LeBron James has championships and an assured legacy in basketball history. New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony does not. Anthony won a national championship in college at Syracuse, but he has yet to lead an NBA team deep into the playoffs. Anthony is a great scorer–probably the most talented player who’s had, frankly, so little success at winning in the NBA. (Not to say it’s on his shoulders–he hasn’t had the right teams, coaches, etc., goes the explanation train.)
Yet on the eve of the All-Star game James, who’s been pals with Anthony for years, said he is “a little jealous” of the Knicks forward “being the host”–because Anthony gets to call New York and Madison Square Garden home. James loves the big stage and New York’s the biggest. As James said of the Garden, it’s the “Mecca of basketball.” The All-Star game tips off at Madison Square Garden on Sunday at 8:30pm. Outside it’s expected to be as cold as the league-worst Knicks (10-43). Inside it should be hot. There’s a little hidden message inside James’ “jealous” comment: there is no way that LeBron James believes he could–under any circumstances–be on a 10-43 team, even if he played with his high school teammates. The friendly remark about Anthony is a dig–plain and simple. And it’s meant to tease Knicks fans, too, who would trade Anthony for James in a New York minute. James is free to move this summer.