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Lakers' Carmelo Anthony on Free Agency: Happiness Is More Important Than a Ring

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVApril 11, 2022

AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

About the only thing missing from Carmelo Anthony's Hall of Fame resume is a championship ring, but the veteran is not willing to sacrifice his happiness in an effort to change that as he approaches free agency.

ESPN's Dave McMenamin shared Anthony's thoughts in which he said, in part, "If I gotta be unhappy to try to go fight and win a championship, I don't want that. I don't want that unhappiness." 

Dave McMenamin @mcten

Carmelo Anthony with a very thoughtful, human, 360 degree view of what he will look for when considering a team to play for in his 20th NBA season next year. Long story short, the ring ain’t always the thing: <a href="https://t.co/rXFoDk78x1">pic.twitter.com/rXFoDk78x1</a>

It seemed as if Anthony was set up to win his first ring when he joined the Los Angeles Lakers prior to the start of the season.

After all, Los Angeles was loaded with future Hall of Famers in LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Anthony and Dwight Howard, and the presence of James, Davis and Westbrook in particular meant the Syracuse product wouldn't be expected to carry the team on a nightly basis

Yet the season turned into a nightmare for the Lakers.

They failed to even qualify for the play-in tournament as Davis and James dealt with injuries and Westbrook struggled to fit his game into an offense that had so much other star power. Westbrook's inability to consistently hit shots from the outside played poorly alongside James and Davis, who need to be surrounded by shooters because of the attention they draw.

Anthony is far from his prime at this point, but he still provided a scoring spark off the bench and averaged 13.3 points and 4.2 rebounds per game while shooting 44.1 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from deep

He will be 38 years old during the 2022-23 campaign, so expecting anything more than a secondary role is probably unwise regardless of where he signs.

The 10-time All-Star and six-time All-NBA selection will likely look for the best basketball fit and somewhere he can be happy playing if these comments are any indication. While his friendship with James is no secret, he may look to play elsewhere after such a tumultuous season.          

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