Feb 17, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Western Conference guard Kobe Bryant (24) of the Los Angeles Lakers drives against Eastern Conference forward Carmelo Anthony (7) of the New York Knicks in the first quarter of the 2013 NBA all star game at the Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

NBA Rumors: Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony aren’t actually friends

Throughout free agency, many have assumed that Carmelo Anthony and Kobe Bryant’s friendship could be a factor in luring Melo to the Los Angeles Lakers this offseason.

However, according to Ken Berger of CBS Sports, Carmelo and Bryant aren’t that close, and, in fact, friendships could help the New York Knicks steal a free agent target away from the Lakers, not the other way around.

There isn’t as much of a friendship between Anthony and Lakers star Kobe Bryant as has been portrayed, according to a person who knows both players well. And besides, with Phil Jackson and Derek Fisher in New York, along with Spaniard Jose Calderon, there is hope that Lakers free agent Pau Gasol might opt to switch coasts and join Anthony rather than continue toiling in the wildly competitive West.

Whether Anthony and Bryant are friends or not, Melo going to the Lakers seems highly unlikely. Los Angeles did its part by offering Carmelo a max contract, a four-year deal worth $97 million.

But because the way the NBA’s CBA is structured, New York is able to and has offered Anthony a deal that lasts five years and is worth $129 million.

It would seem odd for Anthony to head to the much tougher Western Conference to play with an aging Bryant, when he could simply stay in New York and get paid more or go the Houston Rockets or Chicago Bulls and compete for an NBA title.

A friendship between Melo and Bryant obviously wouldn’t have hurt the Lakers’ chances. But ultimately, given Carmelo’s other options,  it wouldn’t have really mattered all that much.

Tags: Carmelo Anthony Kobe Bryant Los Angeles Lakers NBA New York Knicks

  • J Taylor

    *** More Fansided Misinformation ***
    It’s sad that reporters are using false information to spread their own misguided and misinformed writings.

    The friendship between Kobe and Melo is well documented and acknowledged by BOTH sides.

    Seems like this writer has an agenda to spread misinformation in an attempt to pander and get “pay per click” hits.