Does Kobe Bryant want Carmelo Anthony to leave the New York Knicks and join him and the Los Angeles Lakers next season? Probably, but he’s being a little less than direct about it.
Carmelo Anthony can opt (and probably will) out of his contract with the Knicks this season despite the $23.3 million left for him to make next season. Believing he can make the same amount on a new deal he’ll sign with anyone (and he will) plus the disappointing season the Knicks are having, combined with the very murky future in terms of championship prospects considering how little maneuvering room they have to improve their slightly old, slightly overpaid roster, staying a Knick for life as he claimed more than once that he’d like to be seems a little less likely now.
Before the Knicks and the Lakers met for their game (which the Knicks won 110-103 with Anthony scoring 35 points), Kobe Bryant spoke about the chance of getting Bryant to come to LA and play with him.
Well, I mean everybody wants to play in Los Angeles. New York’s a beautiful place, don’t get me wrong but it’s colder than @#$% out here. It’s palm trees and beaches obviously are a little more appealing. If he wants to come for advice later as a friend I’ll be more than happy to give it to him.
So that seems like Bryant is recruiting, right? But he also said that he isn’t going to be recruiting, calling up Anthony and holding sit downs with him in order to convince him to come over. That didn’t really work with Dwight Howard last season, and some of the things Bryant said later on in the interview about championships and the reasoning Anthony should have guide him in his decision don’t sound like they match reality.
I won five championships…You just gotta kind of take it in. The important thing is winning a championship. That’s the only way to shake it. That’s the only way Michael shook it. That’s the only way any top scorer can shake it. It’s important for the organization to understand the level of competitiveness that you have, that you won’t tolerate having a team that’s not in contention for an NBA championship, which is what I did and it rubbed a lot of people the wrong way, but sometimes you gotta kick down a few doors and piss some people off and trust that it will pay off in the long run.
Bryant makes it sound like joining him in Los Angeles makes it a move towards winning an NBA championship. Maybe he hasn’t really seen himself play recently (Well he hasn’t for some time and no one knows when he’ll actually be back) or looked at the Lakers’ situation, partially because of his awful new contract, but the Lakers aren’t going to the playoffs this season, and won’t win an NBA championship next year, and the next one after that as well – not when Bryant is clogging the salary cap with $23.5 million a season. He wants Anthony to join, but he doesn’t really give him a good reason to do that.