Despite having a career most other NBA players would dream of, pro-basketball life has not come easy for OKC superstar Carmelo Anthony.
After his relationship with the Knicks deteriorated, things spiraled out of control. Phil Jackson diminished his value, while the Knicks continued to lose games. Once the 2016-17 campaign was over, it was only a matter of time before Melo was sent packing. And, sure enough, that time arrived late in the summer, when Carmelo was finally traded to the Thunder.
Strangely enough, however, things could have turned out very, very differently.
Before things settled into how they are today, Carmelo envisioned a much brighter future in Houston, one that involved James Harden, Chris Paul, and even LeBron James himself.
From ESPN Knicks insider, Ian Begley:
Anthony had been talking to friends about teaming up with Chris Paul and, eventually, LeBron James in Houston and how the Rockets could match up with the defending champion Golden State Warriors. He went as far as to detail individual matchups between that hypothetical Rockets team and the Warriors, surmising that he and the Rockets could take out the Warriors. For most of the offseason, Anthony was confident that the Knicks and Rockets would get a deal together.
Rumors about potential on-court unions between the famed banana boat crew have been circulating for well over a year now, so it's no shock that Carmelo was attempting to make those rumors fact.
Still, nobody quite knows how close he actually got. While it is true the then hopefull Knick fully believed his team and the Rockets would reach a deal, the idea of bringing in other high-priced superstars seems like an impossible situation. Unfortunately for us, this will forever remain one of those "what-if" scenarios, and we'll never really get the chance to see this play out.
Unless, of course, this was their plan all along...