For a team that’s suddenly banking on their championship hopes on next offseason, the Lakers’ prospects aren’t looking good.
A few days after Indiana forward Paul George publicly expressed skepticism he’d don the purple and gold uniform, New York forward Carmelo Anthony basically said the same thing.
It came in the form of TMZ approaching the Knicks’ star recently outside of a Hollywood restaurant.
“I know the upcoming season is coming up — can you see yourself in a purple and gold outfit?” the TMZ reporter asked.
“Uh, I doubt it,” Anthony answered. “It’s not a outfit, though.”
Melo then coyly revealed he owns a pair of purple and gold Michael Jordan shoes.
“I’m reading between the lines, dude,” the TMZ reporter said. “I think I’m going to see you in one soon.”
“I don’t think you should read between the lines,” Anthony replied. “I don’t think you should do that. It’s not good to read between the lines.”
Yeah, that’s really going to stop people from doing that.
The Lakers aren’t predicting it. But with the old players who may not be healthy (Kobe Bryant, Pau Gasol, Steve Nash) and significant departures (Dwight Howard, Metta World Peace), few doubt the arrival of Chris Kaman, Nick Young, Wesley Johnson or Jordan Farmar will suddenly bring the Lakers a 17th NBA championship. Yet, the Lakers have recently talked about their plans to maintain “financial flexibility” so they could go after a pair of high-priced free agents.
Anthony could be one of them should he exercise his early termination option with the Knicks. But Anthony might just do that to receive another maximum, five-year contract with New York rather than teaming up with a former coach he once butted heads with (Mike D’Antoni) and a good friend (Bryant).
Still, plenty of time exists between now and the 2014 offseason. That gives the Lakers time to prove they could best help Anthony to an NBA title, time for Bryant to convince his close pal to partner up and time for everyone else to speculate.
After all, it’s already started.
Follow L.A. Daily News Lakers beat writer Mark Medina on Twitter. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org