Carmelo Anthony signed a one-year, $2.6 million deal with the Los Angeles Lakers at the beginning of free agency. In doing so, he ended his relationship with the Portland Trail Blazers – a team that took a chance on him when he was essentially blackballed from the NBA.
Following Anthony’s decision to jump ship to LA, Blazers star Damian Lillard took a fairly savage 4-word shot at him on social media.
This prompted many to wonder about what the relationship between Lillard and Anthony was like now that they’re no longer teammates.
On Friday Anthony appeared on the most recent episode of the ‘All The Smoke’ podcast and addressed that question head-on.
“Dame is a real one because Dame always knew like, ‘Man we don’t care about what nobody else is saying. We know you can play. I know you can play. I see you. I talk to you.’ So when you get somebody like that, rocking with you, it makes that situation easier,” Anthony said.
Because of that, Anthony believes he and Lillard will maintain a relationship that transcends being teammates.
LaMelo Ball emerges as an early frontrunner for the 2021-22 NBA MVP Award. https://t.co/sSeA2JNkAf
— Game 7 (@game7__) August 18, 2021
“I always was connected to Portland somehow,” he added. “I don’t know why, but I was always connected with Portland. I could’ve been there four years ago, it didn’t work out. I always told myself Dame will always go down as one of my top dogs. Forget basketball. Like as a human being, it don’t get better than that.”
Anthony is rapidly approaching the end of his career, so him being more introspective about his relationships is becoming more and more common. Whether the experiences were positive, as was the case with Lillard, or negative as they were with Phil Jackson – Anthony generally keeps it pretty real when he discusses the people he has worked with.
A longtime sports reporter, Carlos Garcia has written about some of the biggest and most notable athletic events of the last 5 years. He has been credentialed to cover MLS, NBA and MLB games all over the United States. His work has been published on Fox Sports, Bleacher Report, AOL and the Washington Post.