If anybody out there understands what Carmelo Anthony is going through right now it’s Kobe Bryant. Melo’s continued trials and tribulations surrounding a potential trade resembles what KB24 went through with the Lakers just a few years ago. Broderick Turner of the Times has a nice piece on that exact subject. Turner quotes Kobe’s frustration with his surrounding talent back in 2007.
“I know for me, it was all about winning. In my situation, we weren’t spending the money to get players [to the Lakers]. They had me playing around with Smush Parker. So until they decided that they wanted to make the necessary sacrifice financially and give me a team that was going to be competitive, then I didn’t want to be here. It was as simple as that.”
While you can see why Kobe would come to Carmelo’s defense there is something much different about the two situations. Bryant understands the drama and how it affects both the individual and the team. However, Melo is simply tired of dealing with Denver. It’s not like the organization didn’t go out and get help for Anthony.
Sure, the Allen Iverson move made as much sense as Mike Conley’s contract but Denver turned that into Chauncey Billups. In addition, Denver has put together the only squad that really threatened the Lakers in the West these last two years (seven game series against Houston not withstanding).
Go back and look at the teams Kobe took to the playoffs prior to the arrival of Pau Gasol. Melo would have asked for a trade immediately if Smush Parker and Kwame Brown were staring for the Nuggets. Melo is simply over Denver, for whatever reason, and wants out.
To be sure, Anthony has handled himself much more professionally than Bryant did during his drama filled 2007. However the two situations greatly differ. Carmelo has every right to play wherever he wants. Fans and front office people alike cannot act as if they have ownership of an individual, something the city of Cleveland just doesn’t get. Still, it feels awkward that Melo is acting as if his front office hasn’t done enough to win. I’ll be the first to admit that George Karl’s health issues of a year ago might have been the difference between the Lakers going back-to-back or going home and watching the Finals.
Whatever the case, Kobe supports Carmelo and hopes the best for his buddy. And why not? With Melo gone that eliminates one more road block for the Lakers. Too bad it doesn’t seem likely that it will happen soon.