Carmelo Anthony’s return to the hardwood has been one of the best stories of the NBA season. After rough stints with the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets, the future Hall of Famer spent a year off a roster, struggling make his way back to the league.
The Portland Trail Blazers, desperate due to injuries and a poor start to their season, gave Anthony the opportunity he coveted and so far, the power forward has delivered.
On Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers will visit Portland where Anthony will once again be able to face off against close friend and rival LeBron James. Ahead of the matchup, both James and Anthony spoke to The Athletic about their relationship:
“Proud of him,” James told The Athletic on Thursday night in Salt Lake City. “I don’t know if he needed to hear it or not, but I’m fucking proud of him. Like, really like a blood brother.”
“It’s like, when people throwing stones on you and trying to bury you alive and you able to rise above that shit?” James said. “That’s amazing. Shit kind of hit home. It’s a beautiful thing. Beautiful thing. Only the strong survive.”
James has been an advocate of Anthony’s throughout his year away from the game. The superstar reportedly gave his blessing for the Lakers to sign his friend last season amid injuries but it ultimately did not come to fruition.
LeBron and Melo’s bond has lasted since the two were in high school. It’s clearly a very special relationship and with their 34th matchup against each other on the way, it’s great to see their friendship take center stage.