Why Carmelo Anthony Believes He Can Beat ‘Best Player In The World’ LeBron James In NBA Playoffs
Longtime friends Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James will face off on Aug. 18 in round 1 of the NBA playoffs. — Their 1st post-season meeting since 2012. And, Melo’s more than confident that Portland can deliver a grueling upset to the highly favored Lakers.
It feels like we’re back in the early 2000s talking about an on-court battle between Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. The veteran stars will go toe to toe on Tuesday night in a highly anticipated Western Conference matchup in round 1 of the NBA Playoffs. Melo, along with superstar point guard, Damian Lillard, helped Portland to clinch the final playoff spot in the Western Conference on August 15. And now, Melo’s hungry for more.
“Carmelo and Portland are working on all cylinders right now. The Lakers haven’t played up to their potential, and LeBron is well aware that they’re vulnerable right now — and Carmelo can absolutely see that,” a source close to Carmelo tells HollywoodLife, exclusively. “He knows LeBron is one of the best players, if not the best player in the world, so it’ll be an uphill battle to win the series,” the insider says, noting that despite the odds stacked against him, Carmelo’s more confident than ever.
LeBron James during the first half of an NBA game against the Denver Nuggets on August 10, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
“He trusts that his own play, his team’s play and especially Dame’s presence on the floor will be enough to shock the world and knock out the Lakers in the playoffs. That’s Carmelo’s mindset right now,” the source admits — adding that he’d love nothing more than to win a championship at this point in his career. “And, going through the Lakers would sweeten a victory immensely.”
Carmelo Anthony, left, tries to keep the ball from Atlanta Hawks forward De’Andre Hunter during the first half of an NBA game on Saturday, February 29, 2020, in Atlanta. (Photo credit: AP Photo/John Amis)
The Lakers-Portland series marks the first time Carmelo and LeBron will meet in the post-season since 2012. The longtime friends go way back, both personally and on the court. In 2002, they were high-school prospects when LeBron’s St. Vincent-St. Mary’s high school faced off against Carmelo’s Oak Hill Academy. One year later, LeBron and Carmelo were selected No. 1 and No. 3 overall, respectively, in the 2003 NBA Draft. After that, fans went on to watch them battle it out on the hardwood for 17 seasons.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James and Denver Nuggets’ Carmelo Anthony talk during their game on November 5, 2003 in Cleveland. (Photo credit: AP Photo/Ron Schwane)