In one of the most predicatable offseason moves, Carmelo Anthony decided to pair up with LeBron James on the Los Angeles Lakers.
It’s easy to see why Melo would have wanted to join Los Angeles this year. For one, one of his best friends, LeBron James is on the team. Melo and James have been buddies since both of them were drafted together in the 2003 NBA draft.
Secondly, the Lakers are title contenders. At this stage in Carmelo’s career, he’s no longer the dominant scoring forward he was in his early days with the Denver Nuggets and New York Kincks.
Right now, winning a ring means more than anything for Anthony, and the Lakers are perhaps set up the best to do that especially after adding Russell Westbrook too.
Carmelo Anthony on joining the Lakers:
“I’m coming here with a championship on my mind.” pic.twitter.com/gRoxuMq9Ua
— Top Ball Coverage (@TopBallCoverage) August 10, 2021
However, his former head coach, George Karl believes there was a different reason that Melo joined LeBron on the Lakers.
George Karl Says Carmelo Anthony Joined LeBron James To Reach His Level
LeBron has quickly risen to the top of the NBA world following that historic 2003 NBA draft class. He’s won four rings and has solidified his place in NBA history as definitely a top three if not top two or even the best player in NBA history.
Carmelo hasn’t exactly seen that kind of success. He’s had playoff runs with both the Nuggets and Knicks, but they’ve never amounted to much and Carmelo certainly hasn’t won an NBA ring yet.
That’s why his former head coach on the Nuggets, George Karl believes that Melo joined LeBron to try and get somewhat on LeBron’s level, Carmelo won’t ever see the kind of success LeBron has had in his NBA career, but he can at least see some piece of it.
George Karl had the following to say:
“The truth of the matter is I think Melo wanted to be on the same level as LeBron, and liked competing against LeBron. I know when we played LeBron when I coached Melo, Melo got fired up, he got into the game. When I was in Denver, we had a winning record against LeBron. I think it was more of Melo understanding he was not on the same level of LeBron and his light was fading while LeBron’s was still shining.”
It’s interesting to see Melo’s old coach speak about him this way. Certainly, Melo does know that he’s not going to be one of the game’s greatest or retire with the kind of legacy that LeBron James has built up, but the way Karl said it, it makes it sound like Carmelo is envious.
Melo doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to be envious of someone, especially not of his best friend LeBron James, but with Karl making those comments, you might just wonder a little bit. You can hear Karl talk about it here at about the 10 minute mark.