EL SEGUNDO, Calif. — Nineteen seasons into his NBA profession and with a slew of accomplishments to point out for his tenure, Carmelo Anthony‘s résumé would recommend an computerized featured function for this season’s Los Angeles Lakers.
Nevertheless, Anthony, 37, is open to no matter his new staff asks of him as he continues to pursue the championship that has eluded him all through his time within the league.
“At this level, man, no matter we have to do, let’s do it,” Anthony stated following the Lakers’ third day of coaching camp Friday. “It ain’t … ‘I am unable to sit,’ and, ‘Oh, I need to begin,’ ‘I need to come off the bench.’ No matter it’s, it’s.”
Anthony performed 69 video games for the Portland Trail Blazers final season and was a starter in solely three of them. It was the primary time in his profession, save for the ill-fated 10-game stint he had with the Houston Rockets in 2018-19, when he was primarily used as a reserve.
“I’ve had expertise being a starter for 18, 17 years and had an expertise of coming off the bench for one 12 months,” Anthony stated. “It isn’t one thing I take into consideration.”
Lakers coach Frank Vogel stated he’s nonetheless pondering via the lineup combos he’ll have at his disposal this season, however has already let Anthony know he will probably be a needed piece to L.A.’s success.
“After we spoke earlier than he signed right here, I advised him that I envisioned a giant function on this staff,” Vogel stated. “I do not know what that is going to seem like, whether or not he’ll begin, whether or not he’ll come off the bench, however that he’ll be an element for us.”
The coach must wait to see how Anthony suits in a recreation scenario. Anthony, LeBron James and Russell Westbrook will all sit out Sunday’s preseason opener towards the Brooklyn Nets for relaxation, Vogel stated. Trevor Ariza, who has missed most of coaching camp with a sore proper ankle, may even be sidelined. Anthony Davis will play, however probably simply the primary quarter, the coach stated.
However when Anthony does play, there will probably be minutes for him. Vogel recalled mentioning to Anthony this summer time how buying and selling Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, a 41% 3-point shooter, and Kyle Kuzma, who shot 36.1% from deep, depleted L.A.’s pool of shooters that was already shallow to start with. Whereas Anthony performed a career-low 24.5 minutes per recreation final season, he shot 40.9% from 3 — his second-best mark since coming into the league.
“We’ll in all probability not discuss it once more till we get nearer to the common season,” Vogel stated. “However I do suppose he’ll have a giant function on our staff.”
Vogel’s communication plan is simply high-quality by Anthony. He credited the “readability” that his new coach has opened up camp with as he implements offensive and defensive schemes with a roster full of 11 recent faces since final season.
“No matter he desires, let’s do it,” Anthony stated. “I am not even trippin’ about that at this level. As a result of let’s go. Let’s go win.”
As Anthony spoke to reporters, his face confirmed that his message wasn’t simply lip service. His left eyelid was scratched and swollen from a run-in with Davis on the observe court docket, however he laughed off the damage with the identical good nature with which he’s processing his function within the lineup.
“You bought to ask Anthony Davis, man. Ask AD. He tried to take me out early,” Anthony stated, clearly joking. “Little warfare wound, that is it.”
That angle displays his appreciation for the sport at this stage of his profession, a profession he is not making an attempt to place an expiration date on simply but.
“I am nonetheless in a position to do what I do, man, at a excessive clip,” he stated. “However the No. 1 factor, I am nonetheless captivated with it. I have not misplaced my ardour. My love for recreation is, I feel now, at an all-time excessive.”
Lakers president of basketball operations and normal supervisor Rob Pelinka has, on a number of events, cited the Tampa Bay Buccaneers‘ 44-year-old quarterback, Tom Brady, as a main instance of how skilled athletes are redefining how lengthy a main can final. Anthony was requested about Brady’s declare that he might nonetheless compete within the NFL when he is 50, and put a restrict on simply how lengthy his ardour will final.
“Brady’s bought an offensive line,” he quipped. “They are going to defend Brady. I do not need to try this. I ain’t taking part in to no 50, I am going to inform you that.”