*The type of guests who visit Bravo’s “Watch What Happens Live” usually don’t make instant news in the sports world. But when the entertainer happens to be the wife of an NBA superstar, and her husband will be a free agent this summer, any clue or comment about where he may end up is like red meat in the sports arena.
La La Anthony finds herself all over ESPN this morning after saying she “definitely” thinks her husband, free-agent-to-be Carmelo Anthony, will re-sign with the New York Knicks this summer.
“I definitely think he will stay,” La La told host Andy Cohen Monday night. “I know that he wants to stay, and I support him wherever he wants to go.
“Listen, I used to live in Denver with him. If I can live in Denver, I can live anywhere. I just want him to be happy.”
Carmelo Anthony says he will test free agency this summer. He is under contract through 2014-15 but can opt out after this season.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, the Knicks can offer him a maximum contract of $129 million over five years. Other suitors can offer Anthony a maximum of $96 million over four years.
Meanwhile, La La playfully mocked those who speculate that she will have a heavy influence on her husband’s decision.
“I get blamed for everything. No matter what happens, it’s my fault,” she said. “[There are] all these talks if he’s staying in New York or not, [and] I’m somehow the mastermind behind if he stays or not.”
The Knicks (17-27) have been a disappointment this season, causing some to speculate that Melo will take less money and sign with another team this summer.
One potential destination is Los Angeles. The Lakers are among several teams, including the Chicago Bulls and Dallas Mavericks, that may have the requisite salary-cap space this summer to sign Anthony.
Kobe Bryant, a friend of Anthony’s, said Sunday that he will not be actively recruiting the Knicks forward to join the Lakers.
“Well, everybody wants to play in Los Angeles,” Bryant said when asked about Anthony’s potential interest in joining the Lakers. “I mean, New York is a beautiful place, don’t get me wrong, but it is colder than s— out here. You know, palm trees and beaches obviously are a little more appealing.
“All jokes aside, I think that players, when that time comes, will have to make the best decision for them and their families. I try not to think about it too much. If he wants to call me for advice later as a friend, I will be more than happy to give it to him.”
Bryant pointed out that one way for Anthony to be viewed as more than just a scorer is to win a title.
“The only way to do that is win,” Bryant said. “That’s it. I won five championships, and there’s some of you guys [who] still say that. You just got to take it and roll with it. The important thing is winning a championship. That’s the only way to shake it. That’s the only way Michael [Jordan] shook it. That’s the only way any top scorer will be able to shake it.”
Anthony, who is in his 11th season, said Monday that his sole motivation is to win an NBA title.
“That’s the only thing I care about. Anything else is irrelevant to me when it comes to basketball,” he said. “Championship is the only thing that’s on my mind, is the only thing I want to accomplish, I want to achieve, and I’m going to do what I got to do to get that. That’s my motivating factor. Nothing else even motivates me anymore, just that.”