The Los Angeles Lakers made a lot of changes this offseason, with the trade for Russell Westbrook the most notable move. In addition to the Westbrook trade, the Lakers brought in a bunch of veterans (with perhaps more coming), making them the oldest team in the NBA and the butt of many AARP jokes.

One of those veterans is Carmelo Anthony, who knows all about criticism. In an interview with Adam Caparell of Complex Sports, the Lakers forward addressed the doubters:

To be honest, I think it’ll be too easy for you guys to be like, “Yeah, they’re going to be like this.” It’s too easy. You guys are baiting people to start a debate. It’s all about debate. We get it. We understand it. This is what you guys have to do. We understand that and we laugh at it and take it with a grain of salt and move on because everybody on the outside have their opinions about it and we’re the ones who know who we are. We know what we have to do. We know how we going to do it. Those are the things we have to deal with. So it’s easy for the outsiders or naysayers to give their overall perspective and it’s very opinionated. And ya’ll should do that. [Laughs] You should do that because it bring more viewers and bring more eyeballs and bring more conversation and more anticipation. If and when it does happen, winning a championship, that’s the fun part.

At this point, Melo understands this is all part of the territory. He even kind of encourages the criticism because it brings more hype to the situation. Melo and the Lakers are confident in the team they've built, so they're not worried about what talking heads say about them .

Los Angeles is looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2020-21 season marred by injury. If all goes according to plan, it will be the Lakers against the Brooklyn Nets in an epic NBA Finals battle for the ages, with Melo finally getting his first ring.