It was not that long ago that 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony was hesitant to accept a lesser role, and this mindset almost got him out of the NBA for good. But times have changed, and now it appears that Melo is willing to do whatever it takes to win. Even if that means his playing time and stats will suffer.
During a recent chat with reporters, Anthony said that he’s willing to accept any role that the Lakers coaching staff has in mind for him.
“At this point, man, whatever we need to do, let’s do it,” Anthony said. “It ain’t … ‘I can’t sit,’ and, ‘Oh, I want to start,’ ‘I want to come off the bench.’ Whatever it is, it is.”
Anthony proved he could be a contributor from the bench last season when he was with the Portland Trail Blazers. He played 69 games in 2020-21 but only started three of those games. The 37-year-old star averaged career-low 13.4 points and 3.1 rebounds per game but also shot a career-high 40.9 percent from the three-point line.
Besides taking the backseat role, Melo also tweaked his game and became a catch-and-shoot player opposed to the iso menace that he was for the better part of his career. This alone could help him carve an important role on the Lakers, especially since the team lacks shooters after trading away Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Kyle Kuzma.
This was echoed by Lakers head coach Frank Vogel during a recent press conference, who said that he expects Melo to be an important part of the team in 2021-22.
“We’ll probably not talk about it again until we get closer to the regular season,” Vogel said of Anthony. “But I do think he’s going to have a big role on our team.”