Ring over homecoming — why Carmelo Anthony chose the Lakers over the Knicks
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Ring over homecoming — why Carmelo Anthony chose the Lakers over the Knicks

Carmelo Anthony is at the stage of his career where he had to choose between comfort and chasing a ring. The New York Knicks offered to welcome him back, but the opportunity to win a title with the Los Angeles Lakers was just too much to pass up. Why did Anthony do it?

Melo was New York-bound before the Lakers called

When Melo signed with the Lakers in the offseason, many fans got excited as they would finally see him play with LeBron James after years of battles on the court as opponents. Melo stans are also hopeful that the former Syracuse University star could finally win a championship before calling it quits.

At 37 years old, the urgency to win a ring to further solidify his legacy has not been as evident as in this season. However, the deal almost did not happen as Melo was bound for a homecoming. Anthony recently guested in Posted Up with Chris Haynes podcast and shared what could have happened. 

“It was (hard) because I had just moved and bought a house in New York. It was unexpected. My son starts school (today) in New York. So it was like, I’m here, I’m home. I never expected the Lakers to call. New York was always there. Coming back to New York was always a story. I’ve always told my son when he goes to high school, I’ll be right there with you. The New York thing made sense.”

Carmelo Anthony, Posted Up with Chris Haynes

Like Anthony, James and the Lakers are also in win-now mode. The signings in the offseason reveal the urgency to improve the roster and add firepower. Aside from Melo, Russell Westbrook, Dwight Howard, and Rajon Rondo joined the Purple and Gold. Management knew they had little cap space to work with, so it seemed like any ring-chasing veteran in the league was called. 

Should Melo have joined the Knicks?

At this point, the Lakers have a more realistic chance of winning the championship than the Knicks. Melo knows that, and it shows how he wanted to win one while he can still contribute as a role player. Either way, Melo is bound for a fitting tribute if he decides to call it quits in a few years. New York will always be home, and that’s where he spent some of the best years of his career. 

No matter where he played, and if he wins a ring with the Lakers – when you think of Carmelo Anthony, you see a midrange dagger by a guy with “New York” and an orange no.7 on his chest. Whenever he’s ready to lace them up one last time, it will surely be in a packed Madison Square Garden. 

Even James Dolan can’t mess that up. Right?