Kobe Advises Carmelo Anthony to Weigh Trade Options Carefully
In the summer of 2007, Kobe Bryant wanted out of Los Angeles. The three titles he won with Shaquille O'Neal to begin the decade seemed like ages ago, and after two straight seasons of singlehandedly dragging the Lakers to the playoffs -- only to be unceremoniously bounced in the first round -- he was done.
As ridiculous as it sounds now, one of the best and most famous basketball players in the world was caught on video in a grocery store parking lot telling a few fans that the Lakers should do anything to trade for some pieces to put around him that would get the team back to a level of contention. Including, perhaps most memorably, Bryant saying that if L.A. could get Jason Kidd in a deal for Andrew Bynum, the team should "ship his a-- out" so the Lakers could get back into the title conversation sooner rather than later.
A group of enterprising young men peddled the video for some time, and even spoke to FanHouse about it, before releasing Kobe's profanity-laced rant for all the world to see.
Lakers fans look back on this now and laugh, as the team traded for Pau Gasol in the middle of the very next season, and has been to the Finals ever since. But Kobe was legitimately pushing to be traded out of town at the time, so he might very well know a thing or two about what Carmelo Anthony might be thinking this summer, as he himself pushes to be dealt out of Denver.
Add in the fact that Bryant and Anthony became close during their time as teammates on the USA Basketball squad that took home the gold in the 2008 Olympics, and it's no surprise that Anthony would seek Bryant's advice during this pivotal time in his NBA career.
According to Yahoo!'s Marc Spears, Bryant and Anthony have spoken recently, with Bryant advising the Nuggets' star to make sure that if he does leave, it's for the right reasons.
"We'll see if he signs a reasonable extension and if he's 100 percent happy that it's where he wants to go," Bryant told Yahoo! Sports Saturday. "If not, don't make a move just to get out of the situation ... Make sure it's a move that you're very happy in and you're comfortable with."
Bryant was similarly in Anthony's shoes in 2007, albeit with a couple of huge differences.
Kobe had already won three titles when he was feeling his discontent; Anthony has yet to even advance to the Finals. And of course, Bryant lives in Los Angeles, one of the top two media markets in the country. Wherever Denver ranks, it's far behind L.A. and New York in terms of the off-the-court opportunities that a player of Anthony's stature might be presented with.
The "where" of the Carmelo Anthony situation would appear to be on its way to a resolution. And the "why?" At this point, it seems to be fairly obvious.