Are LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony friends off the court? Exploring the relationship between 2 modern greats

Golden State Warriors v Los Angeles Lakers
LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony playing for the LA Lakers.

Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James are two of the all-time greatest NBA players and have developed a close bond over the past two decades.

The LA Lakers’ teammates go back a long way and were friends before entering the NBA. The two are often seen together on vacations with their families and share a career synchronity despite never playing together until recently.

Without further ado, we look at the close relationship that the two all-time greats share.

How good is the friendship between LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony?

Both LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony were drafted in 2003, and had big expectations placed on them from the start. Anthony was a star with his first team, the Denver Nuggets, similar to James had with the Cleveland Cavaliers. While James left Cleveland in 2010 for Miami Heat, Anthony moved to the New York Knicks in 2011 and then had some of the best years of his career.

Despite not playing together, James and Anthony first met while in high school.

“When I get to Oak, LeBron happened to be in Oak the previous year," Anthony said. "I’m like, 'I gotta play against him. It’s in the schedule. We gotta make it happen.' We get the jersey. We get to the prime-time shootout, and we come in the hotel, and … he … 'You Melo?' Yeah!
"It was All-Star weekend in Philly, too. And we sat on the steps for hours the night before that game. I don’t know nothing about you, dog, you don’t know nothing about me.
“We clicked in after that moment. We just felt like we’re from similar backgrounds: similar home, broken family, grown up in the hood. So, we connected for that, before basketball. I was looking for that type of relationship … brotherhood.”

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James also said that the two never had to force anything, and their friendship transpired due to a simple conversation they shared. Over the years, the two have regularly featured on each other’s social media, and their families also appear to be close. The two became fathers to their first sons in the same year, and both share a willingness to help the next generation of basketball players.

There is little doubt that James and Anthony have grown close in the last two decades as their friendship have evolved. Carmelo even said that LeBron once saved his life during a boating trip:

"I look up, (and) the current is taking me in the middle of the ocean, like, opposite from the boat ... and it was windy. All type of s--- was going through my head, I'm gonna be honest with you. And then I look up at the boat, and I see Bron.
"Bron jumps off the boat like he is MacGyver. He was bringing me back with one arm. He's swimming with the other arm, and he carrying me with one."

While it is unclear whether the two will play together again, there is little doubt that the two are close friends and likely will continue to make memories off the court in the years to come.

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Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein
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