Lakers Nation Debate: Can Carmelo Anthony Lead The Lakers Post-Kobe?
Topic: With the Lakers making such a strong push to sign Carmelo Anthony, we wonder if Anthony is the player capable of leading the team in the post-Kobe era?
Context: The Los Angeles Lakers have always been a team built around superstars. When the Lakers signed Shaquille O’Neal and drafted Kobe Bryant in 1996, their newest duo was born and they would win three championships together.
After Shaq was traded, the team became Kobe’s and they would eventually win back-to-back championships in 2009 and 2010. But now Kobe is getting older, and his run as the top player in the league is coming to an end.
This summer, the Lakers have gone all-out to land Carmelo Anthony. With their pitch and Kobe’s subsequent meeting after the fact left a strong impression as Anthony is strongly considering joining the team.
But is Anthony the guy who can lead the Lakers? He is obviously no stranger to being the star in a large market, having played in New York the last three and a half seasons. But he only made it out of the first round of the playoffs once, and the Knicks didn’t make the playoffs this past season.
Furthermore, he only made it out of the first round once during his time in Denver, making it twice in 11 seasons that Anthony has failed to get out of the first round.
There is no doubt that Anthony is talented — anyone who can average 27 and eight rebounds while shooting 40 percent from deep is special. And Kobe Bryant himself has said that Anthony has what it takes to lead a team to a championship, but there seems to be something missing in the eyes of many.
He hasn’t always had the best teams around him, but at the end of the day, everything will always come back to the superstar. And Anthony has continually come up short when it comes to team success.
Verdict: We went to Twitter to ask our followers if they believe Carmelo Anthony is the player to lead the Lakers in the post-Kobe era. Here are some of the responses:
— Asaph Cueto (@easaph) July 6, 2014
— LakersFan0824 (@LakersFan08240) July 6, 2014
— Scott Wong (@scottiew23) July 6, 2014
— Gary (@Hendu45) July 6, 2014
— Axel Vito Cruz (@AxelVCynth) July 6, 2014
— Shia Knowles (@shiaknowlesbest) July 6, 2014
— LA Native (@HotLAHomes) July 6, 2014
The fans have spoken, and most seem to believe that Carmelo is not the guy capable of leading the team post-Kobe. Years of underachievement in the playoffs has caused Anthony’s reputation as a winner to take a hit in the eyes of the public.
The fans who don’t believe in Anthony have every right to, but I tend to disagree with this assessment. You need a team to succeed in the NBA, and Anthony has rarely had an excellent supporting cast. The best team he ever had was in Denver, and he led them to the Western Conference Finals where they simply lost to a better team.
I think of players like Kevin Garnett or Dirk Nowitzki who dealt with playoff disappointments and frustrations for years before breaking through, and the difference was simply putting the right team around them.
Mitch Kupchak and the Lakers front office have proven time and time again that they know how to build a championship team. If Anthony does come to LA, I believe the Lakers will put the right pieces around him and Anthony will show that he has the talent and drive to lead a championship team.
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