This past summer, Carmelo Anthony was among the top free agents on the market… and he was courted by several teams before eventually staying with the New York Knicks.
However, Melo recently revealed that, at one point, he had decided to sign with the Chicago Bulls.
“It was one part of time where I was just like, ‘Yo, I’m going,’ ” the NBA star says in a documentary titled Carmelo: Made in New York, detailing his free agency that aired Tuesday night (Dec. 2) on MSG Network.
After meeting with the Lakers, Rockets, Mavs and the Bulls, Melo would ultimately re-sign with the Knicks on a five-year, $124 million contract. The max the Bulls could have offered was approximately $74 million, unless they executed a sign-and-trade.
In the documentary, Anthony discusses in detail about how strongly he considered signing with the Bulls.
“It came down to Chicago and New York. Chicago was the one that, from day one, was something that I was very impressed with,” he says. “They was looking for a person like me to come in and just take them to the next level. So, it was perfect. It was a perfect setup, perfect fit for me in Chicago. But then also, I had to think about just living in Chicago. Do I want to live in Chicago? Do I want to take everything that I created in New York and move all of that? It came down to that.
“It was a great meeting. … You could tell the culture that they have over there. The seriousness that they have, what they’re about,” he continued. “It comes down to winning at the end of the day, and that’s what they’re about. So, that’s what I like. For them to hit everything right on the nail, first time at bat, that’s hard to do. That was impressive.”
While he was impressed with the Bulls, Anthony was also impressed by the Lakers, who included Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson in the recruiting process. However, it was their poor roster that played the biggest factor in Anthony not going to L.A.
“It would have just been me and Kobe on that team, and then you would have had to throw in pieces in there until next year,” Anthony said. “So I figured why pick up and leave when New York is in the same situation? I’d have to really want to get out of New York and come to almost the same situation.”