shooting and defense around them on that Lakers roster to balance it out.
In a loaded Western Conference that team still probably misses the playoffs — those Lakers are not better than the Suns, not a 48 win team or more, which is what it will take to make the playoffs out West.
Anthony chose wisely.