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Carmelo Anthony’s 1-word reason for joining LeBron James, Lakers

carmelo anthony lebron james lakers

Carmelo Anthony did not expect his good friend LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers to come calling. Once they did, his reason for signing with the Lakers (on the veteran’s minimum) boiled down to one simple notion: “Winning.”

Anthony discussed his offseason decision on Yahoo’s Chris Haynes’ “Posted Up” podcast. Anthony revealed to Haynes that he was surprised to receive interest from James and the Lakers. He was settling back into New York life and readying his son for the upcoming school year.

“I didn’t expect it,” Anthony said. “I never expected the Lakers to call. I never expected ‘Bron to call. That was just far-fetched to me.”

Anthony, who lives in L.A. during the summer, was initially on the fence about joining the Lakers, considering the distance from his son. However, the opportunity to win a ring was too enticing to pass up.

“What was the deciding factor in choosing the Lakers?” Haynes asked. “Was it LeBron? Was it something else?”

“Winning,” Anthony responded. “Having a great chance to win. It took me some days to really sit down and break it down and really dig deep into making that decision. To most people, it probably would have been an easy decision. But for me, I really had to align a lot of things … for this to work out, for me to feel comfortable going out there and being away from fam for another year…People don’t understand that part of it. That’s the hard part. The basketball is easy.”

Anthony said the Philadelphia 76ers also reached out, including personal correspondence from Joel Embiid and Tobias Harris. The New Orleans Pelicans showed interest, too, while a return to the New York Knicks always remained an option.

The 37-year old said he waited for signs of interest from the Portland Trail Blazers — for whom he played the past two seasons — but that never came.

Had he signed anywhere else, Anthony said he would have been “at peace” with the notion of retiring without winning an NBA championship. Now that he’s running alongside LeBron, Anthony Davis, and Russell Westbrook, though, he’s focused on helping the franchise raise its 18th banner.

“If I didn’t go to the Lakers, it wasn’t something that was heavy on me,” Anthony said. “But now that I’m with the Lakers, it’s a must-have. There’s no questions about it. We gotta get it. By any means.”

Anthony has been making the rounds promoting his book, “Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised: A Memoir of Survival and Hope,” which is now available.