Kobe Bryant says he'd love to play with Carmelo Anthony
It turns out Kobe Bryant wishes the Lakers had actually made that Andrew Bynum trade for Carmelo Anthony.
No, the Black Mamba didn't go on another profanity-laced tirade arguing that the Lakers need to "ship his ... out." But it's clear in recent statements to students in a UC Santa Barbara psychology class that he wished the Lakers had pulled the trigger on the deal that would've landed Anthony.
“I would actually like to play with Melo.” Bryant said, according to Hoopsworld's Alex Kennedy. “Championships are won on the inside and I’m always thinking about winning the title. I would love to play with Melo because I would know that I have an inside presence. That’s really been the biggest strength with our Lakers team. We have a lot of guys who can play in the post, and that’s how you win championships. I can post, Lamar [Odom] can post, Ron [Artest] can post, Pau [Gasol] can post and Andrew [Bynum] can post. Teams are usually lucky if they have one guy that can control the block. But yeah, I would love to play with Melo.”
That's actually the main reason why the Lakers made the right decision in staying away from Anthony. As injury-plagued as Bynum has been, his presence alone gives the Lakers a size advantage no other teams have. Of course, the Lakers failed miserably in the 2011 post-season. But it had little to do with Bynum and more to do with everyone else. Adding Melo to the mix? Yeah, that would've added scoring punch. But it would have come at the expense of Bryant's shots and Anthony would have done nothing to improve the Lakers' defense.
But with Bryant and Anthony being close friends, dominant scorers and former Olympic teammates, don't be surprised that Bryant's recent endorsement of Melo will lead to New York tabloid speculation that Kobe is headed to the Knicks.
-- Mark Medina
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Photo credit: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times.