LeBron vs. Melo: Friends, Rivals, Teammates?

Dallas WilsonAnalyst IMay 23, 2008

Lebron James and Carmelo Anthony have long been paired together.

They have the same superstar abilities on the basketball court, and they both were listed as prodigies in High School.

They both make frenetic drives into the lane, and they both have a sweet jumpshot. By the end of their careers, they will both be among the game's best.

Carmelo definitely had the harder road. Growing up fatherless on the mean streets of Baltimore, Maryland, Carmelo worked hard to get out.

Basketball became his escape, and as his friends beside him were put into jail or shot, he was on the court making his escape.

After his Junior year in high school in which he averaged 28 points per game, he transfered to the number one high school team in the nation, Oak Hill Academy.

Most people doubted the move would benefit Carmelo, thinking he was too dumb to attend the school. Carmelo's grades, which had caused him to miss several games the year before, did steadily rise until he was entertaining offers from several D1 schools.

After beating Lebron James' St. Vincent-St. Mary's team, in what many called the most hyped high school game in history, Carmelo Anthony was officially on the map.

While Lebron James also grew up without a father figure in his life, he grew up in Akron, Ohio, a city not known for gangs and violence. He had a protected life and for good reason.

As a seventh grader, his coaches said that if he could go pro, he would be the consensus top pick in the NBA draft. But he couldn't, and the world braced itself for what was coming.

His high school career was highlighted by a National Championship the year after Carmelo graduated. He averaged 29.4 points a game his senior year, and was already a millionaire.

He didn't even need to go to college, he was ready for the big leagues.

Carmelo's signing to Syracuse puzzled many. He was the type of player that could attend any college in the United States, or been the top pick in the NBA draft.

Syracuse was not a basketball powerhouse, but an average Big East team. He saw something that we didn't about that team though, as he won the National Championship.

Lebron James was drafted first overall, and Carmelo was drafted third. They were both expected to change their respective teams, the Cleveland Cavaliers and Denver Nuggets around instantly, and only Carmelo completely delivered on his promise.

His Nuggets advanced to the playoffs, while the Cavs were a few games out.

That is not to say Lebron's season was a failure. He averaged 20.9 points per game and won the Rookie of the Year award. Carmelo averaged 21 points per game, and as mentioned above, advanced to the playoffs.

Fast forward five years to the present, 2008. 

Lebron's Cavs lasted one round before being put out by the Boston Celtics. This was a year after he single handedly willed his team to the NBA finals, where they were quickly swept by the San Antonio Spurs.

Anthony's Nuggets have acquired all time great and perennial All-Star Allen Iverson, but they still can't seem to get out of the first round.

In five straight years of playoff action, they have won a measly four games.

Carmelo will probably be an all time great by the end of his career, but his coaches and fans have been tired of his constant bad attitude and his, "I don't have to play defense," approach.

These two things have caused people to speculate a trade.

Who would trade for him? Well here is the answer, Lebron James' Cleveland Cavaliers. 

Lebron has longed called for help on his TERRIBLE Cavalier team. Who would be more perfect than his longtime friend who has beaten him eight out of ten times?

They are best friends and have been Olympic teammates before, and if the Nuggets are actively shopping Anthony then the King will make his team trade for him.

Jordan and Pippen. Shaq and Kobe. And possibly Lebron and Melo?

We'll see.