A meeting between LeBron James and Cavaliers GM David Griffin and conflicting statements from Carmelo Anthony represented some of the fallout from the Wednesday publication of comments that James made shortly before the All-Star break about his desire to play at least one NBA season on the same team as Anthony, Dwyane Wade and Chris Paul. James has spoken with Cavs management in the past to propose the idea of trading for Anthony, who has a no-trade clause, a source told Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal, though it’s not clear when such talk took place. James and Griffin spoke in general terms Wednesday, according to Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. The conversation was “positive and productive,” with James striking an upbeat tone about the Cavs, Vardon writes.
Anthony echoed James’ assertion that he would take a discount to facilitate teaming with the other stars, though he hinted that if it happened, it wouldn’t take place in New York, as Marc Berman of the New York Post relays. The Knicks have Anthony under contract until at least 2018, when he can opt out.
“Everybody has fantasies,” Anthony said. “We’d all have to take pay cuts. I’d take one. I think at that time we’d want to go someplace warm. Later — [close to] retirement.’’
Anthony re-signed with the Knicks in 2014, though he reiterated Wednesday, when the Knicks beat the Bulls, that he came “very close” to signing with Chicago that summer instead, notes Nick Friedell of ESPNChicago.com (Twitter link). Still, Anthony once more restated his commitment to the Knicks during ESPN’s broadcast of the game, McMenamin notes.
“I came here for a reason, which was to win in New York,” Anthony said. “Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case thus far, but I feel like I have unfinished business to take care of. And I feel like, I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, if I just get up and run away from something that I started, that I feel a part of and that’s not done yet, then I think I would carry that burden on my shoulders. That’s just me as an individual.”
James isn’t sure that having the four stars on the same team would fly with any owner, given the vast power the players would have in such a circumstance, a source told McMenamin. The former MVP tamped down the notion of playing with his high-profile friends in comments he made Wednesday, as McMenamin relays.
“It would definitely be cool if it happened, but we don’t know how realistic it could be to have us four,” James said. “If you got an opportunity to work with three of your best friends, no matter what, it’s not even about sports, it’s about being around guys that you don’t even have to say nothing, you automatically know. We just have that type of history. Can it happen? I don’t know if it can even happen but it would be cool.”
James had a lingering chat with Wade at halftime of Cleveland’s loss to Miami on Saturday while the Cavs were warming up, and James later apologized to Cavs coach Tyronn Lue for that, Vardon writes. Cleveland was down 21 at the time in a game the Cavs lost by that same margin.
“I just told him we can’t have that, being down like we were and him being the leader,” Lue said to Vardon. “Just me being a competitor, I didn’t like it. We had a long talk about it. It was good. He understood, he apologized, and he’s been great.”
Wade largely brushed off talk of playing with James, Anthony and Paul, as ESPN’s Michael Wallace relays in McMenamin’s story.
“I don’t know, man,” Wade said. “Yeah, I heard it. I read it. I’m not really jumping into the headlines right now. For me, I’m focused on my teammates in here. As cool as the headlines is, that has nothing to do with what we’re trying to do in here.”