The Los Angeles Lakers are reportedly interested in adding both Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James following the upcoming season, but the New York Knicks' star shot down those hopes in a recent interview with TMZ.
When asked if he could see himself playing alongside Kobe Bryant in the not-so-distant future, Anthony replied simply with, "ummmmm, I doubt it." It's not exactly the most convincing of answers, but note the sarcasm in such a blunt response. Anthony seems focused on winning with the Knicks in 2013-14 and potentially beyond. For head coach Mike Woodson and the rest of the team's upper management, this should be a huge shot of confidence for a team that could be in danger of losing their best player in years.
The Lakers made headlines earlier in July when they announced their intentions to form the NBA's next super-trio. A lineup featuring Bryant, James and Anthony would be the most formidable threesome in perhaps the history of the league, as each has been a top-three player. For Bryant and James, they have been No. 1.
We can put those talks to rest for now, though. The Lakers may have been out of line in announcing their intentions so early but, as a result, the Knicks now have some spoken certainty from Anthony that he wants to stay with them. Not only does this have major implications on the future of the franchise, but it also gives the team a serious boost for the upcoming season.
Now that the players and coaches know that Anthony is fully committed to the Knicks, chemistry and team morale could be at an all-time high. A flurry of transactions and several new faces were plenty to get the team excited for 2013-14, but the possibility of Anthony leaving was likely in the backs of the their minds. The guarantee of his commitment should light a fire under the team heading into training camp.
If the team shows improvement from a season that came to a disappointing end in the playoffs against the Indiana Pacers, then Anthony would certainly be interested in staying. Tyson Chandler, Amar'e Stoudemire and Andrea Bargnani have contracts coming off the books in two seasons, meaning a team headlined by a still-in-his-prime Anthony with a ton of salary flexibility could make some serious moves. Throw in a matured Iman Shumpert and experienced Tim Hardaway, Jr., and you've got some serious talent to work with.
Throw in the fact that Bryant may not have all that many years left, and a "Big Three" in LA could quickly turn into a "Much-Less-Big Two." Playing with James would probably be great for Anthony's career, but it goes without saying that he could stand a better chance of winning a title and being the centerpiece of a team if he stayed in New York.
Take Anthony's remarks for what their worth. It's still months before the season starts, he has a full year before deciding his fate and is likely attempting to not step on people's toes. Even still, Anthony could have outright said that he was intrigued, or even that he'd way his options when the time comes.
Instead, he pretty much put all worries to rest—for now, anyway.
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