Carmelo Anthony Says Lakers' LeBron James Told Him 'The Time Is Now' to Team Up

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVAugust 9, 2021

LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLORIDA - AUGUST 29: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony #00 of the Portland Trail Blazers hug before the start of Game Five of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 29, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have long been friends. This season, they'll finally be teammates on the Los Angeles Lakers after James sold Anthony on the idea. 

"The time is now, we've got to make it happen," Anthony told reporters was the sales pitch from James. "We want you."

Mark Medina @MarkG_Medina

Melo on why he and LeBron hadn't teamed up together earlier: "We were in two different lanes and two different paths."

"Timing is everything," he added. "For years we've always laughed about it and spoke about it. ... The time is now for us to be on the same team. It couldn't have come at a better time."

It may not have been too hard of a sell, however, as Anthony is seeking the first title of his career. Joining forces with James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook gives him better odds of winning a ring than he would have with most other organizations. 

"This is the one thing I'm missing," he told reporters about winning a championship. "This is the one thing that keeps me up at night, that motivates me because I don't have it."

Kyle Goon @kylegoon

After <a href="https://twitter.com/mcten?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@mcten</a> points out Carmelo is 37 and starts listing off the ages of other players on the roster, he jabs back, laughing: "We don't care. We create our own narrative!"

While Anthony is a 10-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA selection, his role with the Lakers will be a complementary one off the bench. That suited him just fine in Portland, where he averaged 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game last season, shooting a career-high 40.9 percent from three on 4.7 attempts per game. 

Anthony has evolved his game later in his career to be instant offense in a reserve role, embracing the modern game's move to floor-spacing as a stretch-4. 

The Lakers will have a brand-new look in the 2021-22 season, with almost the entire roster being shuffled around James and Davis. Major questions remain about how that group will fit, namely Westbrook. 

Regardless of how it all works out, James and Anthony will finally have the chance to play on the same NBA team. It's clearly been a long time coming.