Anthony primarily cited Denver’s plan to rebuild after making the 2009 Western Conference finals for forcing his hand.
But Anthony also spoke about how conditions changed around the NBA. When he entered the league, he felt empowered by the Nuggets. As he saw it: LeBron James had the Cavaliers. Dwyane Wade had the Heat. Chris Bosh had the Raptors. And he had Denver
Anthony on “All The Smoke“:
Everybody had their own situation. It wasn’t no teaming up back then. Y’all know that. It wasn’t no big three. It wasn’t none of that. You held your own team down back then.
By 2010, LeBron, Wade and Bosh were all together in Miami. Early the next year, Anthony forced his way to the Knicks to join Amar’e Stoudemire and the hope of another star taking New York’s cap space.
Stoudemire declined amid injuries. Another indisputable star never came (though Tyson Chandler made an All-Star game). And Anthony’s Knicks topped out in the second round.
The game of basketball is different, whereas before, when I first came into the NBA, each of us had our own organization, our own team. So, we had to go out there and do it on our own. Now, you can’t do it on your own. It’s quite impossible to go out there and try to win on your own and do it on your own. There’s so much opportunity now. There’s so much money now. The talent is growing and getting stronger. You can’t do it by yourself.
But does Antetokounmpo’s title really not fit what Anthony meant?