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Carmelo Anthony calls LeBron James the Lakers’ GM

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When LeBron James called Carmelo Anthony about joining the Los Angeles Lakers, he wasn’t expecting it. It was a real call, Anthony said — “No bulls–t” — and it centered around a topic they’d talked about turning into a reality for years.

And, in recalling that conversation, Anthony revealed what everyone already knew about who’s really running the Lakers.

“’Yo. I need you.’ Say less. You ain’t gotta say nothing,” Anthony said him during an appearance on Sunday’s “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast. “I already know what time it is when you — you hit me. Direct. The GM ain’t hit me. You the GM.”

Anthony has been doing a plethora of interviews lately, to promote the release of his new book, “Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised,” a memoir written with D. Watkins released last week. About a month prior, on Aug. 3, Anthony agreed to a one-year deal with the Lakers — whose general manager is Rob Pelinka — signing with his fourth team in five seasons. He spent the previous two years with the Portland Trail Blazers — appearing in 127 games and averaging 15.4 and 13.4 points per game in his first and second season, respectively — and started only three games during the 2020-21 campaign, the second-fewest of his career, to help key Portland’s sixth-place finish in the Western Conference.

LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony
Getty Images

But Anthony continued to make strides even in his 18th year, shooting a career-high 40.9 percent on 3-pointers. That made him an attractive option for some teams during the offseason. James’ message to him, Anthony recalled, was ‘Yo, champ, the time is now.”

The Lakers were more than a season removed from their NBA title that closed the bubble in Orlando. They squeaked into the playoffs last season as the No. 7 seed, with the same core still intact but with more injury issues.

“I felt it,” Anthony said. “I felt like the time is now right now. It’s just a different vibe, it’s a different aura, different energy around, ‘the time is now.’”

After signing Anthony, the Lakers also traded for star Washington Wizards guard Russell Westbrook to pair with James and Anthony Davis, and they’ll open training camp along with the rest of the NBA teams starting Sept. 28. The first preseason games start five days later, with the Lakers facing the Brooklyn Nets, and they’ll then open the regular season against the Golden State Warriors on Oct. 19.



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