The morning after the Los Angeles Lakers eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the NBA playoffs, LeBron James took time to send an uplifting message to his close friend, Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony, via social media.
The two players have been friends for years, having both been among the early picks of the legendary 2003 NBA Draft.
James has had a legendary career, with nine finals appearances and three title wins. It’s a level of success that has thus far eluded Anthony.
The veteran completed his first season with the Trail Blazers in Saturday’s loss, showing that he’s still capable of contributing on the court. In recent years, many critics believed that Anthony was no longer capable of being a positive contributor in the NBA.
In 58 regular-season games this season, Anthony averaged 15.4 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.5 assists per game. For his five playoff games against the Lakers, he contributed similar averages of 15.2 points, 5.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
With the Lakers now advancing to the second round of the playoffs, the continuing bond between James and Anthony makes it likely that Anthony will at least temporarily become a Lakers fan in the weeks ahead.