LeBron James offers Carmelo Anthony sage advice about Knicks star’s impending free agency
LeBron James and his Miami Heat teammates were in the Big Apple on Thursday to take on the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden (Kate Upton was there, too!). The Heat ended up dropping the game to the Knicks by a score of 102-92.
Before the game, the issue of Carmelo Anthony’s impending free agency invariably came up and LeBron was barraged by a flurry of questions from reporters about the Knicks superstar.
When asked about what advice he would give to Carmelo regarding how to approach free agency, James offered up the following insights.
“Whatever makes him happy,” James told reporters, according to a New York Daily News report. “You have to do whatever makes (you) happy at the end of the day. If you’re happy, the game of basketball is going to be fun for you. Strive to be great every day and you can live with whatever else happens. So we’ll see.”
James would of course be a great source of wisdom regarding how to deal with free agency, given the much ballyhooed coverage and fanfare that surrounded his departure from the Cleveland Cavaliers for the warmer climes of Miami.
The Daily News notes that LeBron took less money to join the Heat than what the Cavaliers could have paid him. Would he suggest to Carmelo to do the same thing? Exchange a bigger payday for a better chance at winning?
“I recommend it to me,” James said. “It fit me. What I do don’t work for everybody, and the way I live my life doesn’t work for everybody. But all I care about is winning. I came to Miami to win. And money didn’t make me happy — winning made me happy. It still does. At the end of the day that’s what mattered to me.”
James later blamed the fanfare, controversy and excessive coverage of Anthony’s looming free agency not on Carmelo, but the aggressive New York media, noting that even though he is in the same boat as Anthony as he too can test free agency following the season, playing in Miami and not in the glaring lights of NYC has prevented it from coming as big of a distraction.
“You see me? I don’t talk about it,” LeBron pointed out. “It’s easier because I’m in Miami and he’s in New York and the New York media is a little bit different than it is in Miami. You guys don’t take no for an answer, so I don’t have to deal with that.”
That’s all well and good and there certainly are substantial differences between the media coverage that exists in the two cities, but maybe if Anthony had not opened the door to rampant speculation by conceding he intended to test free agency before the season even began, perhaps Carmelo wouldn’t have found himself painted into a corner and forced to discuss it nonstop.
Still, Anthony should heed the main point of LeBron’s advice: He should do whatever makes him happy and him alone. Although I hope, should Carmelo ask LeBron, that James doesn’t advise him to turn his decision into a prime-time, nationally broadcast circus sideshow. That wouldn’t be good for anyone.