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LeBron James profanely proclaims how ‘proud’ he is of Carmelo Anthony

LeBron James counts Carmelo Anthony among his closest friends in the NBA, so it stands to reason he is happy that his pal not only has escaped a year-long stint in basketball purgatory but is also thriving with the Portland Trail Blazers.

Happy may be underselling James’ feelings on Anthony’s resurgence.

Anthony’s Blazers host James’ Lakers on Friday night in Portland, and ahead of the showdown between them, Bill Oram and Jason Quick of The Athletic separately sat down with the two superstars to discuss their longtime bond.

James could not help but gush, albeit in a profane manner, about Anthony’s early success with the Blazers, which included the veteran already earning Western Conference Player of the Week honors.

“Proud of him,” James said of Anthony. “I don’t know if he needed to hear it or not, but I’m f—–g 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 s–t?” James said. “That’s amazing. S–t kind of hit home. It’s a beautiful thing. Beautiful thing. Only the strong survive.”

Anthony, meanwhile, made note of how he and James arrived in the NBA the same year when the two were taken No. 3 and No. 1, respectively, in the 2003 draft, saying, “somehow we will always be connected.”

“When you have a connection with somebody, you can’t explain it,” Anthony continued. “We have no idea. I can say that we both come from single-parent high schools, inner city, everybody looking at us as being that one from our inner city to uplift everybody else, so that right there we have something in common.”

There was quite a bit of chatter in the past year that James would use his influence to get the Lakers to sign Anthony. Things did not work out, and Anthony recently stated he would rather have retired than ask James for help.

Now, Anthony has found stability after the Blazers guaranteed his contract for the remainder of the season. And James and Anthony? Banana Boat Brothers forever.