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Los Angeles Lakers veteran Kobe Bryant and New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony spoke last summer and decided that they wouldn’t be able to co-exist.
Anthony toured the country during free agency last summer when he visited the likes of the Chicago Bulls, Houston Rockets and Dallas Mavericks.
The Knicks forward also visited Los Angeles and sat down with Bryant and Co to discuss a possible switch to the Staples Center, but the two stars didn’t think that they would be successful together on the same team.
Anthony has gone into detail about his visit to the Lakers when he met general manager Mitch Kupchak as well as owner Jeanie Buss. Naturally, given the market in LA and appeal it would have to his brand as a whole, Melo gave it some serious consideration.
However, ultimately he opted to stay with the Knicks to sign a max contract worth $124m over five years, and he has revealed why he turned down a move to Los Angeles.
“They came in at the 25th hour, they swooped in there,’’ Anthony told the New York Post.
“It was a great visit. The conversations I had with Kobe was just man to man. We both had to come to reality and say, ‘Is this what we really want?’ And it didn’t happen.
“We’ve been talking for a long time, man, especially this summer, just me and him communicating, and talking and being honest with one another as friends and brothers should be. It was a lot going on there on his behalf and my behalf trying to figure everything out.”
Essentially, the Lakers would have had no balance on their team if they had signed Anthony as both men love to shoot the ball. It would have been a bad fit for both stars, and although the Knicks have struggled this year regardless, the Lakers haven’t fared much better and both Melo and Kobe will be better off being the focal point of their own rebuilding projects at different franchises.