The Los Angeles Lakers‘ offseason featured bringing many new faces aboard to help the team’s NBA title push. Carmelo Anthony sits as one of the most prominent roster additions. Before Anthony begins his first year with the Lakers, he discussed his thoughts about his NBA future.
Carmelo Anthony joins the Lakers
The Lakers’ busy offseason led the front office to restructure the roster around LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
Los Angeles’ efforts featured James making a strong push to persuade his close friend to join the team. Anthony chose to depart from the Portland Trail Blazers for the unique opportunity to play for the franchise that heavily pursued him several years ago.
Anthony isn’t the player he once was, but he remains a highly effective player off the bench. He’s coming off playing his first year in that role, finding success averaging 13.4 points while shooting a career-high 40.9% from 3-point range. It marked the first time in his career that he’s started fewer than 40 games.
The 37-year-old’s effectiveness as a reserve could help provide Los Angeles with much-needed shooting and scoring. As he moves toward beginning another campaign, he addressed retirement talk.
Carmelo Anthony addresses the big elephant in the room before he begins his first year with the Lakers
Anthony is extending his NBA career to a 19th season with his first stint with the Lakers.
Despite the transition to playing in a bench role, the 37-year-old remains an effective player. However, adding another year to his career further shifts the conversation to retirement. He hasn’t hinted at stepping away, but inching closer to two decades in the league makes the dialogue inevitable.
Anthony touched on it after last Friday’s practice, stating that he isn’t sure when he will step away from the game.
“No, man. Honestly, I don’t even think about it no more,” Anthony said via Lakers Nation. “I’m sure everybody, Year 19, I don’t even think about it…If you were in Year 19 in 2003 when I came in then yeah you barely made it to that. A lot of guys, they didn’t even make 10 at that point.
“I’m still able to do what I do at a high clip, but the No. 1 thing is I’m still passionate about it. I haven’t lost my passion for it. My love for the game I think now is at an all-time high. Obviously, I have an opportunity to play for something. Play for a championship, but my passion is there. My passion is not taken away from me right now.”
Anthony may be closer to the end of his career, but it doesn’t sound like he’s considering retirement at this point. Beyond still possessing a strong passion for the game, he’s remained a productive player. His acceptance of transitioning to a reserve role opened the door to extending his playing days.
If Anthony is willing to play in a limited bench role, he will have NBA teams looking to employ him.
Lakers sits fixated on NBA title contention
Beyond Anthony‘s long-term future, his focus sits directed toward pushing the Lakers to NBA title contention.
He’s one of several players on the roster searching to capture his first championship, only providing more fuel to the motivational fire. Anthony may play a pivotal role off the bench behind his scoring prowess while he could become a key fixture in the Lakers’ closing lineup late in games.
His spot in the rotation is one of the many things that head coach Frank Vogel will have to figure out to best position the franchise to compete for a championship. The lofty end goal remains the lone fixated mindset the Lakers are embracing, and only time will tell if their roster possesses enough to reach it.