Carmelo Anthony Disputes Notion That He Doesn’t Want to Play with Kobe Bryant

Carmelo Anthony may ultimately have spurned the Los Angeles Lakers during his foray into free agency this offseason, choosing to re-sign with the New York Knicks rather than move across the country and throw on a purple-and-gold uniform. However, his decision didn't have to do with avoiding Kobe Bryant. 

"If I thought that was the right situation for me from an overall perspective as far as having a team there, then I would have looked at that situation more in-depth," the oft-shooting forward told's Ramona Shelburne and Ohm Youngmisuk. "I just felt more comfortable staying here in New York. But as far as playing with him...I'm here now but I would always love to play with Kobe."

The justification is only necessary because of an ESPN the Magazine piece on Bryant, one that sparked up plenty of conversations after anonymous inside figures were quoted as saying the superstar shooting guard was driving away potential free-agent signings. 

"Mitch [Kupchak] did his homework," an unnamed NBA executive told Henry Abbott for that article. "He can't get a marquee player to play alongside Kobe, cap space be damned." 

And how about this one from a source close to Lakers decision-makers: 

He wants to win. But only as long as he's the reason we're winning, as long as the performance is not affecting his numbers. No one works harder than Kobe. And no one sabotages his own efforts more. He's scaring off the free agents we're trying to get. We're trying to surround you with talent and your ego is getting in the way.

The piece led to quite a few rebuttals from central figures and journalists around the basketball-watching world. Even Phil Jackson, who coached Bryant during his three-peat runs and is now working in the New York front office that re-signed Anthony, is getting involved:

Now, Anthony is the latest to explain that his decision had other mot...

About the Author