Lakers' LeBron James Calls Carmelo Anthony Matchup 'A Privilege and Honor'

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 30, 2020

Los Angeles Lakers' Kyle Kuzma (0) and LeBron James, center, greet Portland Trail Blazers' Carmelo Anthony (00) after an NBA basketball first round playoff game Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The Lakers won 131-122 to win the series 4-1. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)
Ashley Landis/Associated Press

After knocking the Portland Trail Blazers out of the first round of the playoffs, Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James reflected on his relationship with fellow veteran Carmelo Anthony. 

LeBron posted two pictures of the duo on his Instagram account along with a heartfelt caption:

"Going on 20 years of friendship to date my brother and it will always be a privilege and honor to do what we love to do and that's hoop! Never taking these moments for granted cause I just don't know how many more we got together out there but what I do know is we have the rest of our lives afterwards to continue to live it up to the fullest. Love CHAMP!!!"

James and Anthony both entered the NBA in the 2003 draft and have combined for 26 All-Star selections during their time in the league.

The players first competed against each other in high school before playing alongside one another for Team USA and on NBA All-Star teams. There is a lot of camaraderie, which LeBron spoke about after Game 3 of the series:

SportsCenter @SportsCenter

"It's very humbling and something we'll talk about long after our careers." —@KingJames on what it's like battling against Melo, his friend of 20 years (via @CassidyHubbarth) https://t.co/Jk0WkdNula

Carmelo also joked about the connection between them:

Carmelo Anthony @carmeloanthony

2003 or 2020? #TBT #STAYME7O https://t.co/G3hvtbbPsE

"We came in together," Anthony said of James in December, per Bill Oram and Jason Quick of The Athletic. "Some way, somehow we will always be connected."

Anthony is set to be a free agent this offseason but said after Sunday's game he has "found a home in Portland."

It could lead to even more Western Conference battles against his longtime friend and rival.