Carmelo Anthony Says Decision To Join LeBron James On LA Lakers 'Not Just Basketball'

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JB Baruelo

Almost two decades since they both entered the league in 2003, veteran small forward Carmelo Anthony has finally agreed to team up with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers. Anthony was originally against the idea of joining forces with James despite LeBron's multiple attempts to recruit him as his teammate. However, this summer, Anthony did no longer think twice before he joined James' team.

In the first week of the 2021 free agency, Anthony signed a one-year contract to help James and the Lakers reclaim their throne in the 2021-22 NBA season.

Joining LA Lakers 'Not Just Basketball' For Carmelo Anthony

Teaming up with James in Los Angeles would undeniably give Anthony a realistic chance of winning his first NBA championship title in the 2021-22 NBA season. However, in an interview with Brian Windhorst of ESPN, Anthony revealed that his decision to join James on the Lakers was "not just basketball."

"It's not just basketball, it's different. It's a different feel, it's a different vibe that we have. It's a different connection," Anthony said. "The journey itself alongside somebody like LeBron, you can't write that any better."


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Carmelo Anthony Willing To Accept Bench Role

One of the major reasons why Anthony previously hesitated to become James' teammate was because he knew that he would be needing to make huge adjustments with his game. However, unlike when they were still in their prime, Anthony no longer seem to have any problem making a huge sacrifice to make himself fit alongside James.

"For the first time in his career, Anthony accepted the role as a backup after a year as a starter in Portland," Windhorst wrote. "He'd modified his game to focus on catching-and-shooting as opposed to the isolation scoring he'd preferred for a decade."

Carmelo Anthony's Improved Three-Point Shooting & Off-Ball Skills Would Benefit Lakers

Anthony may already be on the downside of his career but if he could stay away from any major injury, he would undeniably be a huge help for the Lakers in recapturing the Larry O'Brien Trophy in the 2021-22 NBA season. Aside from having a very reliable backup for James, Anthony would also give the Purple and Gold a legitimate three-point threat and a former All-Star who could excel on the court in an off-ball capacity.

Last season, Anthony averaged 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds while shooting 42.1 percent from the field and 40.9 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Carmelo Anthony Impresses In Preseason Debut With Lakers

Anthony just made his preseason debut for the Lakers on Wednesday night. Though they went 0-2 in the preseason after suffering 117-105 against the Phoenix Suns, the veteran small forward has somehow managed to impress in his first game wearing the Purple and Gold. In 17 minutes of action, Anthony scored eight points while hitting four of his 10 shot attempts.

In their preseason faceoff against the Suns, Jacob Rude of SB Nation's Silver Screen and Roll said that Anthony has shown the "scoring ability" the Lakers haven't had outside James and Anthony Davis in the past two seasons.