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Carmelo Anthony Says His Return Affected LeBron James’ Decision

John Leyba/Denver Post File

The 2014 NBA offseason was headlined by some of the best players in the league entering free agency. Players like Luol Deng, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade, Lance Stephenson, and Pau Gasol all gauged lots of interest from numerous teams, but their destinations weren’t solely in their hands. Many top tier free agents weren’t ready to commit to any team until two even higher tier free agents made their respective decisions. Those players are Carmelo Anthony and LeBron James. Although many free agents knew where they wanted to play right away next season like Marcin Gortat with Washington, Tim Duncan with the Spurs, Kyle Lowry with the Raptors, Dirk Nowitzki with Dallas, and Zach Randolph with the Grizzlies, most of the NBA was waiting on James to make his decision (expected first), followed by Carmelo’s decision.

On July 11, LeBron James made his decision in a letter published by Sports Illustrated. Creating a notion of hope and redemption with the title “I’m Coming Home,” LeBron showed just how important his hometown was to him as well as his desire to represent Cleveland and Ohio, a gesture that allowed even the most bitter Cavaliers fans to understand and forgive James. Having the best player in the world doubled the Cavalier franchise value and increased the team’s chance to win a championship twenty-fold.

Not long after, Carmelo Anthony leaned towards resigning with the New York Knicks for what was reported to be just a little under the max contract offered to him. Staying in what he called home, Carmelo wanted to experience the free agency process but through it all, realized his heart as well as his family was in New York. On July 13, a mere two days following James’ decision to return home, Anthony made his return to the Knicks official, and thus began the rebuilding-around-Melo era.

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