Free agent forward Carmelo Anthony has made his fair share of NBA headlines over the past few days, as a number of reports have focused on the fact that he remains unsigned more than one month after the start of free agency, as well as his messy split from the Houston Rockets last season. While he told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith on Friday’s edition of First Take that he is still looking forward to potentially teaming with longtime friend LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers, one of the more interesting revelations from this interview focused on why “Melo” apparently missed out on a chance to join fellow 2003 lottery picks James and Dwyane Wade on the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010.
As cited by Bleacher Report, Anthony looked back on the 2006 offseason, when he was supposed to join James and Wade in signing shorter three-year extensions with their respective teams. While Anthony chose to re-sign with the Denver Nuggets for another five years, James and Wade were able to enter free agency in 2010 and form the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” alongside Chris Bosh, who was also selected in the top 10 of the 2003 NBA Draft.
According to Anthony, it was “immaturity” that led to his decision to sign a five-year extension with the Nuggets in 2006 instead of the three-year deals James and Wade had inked. As he was just 22-years-old at that time, he explained that he was still “naive” as far as contract negotiations were concerned and didn’t understand how he could benefit from signing a shorter extension.
With James, Wade, and Bosh leading the way, the Heat went on to win two championships in four NBA Finals appearances this decade. Anthony, meanwhile, has yet to play in the Finals in a career that has also seen him suit up for the New York Knicks, the Oklahoma City Thunder, and the Rockets.
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In addition to his recollection of a missed opportunity to team with two of the NBA’s best players of the past two decades, Anthony also provided an update on his ongoing search for a new team. He told Smith that he and his camp have been in contact with a number of NBA organizations of late, including both Los Angeles-based teams.
“We reached out to a lot of people. The Lakers has been one of them. The Clippers has been one of them. We reaching out, we talking, it’s dialogues with certain teams. I don’t want to get into specifics, but there’s conversations.”
Regarding the possibility of playing for the Lakers, Anthony said that he’s “one thousand percent” looking forward to potentially wearing the purple and gold in the 2019-20 season. He added that he and James have talked about joining forces on the same team since they were just starting out in the NBA.
As Carmelo Anthony has not played a minute in the NBA since he ended up playing just 10 games for the Rockets early in the 2018-19 season, it’s not clear when the aforementioned talks with the Lakers and Clippers had taken place. Per ESPN, Anthony was traded to the Chicago Bulls in January but was waived before he could play a game for his new team, thus allowing him to become a free agent before the end of the season.