Kent Bazemore says the Lakers giving up on him to pursue Carmelo Anthony in 2014 ‘lit a fire’ under him - Lakers Daily

Kent Bazemore says the Lakers giving up on him to pursue Carmelo Anthony in 2014 ‘lit a fire’ under him

Kent Bazemore and Carmelo Anthony Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran Kent Bazemore indicated that the Los Angeles Lakers managed to give him some needed motivation earlier in his career during the team’s then-pursuit of Carmelo Anthony.

Bazemore, who spent part of the 2013-14 season with the Lakers, pointed out the team’s failed attempt to acquire Anthony back then turned out to be an inspiring jolt for him to prove the team wrong.

“It’s funny, you mention that,” Bazemore said in response to him and Anthony signing this summer. “That kind of lit a fire underneath me a little bit back in the day when I used to hold on to those kinds of things before I understood the business side of everything. But I’m just very fortunate to have another opportunity to play in the best league of basketball and one of the greatest organizations in any sport. I played with Carmelo up in Portland.”

Bazemore did average 13.1 points per game during that short 23-game stint with the Lakers, but the team chose not to extend a qualifying offer. That was done to try and entice Anthony to join L.A. on a max deal.

The Lakers obviously came up short in that pursuit of Anthony, but Bazemore used that snub as the fuel to become an effective player.

Bazemore did get some revenge when he snubbed the Lakers during the 2016 offseason, choosing instead to re-sign with the Atlanta Hawks.

Bazemore and Anthony are now focused on getting the Lakers back to the NBA Finals, with both players hoping to be a part of their first NBA title team.