Since they were both nationally recognized prep talents in Ohio and Virginia two decades ago, LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony have been close. They were drafted together in 2003, have sparred in the NBA, and have gone on vacations together.
As a result, when King James made a recruiting call to Anthony, called “C-Melo” or “Melo,” it didn’t take much persuasion to persuade him to join the Lakers. In reality, it only required three words to get the job done.
“I need you,” Melo recalls James saying during his interview on the “Million Dollarz Worth of Game” podcast.
“That was a real call. It was no bull—. I wasn’t expecting the call. I mean, we talked about getting together years ago.” Melo said. “That’s my brother. I’ve known him since we were 15 or 16 years old. I heard it … ‘I need you.’ Say less. You already know what time it is when you hit me direct.”
C-Melo stated he could tell by King James’ voice that this was more than just a casual talk a decade ago. In 2010, LeBron James attempted to convince Melo to join him in Miami alongside another superstar, Dwyane Wade. But Chris Bosh ended up on South Beach with LBJ and D-Wade, where they won two NBA championships in four years. C-Melo has yet to win a championship, and as a result, he is much more hungry for one now than he was when he was the star of the Denver Nuggets.
“So he hit me and said ‘yo, champ, the time is now,’ ” said Melo, who was on the podcast to promote his new book Where Tomorrows Aren’t Promised.
Once C-Melo got the OK to move to LA from his New York-based son, it was a wrap.