Carmelo Anthony’s decision to join Lakers started way back in 2014

Carmelo Anthony finally joined the Los Angeles Lakers this year, but he says he’s been connected to the franchise for much longer.

The Los Angeles Lakers and Carmelo Anthony have had opportunities to come together in the past. It took until 2021 to make it happen.

Anthony had a free-agency meeting with LA back in 2014 when he explored his options before re-signing with the New York Knicks.

His relationship with the Lakers goes back at least that long, if not longer.

“I’ve always stayed connected with the Lakers some way or somehow,” Anthony said, per Mark Medina of USA Today. “Whether it was through my brother, Kobe, regardless to what it is, I’ve always been connected somehow.”

Carmelo Anthony is finally a Laker after years of considering LA

Had Anthony joined the Lakers back in 2014, he would have changed the balance of the Western Conference along with Bryant. He was one of the biggest stars in the league at that time and went on to average 24.2 points, 6.6 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game the next season with the Knicks.

The 10-time All-Star is now several years removed from his best years.

New York traded him to the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2018. He played for the Houston Rockets the next season with his powers waning. In 2019, he landed with the Portland Trail Blazers, where he’s spent the last two seasons. Most recently, he averaged 13.4 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 24.5 minutes per game. He hit 42 percent of his shots from the field.

He joins the Lakers in a much different role than he would have before. This time he’ll come in as a role player, not a member of the Big 3 featuring LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook.

The goal is to win a title, which would be the first in his career spanning nearly two decades.

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