NBA legend reveals that he almost formed a super team with Kobe Bryant

Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

NBA legend and future Hall of Famer Carmelo Anthony recently sat down for The Why with Dwyane Wade podcast, and he had an interesting conversation about his career. That included the 2011 trade that saw him traded from the Denver Nuggets to the New York Knicks. However, Anthony added this interesting story about almost being traded to the Los Angeles Lakers instead.

The thought of Anthony playing alongside Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol is fascinating, considering their play styles. Kobe and Melo were both dominant scorers, particularly in isolation, which would have forced the other to play without the ball for stretches. That may have been why the Lakers declined to do the deal, but it would have certainly been interesting to see.

How would NBA history be different had Carmelo Anthony been traded to the LA Lakers?

The Nuggets later traded Anthony in a four-team, 12-player deal, one of the largest in NBA history. That deal worked out for the Nuggets, who remained competitive post Anthony and one of the picks acquired in the trade actually allowed them to draft Jamal Murray.

Murray was a key part of their 2023 championship run. Meanwhile, Melo would help lead the Knicks to one of their most successful seasons in recent memory, winning 54 games in 2012–13 and going to the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals.

As for the Lakers, they would later pair Kobe with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard but that super team flamed out and Kobe didn't make the playoffs for the final four seasons of his career. Had the Lakers agreed to the deal, they might have been championship contenders with two elite shot makers that would have given opposing defenses all they could handle in the playoffs.

Overall, Melo's being traded to the Knicks instead of the Lakers changed the course of NBA history. Had he been, Kobe might have won another championship, while the Nuggets might not have without acquiring the pick that became Murray.