All NBA fans know the story by now. Carmelo Anthony was wanted by several teams last summer before he eventually stayed put in New York with the Knicks.
The star baller could have played ball at the Lakers, amongst many other franchises. But it was always the lure of Los Angeles and the chance to play with future Hall of Famer Kobe Bryant that was the most tempting offer that could have swayed Melo and seen him leave the Big Apple.
Unlike four-time league MVP LeBron James, Carmelo stayed put. Many believe Anthony did this purely because of the money. While that was a contributing factor no doubt, Melo revealed this week that it was in fact a conversation between him and Kobe that made him stay in New York.
The ironic thing is that Bryant was trying to do the opposite, or at least that was what Kobe would have us believe. The 36-year-old was supposed to be the ultimate bargaining chip ready to use his persuasive skills to lure Melo, but as the Knicks star reveals, their big conversation had the opposite effect.
“They came in at the 25th hour, they swooped in there,’’ explained Anthony, who owns an apartment in Los Angeles. “It was a great visit. The conversations I had with Kobe was just man to man. We both had to come to reality and say, ‘Is this what we really want?’ And it didn’t happen.
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“We’ve been talking for a long time, man, especially this summer, just me and him communicating, and talking and being honest with one another as friends and brothers should be. It was a lot going on there on his behalf and my behalf trying to figure everything out.’’
Whatever Kobe did in the meeting it wasn't enough to persuade Melo to forgo $34 million in New York - and who can really blame Anthony for that?