Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James and fellow member of the 2003 NBA Draft class, has voiced his support of the Trail Blazers decision to sign 35-year-old forward Carmelo Anthony. Following a stalled 4-8 start to the season, the Blazers looked to Melo to boost their forward rotation. Following the news, LeBron spoke with USA Today’s Mark Medina about Melo’s next stop.
LeBron revealed that he was worried that Melo would not receive another chance in the NBA.
“I think everyone had doubt, including himself, probably,” the Los Angeles Lakers star said Friday. “As the time goes on and on and on, you see yourself getting further and further away from it. But I always hoped that he would get an opportunity.”
Melo, who played just 10 games with the Rockets last season, has viewed the action on the court from the sideline for over a year. LeBron explained to Medina that he had hoped that the Lakers would consider signing Melo during his injury-induced absence last season.
“I hoped that opportunity presented itself as well when we had our injuries,” said James, who sat 27 games last season while recovering from a strained groin. “I was hoping he was going to be a part of (what we have) here and it didn’t happen for whatever reason. But I’m happy that he has an opportunity to go back and play the game that the loves to play and do it at this level.”
In regards to Melo’s fit with the Blazers, LeBron was clear that he felt that his colleague belonged in the NBA.
“I don’t think about the naysayers. But obviously there’s going to be some motivation now,” James said. “He belongs in this league. I’m happy the Blazers gave him an opportunity. He’ll make the most of it. We’ll see what happens. I’m just happy he’s back in the league.”
Upon his return to action, Melo will trail only LeBron on the all-time scoring list among active players. The Blazers could have their newest addition in the fold as early as Tuesday’s matchup against the Pelicans.
You can read Medina’s full story at USA Today.